PGA of America Allies With Royal Moroccan Golf Federation, Royal Golf Dar Es Salam
I had the good fortune to visit Morocco to play golf seven years ago as the Kingdom was trying to promote its nascent golf tourism business. Today, Morocco has 52 golf courses, with more surely on the way.
King Hassan II, who ruled from 1961 to 1999 was a golf enthusiast. He encouraged the sport and commissioned the excellent Robert Trent Jones, Sr. Royal Golf Dar Es Salam course in Rabat. Current Prince Moulay Rachid is also an avid golfer.
The vision of Morocco’s rulers is that the golf is both a sport for its citizens and an economic development tool. With 300 days of sunshine a year, easy access from Europe and a foreigner-friendly population, Morocco is a major tourist population.
I’ll never forget how one of my guides repeated the phrase “Morocco is a modern country,” as he proudly pointed out gleaming signs of modernity. At one point, he pointed to the fact that there was a Mosque, a Synagogue, and a Christian Church all within sight of each other as proof of tolerance.
“Morocco is a modern country,” he repeated.
The Trophee Hassan II tournament has been staged in Morocco since 1971, becoming a European Tour event in 2010. In 2020, it became an official PGA TOUR Champions event, although COVID has put a pause on that.
As a sign of Morocco’s increasing presence in the golf world (and perhaps in the wider world), the PGA of America and The Royal Moroccan Golf Federation this week formed a “strategic alliance.” King Hassan II’s Royal Dar Es Salam course will host a PGA-branded Learning and Performance Center.
For what it’s worth, Morocco and the United States have a long and peaceful relationship. Morocco recognized the US as an independent country in 1777, while the American Revolution was still underway. The Kingdom of Morocco and the United States then signed a “Treaty of Peace and Friendship” in 1787. It is the longest unbroken treaty relationship in US history.
In 1789, President Washington wrote to Sultan Mohamed III:
Within our territories, there are no mines of either gold or of silver, and this young nation, just recovering from the waste and desolation of a long war, has not, as yet, had time to acquire riches by agriculture and commerce. But our soil is bountiful, and our people industrious, and we have reason to flatter ourselves that we shall gradually become useful to our friends…. It gives me pleasure to have this opportunity of assuring your majesty that I shall not cease to promote every measure that may conduce to the friendship and harmony which so happily subsist between your empire and them (American territories)…. May the Almighty bless your Majesty with his constant guidance and protection.George Washington, to Sultan Mohamed III in 1789
The full press release follows:
PGA of America Forms Strategic Alliance with the
Royal Moroccan Golf Federation and Royal Golf Dar Es Salam
New relationship is the first of its kind for the PGA to support golfer development in Northern Africa
FRISCO, Texas (May 10, 2022) – The PGA of America has formed a strategic alliance in Morocco with the Royal Moroccan Golf Federation, a nationally recognized golf authority chaired by His Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rachid.
Royal Golf Dar Es Salam, a 45-hole championship venue in the city of Rabat, will act as the focal point for a PGA-branded Learning and Performance Center. The agreement marks the first PGA of America facility partnership in North Africa, as the Association continues to support the growth of golf outside of the United States.
To drive sustainable growth-of-the-game efforts in Morocco, the golf facilities will offer player development, youth programming and professional education spearheaded by PGA Professionals, as well as utilize marketing opportunities to attract golf tourism.
“We are excited to partner with the Royal Moroccan Golf Federation,” said PGA of America President Jim Richerson. “Their enthusiasm to partner with the PGA of America, not only to enhance golf tourism in Morocco, but support our mission of growing the game and positioning PGA Professionals in roles of influence, provides a fantastic opportunity for the PGA to positively affect golf in the region.”
“We are very pleased with this strategic partnership,” said Mr. Mustapha Zine, Executive Vice-President of the RMGF. “The PGA of America is the world reference in terms of golf training, and our agreement is in perfect line with the vision instilled by our President His Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rachid, regarding the development of golf in the Kingdom of Morocco. This partnership is an important step towards the accomplishment of one of the main missions of the RMGF: create champions while building a training structure under the sign of excellence. A first at the regional level.”
About the PGA of America
PGA of America is one of the world’s largest sports organizations, composed of nearly 28,000 PGA Professionals who work daily to grow interest and inclusion in the game of golf. For more information about the PGA of America, visit PGA.com and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
About the Royal Moroccan Golf Federation
Created on May 12, 1960, the Royal Moroccan Golf Federation aims to provide access to golf in all its forms. The RMGF’s mission is to promote and develop the practice of golf, organize and manage competitions, regulate the practice of golf, train and professionalize the golf profession and support elite and professional players. The vision of golf development in Morocco, launched in 2019 under the presidency of His Royal Highness Prince Moulay Rachid, President of the Royal Moroccan Golf Federation and the Hassan II Golf Trophy Association, is the result of a reflection nourished by exchange and consultation between the Federation and the various stakeholders of golf in the Kingdom. This new vision is articulated around two structuring axis: Sport and Economy.
About the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam
Designed by Robert Trent Jones, the Dar Es Salam Royal Golf Club is located about fifteen minutes from the center of Rabat, the capital of the Kingdom of Morocco. Its grounds cover 440 hectares of trees, and 45 holes divided in 3 courses, appreciated by true connoisseurs. Ideally located in the heart of a forest of cork oaks, the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam hosts since 1971 the prestigious “Trophée Hassan II”.
For more information, visit: royalgolfdaressalam.com/