Briton stages Iran golf tournament
Published 17/11/2011 | 15:51
A British entrepreneur is putting on the world's first amateur golf competition in Iran.
Earlier this year Dylan Harris, 32, from Wigan, organised the inaugural amateur golf championship of North Korea.
Now he is hoping to build on the success of the Pyongyang tournament and help boost the sport in Iran, which is currently under international scrutiny amid claims it is developing nuclear weapons.
Mr Harris, who runs Lupine Travel, which specialises in unusual getaways, said: "The success of the tournament in North Korea earlier this year enabled me to push forward with the idea of hosting an event and promoting the sport in Iran.
"Unlike North Korea, Iran already had a dedicated golfing federation who are very keen to push the sport forward in their country, so this made matters much easier in enabling the tournament to happen."
The three-day event will take place on Iran's only golf course, the Enghelab in Tehran. According to Mr Harris, it is the world's only 13-hole golf course. It was built in the 1970s as an 18-hole course but the Iranian military confiscated five holes in 1992 for their own use.
Mr Harris said golf had become increasingly popular in Iran over the past few years, particularly amongst women. He added: "I believe the press which this will gain in Iran, with nationalities from all around the world coming into their country to play golf, will help to boost the sport significantly and help to encourage more locals to take up golf.
"It is also a great chance for people to experience the fantastic warmth and hospitality of the Iranian people. It's a wonderful country that regularly changes people's preconceptions once they have visited."
The 2012 Iranian Amateur Golf Open will take place on April 17, 2012. The three-day tournament is open to all nationalities of amateur golfers with an up-to-date verifiable handicap.
Domestic entrants should contact the Iranian Golfing Federation directly, with all other entries being taken through Lupine Travel.