Night golf off to a flying start at Riffa club

A golfer enjoys a night game under floodlights at the Riffa club.

Night Golf has teed off to great start at a Bahrain's only 18-hole PGA grass golf course.

Riffa Golf Club officially turned on its new floodlights earlier this month with a spectacular launch ceremony that included a firework display, and the course has been very busy every night since.

"We're overwhelmed with the response to night golf," said director of sales and marketing çine Mangan.

"We ran a floodlit tournament for members over the first four nights after the launch, and opened tee times for visitors from Thursday evening. Although we expected to be busy, the turnout for floodlit rounds has taken us by surprise and we are delighted.

"Amazingly, we have also witnessed two holes-in-one under the lights in the first week. On the evening of June 16, members Bill Harrington and Jeremy Dixon both scored holes-in-one, the former on the 13th hole and the latter accomplishing a similar feat on the 16th!"

The launch of floodlit golf has coincided with the arrival of the Gulf's humid summer weather, meaning that the opportunity to play after sunset is especially appreciated by golfers.

The club has also introduced special visitors' summer rates for July and August with nine holes of night golf starting at just BD14 ($37). Further reductions apply for groups of 12 or more.

"People can now play golf at Riffa until midnight, which means that we're seeing more businessmen around the club in the evenings," said Mangan.

"This was what we hoped for when the project was still in the planning stages. Most executives just don't have time for golf during the working day and that meant that we were missing out on an important group of would-be golfers, namely business visitors."

The commissioning of the floodlights has extended the playable hours at Riffa by around six hours per day at present.