Golf is not for everyone, some people like it, some not so much, Ben Batty at Turquoise Holidays adores it! From a recent trip to Dubai shares with us his golfing experience and gives us the low down on where is best to get a hole in one…
1. What made golf in Dubai so special?
Golf in Dubai was extra special due to the exclusivity of the courses and how incredible the courses are. All the courses were in phenomenal condition and were a dream to play. It was a completely different experience to playing golf at home in the UK. I am very luck and play golf at Royal Ashdown in West Sussex and this is one of the top courses in the UK. However, golf in Dubai is a different world! You don’t just turn up and play golf and have a coffee or a beer after, it’s the full package. From the moment you arrive till the moment you depart it is an incredible day out.
2. How does playing golf work when staying at hotels? Is there a better area of Dubai to stay in?
All the golf courses are easy to get to in Dubai. We stayed at the Waldorf Astoria on the Palm and the majority were only a 20 minute ride away. If you wanted to be a bit closer to some of the courses then The Madinat is probably 10-15 minutes from the majority of them.
3. Is it possible to get golfing packages? If so, what is included?
A lot of the courses in Dubai are managed by the same company, Troon Golf. I would personally suggest pre booking golf tee times with them before you travel. You don’t want to be stuck for a tee time and have to play in the middle of the day in 40 degree heat!
4. Describe a day golfing in Dubai
A day golfing in Dubai starts when you arrive at the club. You are greeted out the car and your golf bags will be transferred to your buggy that will be waiting for you on the first tee. You will then be shown where the practice areas are and have time to hit a few balls on the range before you start the round. The golf buggies are the best I’ve ever used, each buggy we used had its own built in touch screen GPS system. This would allow you to track how far each shot went and how far away from the pin you would be. It meant there were less excuses for poor shots! During the round there are water station on each tee box so you never get dehydrated in the heat. There is also people driving round with cold towels and ice creams to keep you going. All the courses have a couple of refreshment stations that sell everything from fizzy drinks to cold beers, depending on how bad the round is going! After the round every course we played had a great bar to relax in a have a couple of drinks in, paid for by the loser. Most of them have daily happy hours so if you time it right its usually cheap beer! The final part of the day would be leaving the golf course, not only would your club be waiting for you but they will have been cleaned and ready for the next day of golf.
5. Which was your favourite course and why?
I loved all 6 courses I played in Dubai. Trump International, Arabian Ranches, Els Course, The Fire at Jumeriah Golf Estates, Al Hamra and final Al Zorah. My favourite would probably just be the Els Course. The setting is incredible and has some of the best holes I have ever played. Holes 9,10 and 11 at the Els club are called the Lions Den. Three extremely challenging holes that were too tough for me and I played them in 4 over par.
On the final morning of the trip we played the Al Zorah Golf Club situated by The Oberoi in Ajman. This was a close second for me. A really fun course with plenty of tough holes and a lot of water. The great part about this place is that as it is built around a mangrove you get more water at high tide and less at low tide.
6. Did you get a hole in one?
No. However, possibly the closest I have ever been to one in my life. The 15th hole at Al Zorah golf club. 130 yard par 3 and I was probably about 6 inches away from my very first hole in one. The dream for one continues. . .