If you’ve read my last post, you might have realised that I started to struggle to find good and affordable courses in Dubai for our trip in April. This is mainly because of four things:
- Dubai courses are in general a bit more expensive than everything you know from back home. That’s possibly explainable by the quality and luxury you usually find at these clubs.
- Dubai courses are artificial areas in an environment which doesn’t actually fit. Purely from a biological and agricultural perspective, so much green grass does not belong in the desert, and maintaining it to the highest standards is difficult and expensive.
- The Euro/Dirham FX rate has been plummeting in recent months. No good news for European travellers!
- I have to admit I only checked the expensive courses because those are still missing on my list! In other words, when you are trying to play the Majlis, the Earth and Abu Dhabi, you can’t complain about cost, because it’s basically the creme de la creme of UAE courses which comes at a price.
Looking around Dubai and Abu Dhabi there are certainly nice other alternatives to play, one of which is definitely the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club. This course is located a bit more away from all the others but in contrast to them, more or less in the heart of the old part of Dubai. This has some pros and cons which I will discuss in a minute.
What attracted me was a couple of things: it’s quite famous because it’s one of the first ones ever opened here, it has an iconic club house and features one of the most famous tee boxes in golf world-wide!
But one thing after the other. I got a taxi to the course, checked in and was quite happy that my booking via Golfscape the night before, worked quite nicely. And I got it at a price which the official website did not offer – which was a bonus.
In mid-day heat I started to hit some balls on the range, which was indeed necessary as I haven’t had touched a golf club for a couple of months; this was my first round in 2016! After two pyramids of golf balls and some first thoughts around how to cope with and stay out of the sun, I started my round.
I got my own cart and played on my own. Not much traffic at all. The two-ball in front of me I had overtaken at the second hole already. From that point onwards I had nobody in front and behind me until maybe the third last hole. So one could say the course was pretty empty!
The course quality I would rate with a ‘good’. There were some yellow-ish and brown areas here and there but after all you can see that those people are trying to keep it in the best possible shape. This is apparently tricky around April as someone told me later, because this is the time when the winter-grass disappears and makes room for the summer-grass. That was supposed to be the reasoning behind the various grass colours on the course.
But I didn’t bother too much and tried to get the nicest round possible in the books, i.e. scorecard. I wasn’t doing that badly, lost some balls but at the same time hammered some nice tee shots (…unusual…) and played some great pars and even a birdie. Not bad for the first round of the year, however in 35°C much more likely than with the common winter golf attire you need in Central Europe in that season.
Some comments on the setting of the course: as mentioned earlier, it’s a city course. Which is good for the accessibility of the property but at the same time comes with all negative side effects. Some holes are routed along congested highways and the metro. Unfortunately this is not only the case for one or two but for several holes.
The course has four faces I would say: the highway, the residences, the inner course and the creek side. The highway is bad, that’s pretty obvious. The residential area is very common in the UAE as the golf holes meander through town houses and villas, so that’s a normal thing to experience. The inner course is a part of the course where multiple holes are next to each other without any structures or obstacles in between. This area was very nice and was followed by some holes along the creek shore line.
The latter is indeed nice to look at, you see boats, seaplanes and the Dubai skyline in the background.
But let me go back a bit. Hole 6 stands out, no doubt about it. As shown above, the tee box is a concrete island structure which you reach via a small bridge. So you walk onto the little grassy island, tee up your ball and play back to the mainland. I’m not sure about some official rankings but for me this belongs to the Top 5 tee boxes world-wide.
After the round I relaxed on the sun terrace of the iconic club house (which resembles the sails of an Arab dhow) and made plans for the next round.
Holes that really stood out:
- 2: Par 4, over water, unfortunately next to the highway
- 6: Impressive tee box, water and a great setting
- 8: Par 3 over water
- 10: Par 5 along water
- 13: Par 5 with an island green
- 16: Nice par 3 towards the Dubai Creek
- 17,18: Beautiful home stretch along the creek, over water on the 18th, towards the club house
Golficiency Rating: 6/10