“It’s always encouraging to see the number of spectators grow each year and I’m sure the 2018 edition will be no different.” Peter German, Championship Director
The 13th edition of the annual HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship is back at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club this week from Thursday 18th – Sunday 21st January. The four-day event, branded as the ‘Best of the Best’ for 2018, is not just for golf enthusiasts but also a great day out for all the family with plenty of off-course activities to keep all generations entertained.
The Championship, presented by Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA), will once again welcome top names from the world of golf who will compete to win the coveted falcon trophy as well as some hefty prize money. Defending champion Tommy Fleetwood will be back in action again this year along with world number one Dustin Johnson and crowd favourites Rory McIlroy Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson. One hundred and twenty-six golfers will be competing in a field that contains nine of the current top twenty world ranked players.
The second day of competition (Friday 19th) will once again be Ladies Day where female visitors compete to be named ‘Best Dressed’ as deemed by the Emirates Woman magazine judging panel. The lucky fashionista will win two Etihad Airways Business Class tickets to Milan plus two passes to Milan Fashion Week. Saturday is ‘Wear Red Day’ with complimentary entry for all visitors wearing red clothing and some great prizes up for grabs too.
All HSBC customers can visit for FREE throughout the championships by visiting the dedicated registration desk at the main entrance. HSBC Premier Card and HSBC Black Card Holders can relax in the exclusive HSBC Skybox above the 17th green where complimentary beverages are served, trust me from past experience it’s a great place to enjoy the event.
The Championship Village will be jammed packed with interactive activities such as the Golf Zone, Kids Zone and Chill Zone. The popular HSBC sports programme will, as in past years, also offer rugby and tennis zones alongside the golf activities. HSBC Sporting Ambassadors cricket legend Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff and Tennis veteran Tim Henman will be holding workshops, make sure you look out for them in the village. The Abu Dhabi Tour, Asian Cup and Triathlon activations will all be taking place courtesy of the Abu Dhabi Sports Council. The heritage village will offer some local culture with a resident camel and falcons on display.
Topgolf, the popular worldwide game designed for everyone regardless of golfing ability, is making its debut in the region at this year’s championship. Visitors will have the opportunity to try Topgolf Crush, a game that allows players to track their microchipped golf balls when you aim for giant dartboard-like target. The closer you get your ball to the bullseye (centre) and the further the distance, the more points you earn. Wannabe junior golfers inspired by their heroes on course should check out the HSBC Golf Zone run by the team from Future Falcons. HSBC Hour, a FREE daily one-hour clinic, can offer advice to those players looking to improve their game (available on all four days to all members of the public, not just HSBC customers) and there’s also a digital driving range.
The HSBC Kids Zone is a great place to take the kids to burn off any excess energy with a jungle gym, soft play area as well as an arts and crafts. Parents and child-free guests can enjoy the sanctuary of the HSBC Chill Zone with its comfy seating areas and laidback music vibes. Live music will be offered with a range of acts to suit all tastes lined up to entertain the crowds. New age trio Ember blends classical with contemporary pop, female artists High On Heels will offer DJs and jazz and expect some soul from the Atlantic Soul Orchestra who have performed with both Amy Winehouse and Sir Elton John. Food trucks will be serving international cuisine from across the world with barbecue stations and beverages available too.
So golf fan or not there’s something for everyone at this year’s family-friendly championships. Wear your comfy shoes and bring your sun hat if you are planning to walk the course with the players, don’t forget something red on Saturday for free entry and ladies start planning your Friday outfits for your chance to fly to Milan in style. As for me, I will be enjoying the splendid HSBC hospitality on the 17th 😉
Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship 2018
Location: Abu Dhabi National Golf Course, Sas Al Nakhl, Abu Dhabi. UAE
When: Thursday 18th January – Sunday 21st January.
Times: 6:45am – 8pm daily (7pm on the final day).
Cost: AED 50 for a daily pass and AED 150 for a four-day pass (Guests staying at any Abu Dhabi hotel over the Championship period enter for free).
Check out the full schedule of events throughout the Championships here
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All views are my own. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2018. All rights reserved. Additional photos used with courtesy of abudhabichampionship.com/, www.instagram.com/hsbc_sport/ and twitter.com/HSBC_UAE
Read more about Golf in Abu Dhabi in previous posts Beginner to Winner, HSBC Abu Dhabi Golf 2014 Championships in Pictures, Visitors, Food, More Food and Some Golf, In Pictures: Expect The Unexpected HSBC Golf Championships and Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championships 2016