The Race to Dubai 2018 season is in full swing, and whether you’re an avid golfer or keen spectator, swap small screen viewing for on-course action at this year’s DP World Tour Championship…for a golfing experience with added allure.
One of the world’s most hotly contested tournaments (just ask Justin Rose), the Race to Dubai wraps up with the DP World Tour Championship, held on the pristine greens and well-watered fairways of the stunning Greg Norman-designed Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
Last year’s event attracted more than 60,000 spectators while an estimated 500 million fans followed the action on television. This year’s four-day free to enter event will tee off on 15 November, and if you’re torn between catching the TV highlights versus watching the top 60 European Tour players compete just metres away, the lure of a round or two at the city’s other world-class clubs could be the clincher.
You’re definitely in good company, with the likes of actors Will Smith and Dennis Quaid, former footballer Luis Figo, and singer Niall Horan all having joined in the fun from the sidelines or playing some of Dubai's most popular courses.
In The Footsteps Of Champions
A fitting finale destination for the DP World Tour Championship, the Earth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates is the permanent home of the championship through to 2020.
With American Patrick Reed currently leading the Race to Dubai rankings, followed by Sweden’s Alex Noren, and last year’s season winner Brit Tommy Fleetwood in third place, securing a tee time is a golden opportunity to recreate your own mini championship moment.
A super long course at 7,675 yards, there are sandy 99 bunkers to negotiate, four in and over-water holes just dying to claim your ball, and plenty of gorgeous landscaped scenery. Its sister Fire course has been called ‘rustic’, which translates as challenging when you consider its rising and falling topography and wealth of protrusions that add to the links-style play.
If, like most of the global golfing fraternity, a holiday just doesn’t cut it without at least one crack at a challenging 18-hole course, Emirates Golf Club is another must-play. It has two championship courses, the Majlis and Faldo, with the latter the region’s only full-scale course offering fully illuminated night golf (great for summer visits when temperatures rule out midday tee times).
Surprisingly, it’s a perfect course for enthusiastic beginners, so if you’re travelling with a partner who likes to dabble but doesn’t take it too seriously, there’s an option for both of you.
Emirates Golf Club also hosts the city’s second major annual tournament, the European Tour-approved Omega Dubai Desert Classic, as well as the Omega Dubai Ladies Classic.
China’s Haotong Li, took the title on the Majlis Course in 2018 and joined unforgettable legends such as the late Seve Ballesteros, Fred Couples, Ernie Els, Colin Montgomerie, Tiger Woods, Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia on the tournament wall of fame.
Known as the ‘Major of the Middle East’, the 2019 Omega Dubai Desert Classic will take place from 24-27 January, and promises to be another nail-biting tournament with the world’s top golfers competing to be crowned winner of the 30th edition of this coveted title.
Dubai's Ultimate Endorsement
Other golfers lending their name and expertise to Dubai’s highly regarded golfing scene include South African former world number one Ernie Els, whose Dubai Sports City located The Els Club was inspired by the UK’s best links courses.
His course design cunningly incorporates bunkers styled after those at Australia’s Royal Melbourne Golf Club and undulating greens reminiscent of Pinehurst No.2, one of the US’ best loved courses.
The Address Montgomerie is an equally popular course, set in the heart of the upscale Emirates Hills community. This Colin Montgomerie and Desmond Muirhead-designed course comes with undulating links style fairways and although it boasts large greens, there’s a fair degree of consistent roll involved, which takes putting technique to a whole new level.
Home of the Middle East’s first golf academy, Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club has been welcoming golfers and those in search of 19th hole refreshment (its dining and entertainment scene is buzzing) since the early ‘90s. Views out over the Dubai Creek are either a distraction or motivation, and its 18-hole, 700-yard championship-standard course has hosted the likes of Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke.
Travelling with the family? As well as its multi ability player-designed Ian Baker-Finch/Nicklaus Design 18-hole desert course, the Arabian Ranches Golf Club has a fun driving range and free putting green. Best of all, for summer, it’s open until 9pm. Younger players and beginners will also love The Track out at Meydan Racecourse, a nine-hole pay-and-play facility that stays open until 11pm.
See more events on Dubai Calendar.
Images via Shutterstock.
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