Al Zorah – Ajman
Al Zorah Golf Club opened in December 2015 and, until the recent opening of the Trump International, is one of the newest golf courses on the UAE scene. The course layout is something quite extraordinary and so are its surroundings. Pink flamingos make themselves home on the fairways and the natural mangroves lay undisturbed by the golf course as it tries its best to highlight its unique location without taking away from the natural-preserve. Sprawling boardwalks and island tees make for some fantastic tee shots and the immaculate fairways are an encouraging target.
The golf course boasts its own natural tidal system that flows through the landscape which creates a complete change of dynamic depending on what time of the day you play. Catch it at low tide and the vast areas of marsh become playable and after being baked dry by the midday sun, you can even get in there to play your shot. Come at high tide and the water will rise up to a couple of feet below the boardwalks and fill in all the marshes to create a totally different experience, you’ll feel like your playing a different course each time!
Al Zorah may well be one of the most interesting and exciting golf courses in the UAE.
Since opening its doors, Al Zorah became immediately popular with tourists, golf professionals and the golfing media. The Jack Nicklaus design course is certainly guaranteed to wow anyone who graces the fairways. The course condition is pristine, and with the tranquil scenery and unique landscape, Al Zorah may well be one of the most interesting and exciting golf courses in the UAE.
Yas Links – Abu Dhabi
Yas Links promises to deliver a world-class links course in the middle of the desert. Rolling and undulating fairways, tall dune like mounds and heavy rough mimic the challenging landscape of any natural links course. It really isn’t something you would expect to find in this part of the world but that’s the magic of the Middle East, if they don’t have it, they will simply build it!
The quality of the course sets a benchmark for other golf courses all around. The fairways are immaculate but the purposefully harsh looking rough keeps it from looking too manicured. Almost half of the courses 18 holes run along side the coastline of the Arabian Gulf and provide some of the best holes on the course.
The golf course sits on the man-made wonder of Yas Island, which in itself is an impressive place. Directly across the road from Yas Links is the world-renowned Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Circuit and views of the famous Viceroy Hotel can be seen from the course. Just next to the track is Ferrari World which holds the worlds fastest rollercoaster. The whole place really is a sight to behold.
The Montgomerie – Dubai
Water, water everywhere! The Montgomerie is certainly not short of the stuff. In fact, there are a total of 14 man-made lakes guarding the 18 holes. Seeing this course from above makes it look like a series of islands. But it’s not all water. Plenty of hilly fairways, elevated tee boxes and blind shots are supposed to give the course a ‘links feel’, which I don’t really see but it does make the golf course all that more interesting.
There’s also a floodlit 9-hole par 3 course which doubles up as foot golf in case you get tired of your clubs!
This Colin Montgomerie design is ambitious and everything you would expect from a golf course where money seems to be no object. Some signature holes include the par 3, 13th hole which features a unique 360 degree teeing area, you can literally play this hole from every angle! The par 5 finisher is an island all by itself as the entire fairway and green is totally surrounded by water, there’s even a lake in front of the green as if there wasn’t already enough water here!
The Montgomerie is one of the premier golf spots in Dubai and gets a lot play – were talking an excess of 50,000 rounds a year! But with all that said, the course doesn’t look like its been hacked to bits by ‘holiday golfers’. The greenkeepers run a tight ship here and keep the course in very good condition despite all the abuse it gets. There’s also a floodlit 9-hole par 3 course which doubles up as foot golf in case you get tired of your clubs!
Arabian Ranches – Dubai
Arabian Ranches may be on the older side compared to some of the glistening new tracks in the UAE but it shouldn’t be one to write off. If you want a true Desert style golf course then this is the place to come. The golf course winds itself through the seemingly untouched landscape of sandy dunes. The tee boxes are like small islands of green among the harshness of the Arabian desert and the fairways and greens are immaculate, as you would come to expect in the UAE.
You would be forgiven for thinking you are playing in the wild west
Both front and back 9 work their ways far from the clubhouse and creates real serenity whilst playing. Although only on the Northern outskirts of the city, you will feel like you’ve totally escaped the madness. With natural shrubs, bushes and the occasional cactus, you would be forgiven for thinking you are playing in the wild west which is what was intended by the course designers.
If you’re looking for an authentic desert golf course then Arabian Ranches should be on your list. It isn’t too spoilt by needless lakes and water hazards. It’s about as natural as you can get over in the UAE.
Emirates Golf Club – Faldo Course – Dubai
The Emirates Golf Club may be on top of most peoples list when visiting Dubai and whilst the Emirates Golf Club may be most famous for it’s Majlis course, it’s Faldo course deserves an equal amount of attention being the only floodlit 18 hole golf course in Dubai. This means that you don’t have to punish yourself in the midday sun, instead, you can stay by the pool until the late afternoon and arrive here once the heat drops to a bearable level. Plus, you won’t be crying out for that iced towel to tuck down your shirt – or elsewhere!
The course is what you come to expect here, and needless to say, it’s pretty damn tidy. Once the sun goes down and the lights go on, the setting is just simply stunning. The backdrop of the Dubai Marina skyscrapers loom over the course and is perhaps the coolest view of all the courses in the area. But don’t worry about losing your ball in the dark and throw those light up balls in the bin, the floodlights light up the course so well they make it barely unnoticeable that its turned from day to night until you look at the sky.
The golf course is located just opposite the entrance to ‘The Palm’, the famous man made island, and just across the way from Dubai Marina which is a huge bonus. The combination of a round of night golf then onto Barasti Beach (if you’ve been then you’ll know what I’m talking about), it simply doesn’t get much better and its what coming to Dubai is all about!