Mundhir Al Barwani became the third Chairman of the Oman Golf Committee in 2014 and in 2020 became the first Chairman of the Oman Golf Association.
I first experienced golf 17 years ago on a trip to Kuala Lumpur when I decided to go to a Golf Club and I met an Algerian coach who encouraged me to try it, I was immediately hooked by the game. After this trip I returned to Oman and started playing on the sand courses. Sand courses are very different, and the game was very challenging. Pulling your trolley through the soft sand, using the small Astroturf mat and then you had to try to control the ball on an oily sand brown (sand golf’s version of a green). Even with all of the challenges it was still enjoyable, and we built our initial skills on these courses.
The Oman Golf Committee was established by the Ministry of Sports Affairs in 2009 to manage the development of the game and to encourage its growth within the Sultanate, I became the third Chairman of the Committee in 2014. In 2020 the success of the Committee was acknowledged with the announcement and formation of the Oman Golf Association.
The main objectives of the Association are two-fold, to see the golf industry grow domestically and also to use the game of golf to create increased global awareness of the Sultanate of Oman.
Domestically over the last 15-20 years with the support of HH Syd Qais, HH Syd Taimoor, HE Dr Rumhy and the Ministry of Sports Affairs the game of golf in Oman has grown significantly from zero green courses to 5 grass courses. The first grass course was Muscat Hills which opened in 2009, this was a dream come true for golfers in Oman who before this would have to travel to Dubai to play on a green course. Currently there are five grass courses all located around Muscat, they are as diverse as the country itself and all offer world renowned Omani hospitality to their members and guests.
In 2018 the Oman Golf Association became the promoter for the prestigious Oman Open European Tour event, which takes place in February every year. The event carries a prize fund of $1.75 million and is broadcast through 30 hours of live television coverage to over 300 million households worldwide. The event which is played each year at the stunning Al Mouj Golf shows the world not only that we have fantastic golf facilities here in Oman but also allows for the beauty and diversity of the country to be seen by all. The event is a valuable asset in promoting tourism and overseas investment, the measured global media value for the 2020 Oman Open exceeded $134 million and the event was televised globally with over 2000 hours of coverage.