Dubai has always been a golf destination that punches well above its weight. When top European Tour players speak in glowing terms about the courses and the facilities here, they’re not just trotting out some well-worn line. They really, really mean it. Let’s have a look at the 7 best golf courses in Dubai.
The venerable Majlis will always have a special place of those who swear by golf in Dubai. The course looks awesome off the tee and well placed bunkers and run-offs around the greens make it a real treat to play and a challenge for golfers of all levels. The course peaks around December/January when the European Tour swings into town and when the grandstands are up, it’s a cracking walk up the 18th.
Emirates golf Club
Once known as Wadi (“Valley”), for the natural feature that graces the layout, the sister course to Majlis was reworked by Sir Nick Faldo in 2006. A watery front nine gives way to more interesting terrain on the back. At more than 7,000 yards from the tips, the Faldo is near-equal in challenge to the Majlis, if not in character, but it is floodlit for night play, a huge plus when the mercury soars.
Jumeirah Golf Estates (Earth)
This 2009 Greg Norman design plays host each November to the PGA European Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship. It’s mostly open, with generous landing areas, but at 7,706 yards, plus water, wind and sand, it’s a stern challenge, notably at the par-5 18th, where a serpentine, rock-lined stream bisects the middle of the fairway. Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson have each won twice here since 2012.
Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club
Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club is one of the all time favorite courses in the UAE. The course is laid out fantastically from start to finish with a great mixture of holes which put an emphasis on straight driving and accurate iron shots. The greens are always in stunning condition, running true and fast, which makes putting at the “Creek” testing but enjoyable. Look out for the 6th with the Island tee box where you tee off from the middle of Dubai Creek.
Jumeirah Golf Estates (Fire)
The sibling to Jumeirah’s championship course might well be called “Jumeirah Earth Light.” It’s another Greg Norman creation from 2009 and dishes out many of the same features as its brawnier brother, but it’s more playable for the average golfer, with more strategy options and more receptive greens.
The Els Club
The club’s namesake designer, Ernie Els, is nicknamed, “The Big Easy.” His 2008 design within Dubai Sports City is anything but. At 7,538 yards, it’s a muscular layout even with extra-roomy fairway landing areas and you’ll have acres of bright white sand to avoid, both in the form of traditional, often steep bunkers and in the vast, scrub-dotted transition areas that separate holes.
Trump International Golf ClubIt may not be on the coast, but the Trump International Golf Club Dubai is actually the closest thing you’ll find to a traditional links course in the Middle East. It’s one of the few courses in this region that allows you to take the terrestrial route, and the undulating terrain shaped by Gil Hanse adds an entirely new dimension to the playing experience. If you reach for your putter at the first conceivable opportunity, you will enjoy this golf course.
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