Golf in Dubai
Back on the 28 January this year when I posted my first swing video and mentioned Li Haotong winning the Dubai Desert Classic whilst I was having a range session in the strong UK winds, I didn't expect that exactly 10 months later I would be setting off to play golf in Dubai.
Whilst the golf is still very fresh in my head it’s time to do a little round up of golf in Dubai.
I was very excited to leave the cold UK behind in search of some sunshine but I was also a bit nervous to be playing on new courses and that it may be too hot to play well but thankfully the weather was just perfect. The hottest temperature was around 32 degrees Celsius but most days I played the temperature was in the mid 20s.
I managed to practise at, play or tour 5 different courses whilst I was out in Dubai and here is a quick summary:
The Address Montgomerie
This course is situated in Emirates Hills and features one 18-hole, par 72 championship golf course designed by Colin Montgomerie.
The course and the practice facilities are beautiful. Here is a picture of the driving range with the beautiful backdrop of the city that lit up as it got darker. It was also the first time I have ever had a pyramid of balls on a driving range (it’s the little things that count!).
Even just the entrance to this club makes you feel special when you arrive. You know you’re at Trump when you look back and see the iconic clubhouse.
I was in Dubai over the National Day public holidays so some of the courses were quite booked up. I met one of my followers from Instagram who is a member at Trump and went round the par 3 course (that is also now flood-lit in the evenings) with him. Definitely a club to come back to and play in the future.
This is the newest golf course in Dubai, operated by Troon and only opened a couple of weeks before I arrived.
The 18 hole par 72 course itself is stunning. I have never played a course like it. We started on the back nine and there were views of the Burj Khalifa from most holes. Each hole was very special but if I had to choose between the front or back nine I would choose the back in terms of views and the course layout. There were some challenging holes and plenty of bunkers (as appears to be the case at most clubs in Dubai given the desert terrain) but even for a beginner it is very playable and I was able to make a good number of pars across the 18 holes (and in my opinion beat the pro I was playing with despite our putting on the fast greens needing some work!).
Dubai Hills is most definitely a club that I will visit again in the future and I’m looking forward to seeing it when all the facilities such as the driving range and practice areas are fully open.
Emirates Golf Club
Playing night golf on the Faldo course at the Emirates Golf Club is probably one of my trip highlights and I don’t think I’ll stop talking about it for a very long time.
The Dubai Desert Classic takes place at the Emirates Golf Club on the Majlis course.
Many of you who follow my Instagram have thought I am crazy when back in the UK I go and practise golf in the dark after work using the little light by the pitching and putting area at my home course, the torch on my phone or a personal favourite – the headlights on my car! So you can understand how excited I was to be teeing off at 8.15pm and playing on a floodlit course with a beautiful city backdrop. We played the front nine holes and didn’t lose a single ball so that is always a good sign. After the round I even had the opportunity to see and touch one of Tiger Woods’ clubs that he used when he won the Dubai Desert Classic in 2008.
Jumeirah Golf Estates
The DP World Tour Championship took place on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates a few weeks before my trip to Dubai and I was very grateful that one of the club pros took me around this course. Each hole has something special about it. Below is a picture of hole 15 with a lot of bunkers and then a picture of me at the end overlooking the 18th hole.
Jumeirah Golf Estates has two courses – the Earth course and the Fire course. Each course has a very different feel to them. The Earth course has white bunkers and is surrounded by lush trees whereas the Fire course has dark red/brown bunkers and fewer trees. I would definitely like to come back and play this course in the future.
The club is also home to the European Tour Performance Institute where some of the world’s best players such as Justin Rose come to train.
The Els Club
The Els Club is another beautiful course and I’m so glad I got a chance to visit before I left. No prizes for guessing that Ernie Els designed this course!
Located in Dubai Sports City, I felt the clubhouse itself had a bit of a Mediterranean look to it. I didn’t have time to play the whole course on this trip but was very grateful to have been given a quick tour around a few holes and the practice facilities. The course has wide fairways and lots of sandy waste areas enveloping each of the holes on the course.
This club houses the Butch Harmon School of Golf which is situated at the back of the driving range and the place where Rory McIlroy normally hits from was pointed out to me! This is probably the first course I’ll play the next time I return to Dubai.
Overall, this was a great trip for golf but also for relaxing in some warm sunshine away from the cold UK weather. I will definitely be returning to play some of the courses again as well as some of the other courses out there. It was a lovely time of year to play, the courses are so well maintained and the staff at all the clubs were really friendly and helpful. Just make sure you are prepared for a bit of bunker play before you head out!