Let’s be clear about one thing, it certainly wasn’t a lucky shot. The ball just sailed off the head of my 5 iron and arrowed towards the hole, bounced once and rolled straight in for my second ever hole in one! The 11th at the Majlis at Emirates Golf Club will therefore always have a place in my heart.
As will the rest of Emirates Club’s championship course, because it truly is a world class track. Dubbed ‘The miracle in the desert’ when it first opened in 1987, it was the Gulf’s first ever grassland golf course, very close to the centre of Dubai and literally built out of the natural desert terrain and despite some stiff competition particularly in recent years, still reigns supreme.
Why? Because quite simply, it’s got it all. Lush dog leg fairways, rolling undulating greens, challenging fresh water lakes and plenty of desert rough. Now when I say desert rough, I’m not talking about your average rough, I’m talking about genuine shrub and sand retained from the original desert dunes, so don’t stray off line, or you’ll be suddenly transported from verdant green into desolate desert and it will all end in tears. You have been warned! There are no particular signature holes (although some might say that the uphill 8th or the water protected double green 18th are worthy candidates) because the whole course is an extraordinary challenge from start to finish.
There is attention to detail everywhere, from the manicured greens and fairways, to the close marshaling that ensures slow players are reminded politely of their expected finishing time. Home to the annual Dubai Desert Classic, you’ll be walking in the footsteps of previous winners Tiger Woods, Ernie Els and a host of legendary names and be facing just the same tricky shots as they did. Although, I seriously doubt whether the end result will be the same as theirs.
The club boasts two additional courses, The Faldo, an 18 hole course designed by the man himself, that whilst lacking the majesty of the Majlis still offers a worthy challenge, and a 9 hole par 3 course that hosts a mini tournament for the pros on the eve of the Desert Classic. There are also two driving ranges, four full time PGA qualified teaching professionals and a custom club fitting centre on site. To top it all off, you can enjoy some outstanding facilities in a uniquely designed club house, built in the shape of a clutch of Bedouin tents. There’s squash and tennis, a gymnasium, a luxurious outdoor pool complex and an excellent fine dining French restaurant that specialises in flambé with all the trimmings.
The whole Emirates Golf Club experience was a joy for me. Of course the bar bill for my hole in one was another matter.
Tel: +971 (0)4 3801234