Dubai doesn’t do anything subtle. They build the world’s tallest building (Burj Khalifa), the world’s only 7 star hotel (Burj Al Arab), the world’s largest mall (Duabi Mall) and the world’s largest man-made island (The Palm). So when it comes to golf in the Emirate of Dubai, you’d be right to expect some of the best, which is exactly what Dubai Creek Golf Club delivers.
Billed as one of the world’s top 100 must-play courses, the club offers a combination of ideal playing conditions, stunning views and top class service. Now this was actually my second time playing the course, the first coming in the dead of summer back in July. However with temperatures reaching 115 degrees Fahrenheit during that round, I was more focused on not passing out and getting back to the club house alive than on my round of golf. So with those memories fresh in my mind I waited till February to book this day out.
Which brings me to my first bit of advice for golfers wanting to play in Dubai, do not book during the peak summer months! Summer here starts around May and runs through September. During June/July/August it’s honestly too hot to go outside during the day, with temps pushing 115-120 degrees. But visit Dubai from October through March and you’ll be treated to some of the best weather anywhere in the world.
And with people clamoring to golf during that time at one of the world’s best courses, you’re going to pay for it! Deals can be had during the summer, with rounds at Dubai Creek costing about $100 USD. Come the prime winter season, you’re going to fork over somewhere around $225 USD per round. Which explains the exact reason I’m not a regular visitor to Dubai Creek!
Now once convincing yourself the cost is ok since “it’s a once in a lifetime experience” (that’s what I’ve gone with), you’re going to enjoy every minute. Bookings fill up weeks in advance for a weekend round so be sure you book online early at their website.
In an effort to improve pace of play, Dubai Creek utilizes a shot gun start, the first coming at 8am and the second coming at around 1pm. If you can get the 8am tee time don’t pass it up, or you’ll miss out warming up at the range against the backdrop of one of the most spectacular sunrises in the world. And I can assure you that looking into the sun just once as you practice your iron shots will teach you more about keeping your head down than any instructor could ever do.
Once you actually fire the first tee shots of the day, you’ll spend the next 4 hours walking incredibly maintained fairways and greens. Which means hit the fairways and you’ll be rewarded. It took me a few holes to realize that (for the millionth time!) at which point I put the driver away and relied on irons and Hybrids off the tee. This is an ideal course to have a 3-wood which you can trust (Which of course I don’t). There area however a few par 5’s with wide landing areas where you can feel free to grip it and rip it, so take advantage.
As the course name suggests, it’s located along Dubai Creek which is more like a river and is being expanded to become a shipping route around all of Dubai. So as you might expect, water comes into play on many holes. The course was designed masterfully and makes you believe that maybe there is not as much water on some holes as there actually is. But trust me it’s out there and protects the area around many of the greens. So being bold and going for it is often rewarded with a ball in the drink.
In the end though, every golfer who plays Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club will get rewarded. The closing 2 holes (17 and 18) run straight down the creek with water all along the left. But bring your camera because watching over your final two holes will be the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. At a cost of 1.5 billion USD to build and a height of 2,717 feet, it is the symbol of Dubai. And getting a look from the distance, you’ll appreciate just how massive the building is, as it towers over the rest of the Dubai skyline.
Another great place to snap some photos is the 6th hole, where you’ll be treated to hitting your drive from one of the course’s most famous features, the “floating tee box”. As if we needed more help hitting it in the water.
Something people may not know:
The course is actually located in the same facility as the Park Hyatt Dubai which offers a fantastic Friday brunch with free flow Champaign and outstanding views of the creek and the city. So you could tee it up at Dubai Creek in the morning and then keep the family from getting to upset with you by booking everyone in for one of Dubai’s most famous traditions, Friday afternoon brunch. Brunches around Dubai kick off between 12:30pm and 1pm each Friday. Here are some of the best: http://www.timeoutdubai.com/restaurants-awards-2012/gallery/30979-10-best-dubai-brunches?image=3
Article written by Ryan MacNeil. You can find it him @Relaxed_Mac.