For a city surrounded by vast expanses of desert terrain, Abu Dhabi boasts an impressive selection of world-class golf courses. These range from links and sand fairways to the luscious Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
Abu Dhabi Golf Club
Designed by Peter Harradine, the Abu Dhabi Golf Club is the most famous course in the city, and serves as the national golf course of the United Arab Emirates. The 72-par course runs a distance of 7,334 yards and is notoriously challenging, thanks to the presence of 90 sand bunkers distributed across 18 holes. Each year, Abu Dhabi Golf Club is the setting for one of the two European PGA Tour tournaments hosted by the United Arab Emirates – the HSBC Golf Championship.
Al Ghazal Golf Club
Al Ghazal Golf Club offers visitors a unique desert golfing experience. There’s not a green to be seen on the 6,117 yard, par 71 course. Instead these have been replaced by ”browns” made from compacted, treated sand. This surface puts even the finest golfers to the test because of the need to adapt to changes in bounce and roll, but provides an entertaining alternative to the game as it’s played on grass.
No seaside city is complete without a quality links course, and the one at Yas Links was ranked by America’s Golf Digest magazine as the 24th finest golf course in the world. The Yas Links course was built on a man-made island off Abu Dhabi, in close proximity to the Yas Marina Circuit – which hosts the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The par-72 course runs a distance of 7,414 yards, and is considered to have one of the most scenic finishing stretches of all courses.
The Saadiyat Beach Golf Club
The Saadiyat Beach Golf Club rounds off Abu Dhabi’s selection of world-class golf courses. Designed by golfing legend Gary Player, it’s the only ocean golf course in the United Arab Emirates, and makes full use of the natural beauty and contours of the ocean-side landscape in which it’s set. The par-72 links course runs a distance of 7,806 yards and features three lakes and 67 bunkers. Players on the course are often rewarded with glimpses of local wildlife, including mountain gazelles and humpback dolphins.