Dubai Golf Resorts & Courses
While you're in Dubai, why not sample a round of golf on one of the world's best golf courses, and try playing golf as it was originally played in the desert? Al Ghazal is no doubt a very good testing ground, although it may not as easy-on-the-eye as if it were grass. In Al Ghazal, the entire game is played on sand, and that means fairways, greens and obviously the bunkers. The exciting course stretches out across an upper and lower plateau, which creates some interesting elevation changes on several holes. Within its over 6000 yards, which are off the white tees are many excellent dog-legging par-4's, uphill and downhill par-3's (the 11th is a gem), extensive bunkering and a few water hazards. The most dangerous of which comes into play at the long par-5 17th, another superb hole. The large and sloping browns, which include several arranged on two-tiers, roll as straight, fast and true as anything you'll find on a grass course.
You might not like playing golf on sand but it is amazing how close to grass golf this comes - what's missing out are all those lush green fairways. The "greening" effect here comes from a pleasant display of palms and small trees that surround the course and line some of the holes. And of course, the small artificial grass mat you bring around, for shots from the marked-out fairways.
Surprisingly, the golf course is totally unaffected by the noisy air traffic although it's located very near to the airport. Al Ghazal has been home to the Abu Dhabi Sand Golf Championship, which in previous years has boasted some famed professional champions such as Greg Owen of England and Thongchai Jaidee of Thailand. The golf course in the Emirates is Dubai Country Club's Al Awir sand golf course has a long history. It is the first course in the Middle East to host overseas golf professionals, when the Caledonian Lions toured here in 1983 and not to mention the notable Dubai Men's Open. Al Awir may not be as aesthetically easy-on-the-eye as a grass course, but at a very decent 7000 yards, with many carefully laid out holes, good greenside bunkering, fun water hazards that have the pace and holding characteristics of normal greens.
Many expats who have lived in areas like Africa and the Middle East would probably be aware of the etiquette of sand golf. For example, you should only wear soft-soled shoes like trainers because spiked shoes, even soft spikes will damage the greens. You are welcomed to play from an artificial grass mat, but only if you are on the fairways (marked by stakes). Lastly, you should always brush the browns after you've finished putting - large brushes are provided for this purpose at each brown.
While it may make you play badly, playing golf in sand can be a unique and interesting experience. Therefore, you should go ahead and try it because who knows? You might like it. Explore Dubai golf courses and sport facilities.