Two Dubai-based businessmen will attempt to traverse 18 signature holes at 18 different UAE golf clubs on a single day as part of the first-ever 18 on Eighteen, a unique nationwide golf challenge designed to raise money and awareness for families affected by cancer.
Simon Mellor, the Managing Director of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, whose wife Paula was diagnosed with Leukemia in March last year, and Edward (Ted) Bloom, the Director of Dubai World Trade Centre’s DXB Live, are seeking to navigate five Emirates and 540 kilometres of UAE roads to complete the epic par 72 challenge on Monday, May 3.
With Mellor and Bloom committing every dirham raised by 18 on Eighteen to Friends of Cancer Patients, the pair will start their mammoth quest under floodlights on the 5th hole at Al Hamra Golf Club in Ras Khaimah, before moving on to Sharjah Golf Club, Al Zorah Golf Club in Ajman, a dozen courses in Dubai and, finally, a trio courses in Abu Dhabi.
The 18 on Eighteen challenge will not only see Mellor and Bloom challenge themselves, the pair will also host two guest players on each of the 18 individual holes they tackle and compete against sponsor teams playing full rounds at each of the 18 courses they visit. Based on a Texas Scramble Format, the overall winners of the sponsor line-up will claim the inaugural “Friend of Cancer Patients Challenge Trophy” at a presentation dinner later in May.
“It goes with saying that 2020 wasn’t an easy year for any of us and nobody was immune to the struggles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mellor. “But other adversities haven’t just disappeared as we can testify; in early 2020 our family had to face the additional challenge of cancer, which has been incredibly hard for us all in so many ways. Fortunately, we appear to be winning our particular battle, but equally we know that other families do not have such a positive outcome. All that led to us subsequently wanting to do something in the fight against this terrible disease. Although a crazy aspiration at the start of the year, 18 on Eighteen now seems the perfect solution; it helps promote golf in the UAE while raising money and awareness in respect of all types of cancer, thanks to the humbling love and support of golfing friends within the region and beyond.”
In addition to the duo’s awareness-raising swing across the Emirates, the generosity of the UAE’s golf course operators – including Troon Golf, Dubai Golf and various independent courses management companies, as well as the region’s wider golfing fraternity – has led to Mellor and Bloom creating what they dub the “ultimate prize in UAE golf’ for members of the public to win.
“Anyone who correctly guesses what Ted and I shoot alongside our two playing partners on each hole will go into a prize draw. One lucky winner will then take away the ultimate prize in UAE golf, which includes a set of custom fitted clubs, coaching lessons for a year, access to hospitality at the three leading professional events, plus a round of golf with three friends at each of the eighteen courses. It’s a mega prize that gives the whole country – and beyond – the opportunity to take part and make a difference,” explained Mellor.
Members of the public entering the ‘Ultimate Prize in UAE Golf’ competition will be asked to donate a minimum AED100 to the nominated charity when posting their guess on the event’s Facebook page (18onEighteen), with all donations routed directly to www.focp.ae.
“I’m extremely honoured to have been chosen as Simon’s “support act” for what is going be an amazing experience for all taking part,” said Bloom. “After hundreds of rounds together it is incredibly exciting to be playing together rather than against each other for a change, while raising money and vital awareness for all kinds of cancer. The aim is simple, we want to make a passage to recovery more likely for those diagnosed with cancer and their families through this event, while enjoying the bonus of a truly unique golfing adventure with friends old and new.”
The full list of 18 on Eighteen courses and holes includes: Al Hamra Golf Club – Hole 5 (Par 4); Sharjah Golf & Shooting Club – Hole 9 (Par 4), Al Zorah Golf Club – Hole 15 (Par 3), Dubai Creek Golf Club – Hole 6 (Par 4), Meydan the Track Golf Club – Hole 9 (Par 5), Dubai Hills Golf Club – Hole 18 (Par 4), Arabian Ranches Golf Club – Hole 10 (Par 4), Trump International Golf Club – Hole 9 (Par 5), The Els Club – Hole 17 (Par 3), Jumeirah Golf Estates, Earth – Hole 16 (Par 4), Jumeirah Golf Estates, Fire – Hole 4 (Par 4) The Montgomerie Golf Club – Hole 9 (Par 3), Emirates Golf Club, Faldo – Hole 12 (Par 3), Emirates Golf Club – Majilis – Hole 9 (Par 4), Jebel Ali Golf Resort – Hole 4 (Par 4), Saadiyat Beach Golf Club – Hole 10 (Par 4), Yas Links Golf Club – Hole 17 (Par 3) and Abu Dhabi Golf Club, The National – Hole 18 (Par 5).
To make a donation to Friends of Cancer Patients via 18 on Eighteen, please visit: www.focp.ae/donate-programs/