Being from Northern Ireland and learning to play the game of golf here there is something that never grows old about wearing only a polo shirt and shorts (well a skort!) standing on the first tee!
The other thing that I of course never had to contend with, was playing in temperatures above 45 degrees!! This is of course only in the summertime and out of season but as a resident of the UAE for 7 years you struggle through the heat as you would do at home with the cold, wind and rain!!
There are so many fantastic golf experiences to be had in the UAE. The first course that I ever played was The Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, so the sentimental side of me always favours it slightly more than the rest – aside from The Els Club , Dubai Sports City, where I worked for 5 years!
One of the first things that you notice in the UAE is the spectacular clubhouses, the first that spring to mind are the Emirates Golf Club, Abu Dhabi Golf Club and the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club due to their iconic designs of Bedouin Tents, a Falcon swooping down and Sails, respectively.
The service that you receive is second to none. From arrival at bag drop until you get back into your car you are continually looked after by a host of staff throughout your visit, this is especially noticeable at the Troon managed clubs, who strive to create unforgettable member guest experiences and this is definitely noticeable.
Then you get to the locker rooms…… my initial thought when I first played Al Badia Golf Club, was that I had come through to the Spa but I was reassured, whilst being offered water, juice and fruit that I was in fact in the locker room! As more clubs appeared throughout my tenure in the region each strived to offer a more luxurious experience and in typical UAE fashion, be bigger and better than the last one!
Buggy golf is prevalent here, many of the courses are not designed to walk, with great distances from green to tee and all have cart paths. Refreshment carts visit you 2-6 times throughout your round offering a selection of cold and hot beverages (including beer!!) and food, there may also be one or more refreshment huts which enable you to order ahead to the next one for cooked food. Jumeriah Golf Estates has Bacon Roll stands between some of the holes!
Grass growing in the desert is an art and one that all of the agronomy teams at each course in the UAE are masters of. Each property is superbly manicured and even during the summer heat course conditions are fantastic. You have such a choice of course design, professional golfers and renowned golf course architects who have created top championship layouts that are special to play.
The best time to go is October to March for perfect weather, there are also three European Tour Events which are great to attend, the crowd is much smaller than that of the Europe hosted tournaments. The Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship is held in January at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, The Dubai Desert Classic in February at The Emirates Golf Club, Majilis Course, and The Race to Dubai in November at Jumeriah Golf Estates on the Earth Course. Spectator numbers enable you to follow many of your favourite players along the ropes, with the final day being the Sunday, the first day of the working week in the UAE, there is even less of a crowd!
TheGolfPA.com can offer trips to a wide variety of courses and accommodation in the UAE, for the golf holiday of a lifetime visit us for a quote.