Abu Dhabi has quickly moved out of the shadow of neighbouring Dubai as a golfing hotspot with several world class golf courses which appeal to a wide variety of golfers, writes WADE PRETORIUS.
Saadiyat Beach Golf Club
Designed by South Africa’s legendary Gary Player, the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club is located on Saadiyat Island; the Louvre Abu Dhabi being built a stone’s throw away. With stunning views of the pristine beaches that roll into the Arabian Gulf, the Saadiyat Beach Golf Course has been set up to cater for all types of players with 317 acres, three lakes and 67 bunkers. This beachfront course offers five tee-grades, a golf academy and Hawksbill Restaurant, named after the protected turtle species that use Saadiyat Island as their hatching spot.
Yas Links Golf Club
The only Links course in the UAE, Yas Links is located on Yas Island, just a pitch and putt from Ferrari World Abu Dhabi and the Yas Marina F1 race circuit. This is a course that celebrates the best in Links design, using the unique weather conditions and complementing the natural surroundings. The rolling fairways, challenging greens and coastal sea breeze have led it to be voted the 24th top golf course outside the USA. There is a fully equipped pro store, a floodlit practice area and putting green, two air-conditioned swing studios and a nine-hole Academy par-3 course ideal for beginners.
Abu Dhabi Golf Club
An oasis of tranquility carved out of the desert, the 27-hole championship Abu Dhabi course is home to the European Tour season-opening Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and weaves through undulating terrain that features a lush playing surface, seven saltwater lakes and hundreds of palms and ornamentals trees. The par-72 Parkland course is a tough challenge with strategically placed bunkers and generous greens, while the par-36 nine is more forgiving, making it an enjoyable experience for all players, especially those who are new to the game. Interesting to note is the unique style of the clubhouse built in the shape of a falcon (an integral part in Emirati culture) with its wings outstretched. The course also has a perfect location that makes it a mere 10 min drive from the airport or 15 from the city centre.