earth course praised following european tour visit

Published September 27th, 2009 - 09:00 GMT

 Tournament director “delighted” with Greg Norman’s creation-
 Earth to be played competitively for the first time at Dubai World Championship -


The European Tour has heaped praised on the Earth course - which will be played competitively for the very first time at the Dubai World Championship presented by: DP World - following a recent visit to Jumeirah Golf Estates.

The Dubai World Championship presented by: DP World takes place from November 19-22, 2009 and provides the thrilling climax to the season-long Race to Dubai, which features 50 golf tournaments in 27 destinations around the world.  The leading 60 players in The Race to Dubai will qualify for the tournament and will be greeted by one of the most highly anticipated courses on the planet.

The Greg Norman-designed Earth course began development in January 2007 and with the finishing touches being applied, David Garland, The European Tour’s Director of Tour Operations, visited Dubai as part of the continued monitoring of the new course’s progress. The inspection, which was viewed as the ideal time to monitor the course’s condition following the heat of the summer months, was carried out  in conjunction with Graeme MacNiven of The European Tour’s Agronomy Department, and Hamish McKendrick, Leisurecorp’s Senior Manager of Agronomy.

Garland said:

“We were delighted to find that the condition of the golf course continues to be of the highest order and that it matures from each visit to the next. The fairway lines, as established on my last visit with Greg Norman, now give the course added definition and the addition of the white sand makes the bunkering spectacular.

“The Earth course will, I believe, offer a true challenge for the top 60 players in The Race to Dubai.  The players will relish the challenge that this course will provide and it will assist in creating an exciting climax to the Dubai World Championship and indeed the entire season.”

At close to 7,700 yards long and with dramatic bunkering and design features throughout, the Earth course is set to provide a challenging test to the world-class field which will be on display at Jumeirah Golf Estates in November. This field will feature, among others, current Race to Dubai leader Martin Kaymer, three-time Major winners Padraig Harrington and Ernie Els, Dubai Desert Classic champion Rory McIlroy, The Players Championship winner Henrik Stenson, Ryder Cup legend Sergio Garcia, Europe’s top-ranked player Paul Casey, and Colombian sensation Camilo Villegas.

The Earth course was fully grassed in July 2008, allowing for two full growing seasons prior to the tournament. The fairways are now lush and well-defined from the two grades of Bermuda grass used, while more than 3,500 mature trees have been planted to create the look and feel of a mature course.

In addition, more than 20 lakes have been constructed at depths of five metres to ensure pristine water quality, while the majority of the 102 bunkers are filled with distinctive white sand, similar to that used at Augusta National for the US Masters. When complete, the only sand visible on the Earth course will be in the bunkers, with a deep reddish ‘Bark Mulch’ spread on all areas peripheral to grass lines to create a finish which is genuinely unique in appearance.

With less than 60 days to go, more than 45,000 registrations have taken place for free tickets which are available at the official website www.dubaiworldchampionship.com. The website also includes details on a hospitality package, which includes the unique experience of being among the first to play the Earth course following the Dubai World Championship.


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