As Abu Dhabi’s first all-grass course, this nine-hole fairway doesn’t disappoint. Every January it’s home to one of the biggest golfing events in the region, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Over the 6307 yards you’ll find a mix of challenging shots and easy putts, with something for everyone. A signature hole to note is “Amen Corner”, par four ninth is a tricky one with a fiendishly difficult sloped green. Enjoy the sunset and continue to tee-off way up until 9pm when it gets a lot cooler on the green with flood-lit fairways. There’s also the first two-tier driving range in the Middle East.
19th St, Shakhbout Bin Sultan; +97124459600
For those searching for a course set in paradise, look no further. Based on Saadiyat island, this Gary Player-designed course offers breathtaking views of the Gulf’s deep blue water with seven holes bordering the beach – it’s also the Gulf’s first coastal course. Watch out for passing hawksbill turtles, dolphins and mountain gazelles. Beginners may find the shorter 5,290yd more enjoyable whereas pros tend to explore the full 7,806yd. The signature hole? “Player’s Alley” – a long, left-side bunker tests straight shooters on the par-five 11th After all the fresh sea air head over to Hawksbill restaurant and enjoy a meal while taking in the island views. The clubhouse was designed by US Architect Frank Gehry, no less.
Sheik Khalifa Bin Zayed Highway; +97124998100
This 27-hole national course is home to the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Designed by Peter Harradine, the course includes seven saltwater lakes and 90 smartly placed bunkers making this a unique challenge. A must-try is the par-three 12th hole which involves clearing a highly photogenic lake in front of the green. For novices the nine-hole Garden course is perfect, although be sure to watch out for water hazards and stock up on those golf balls. You don’t have to stop when the sun goes down as the course is floodlit til 9pm for a later session. They also have an iconic clubhouse shaped like a falcon – the national symbol of the UAE.
Sas Al Nakhl; +97128853555
Tee off and be transported to a golf course in Scotland – without the rain. Yas island’s link course was designed by taking two million cubic yards of sand from the marina to create the landscape and then covered with Paspalum turf, a type of course common in Scotland. Designed by top course designer Kyle Phillips, all eighteen holes have ocean views with eight in particular hugging the coastline and leading to the Persian sea. The finishing stretch is one to be admired by Formula 1 fans as the F1 racetrack and Ferrari theme park frame the final shot. Tricky par-three 17th is said to be a wildcard, throwing many golfers off their game. Afterwards, cool off at the clubhouse with its lush outdoor infinity pool and spa.
Yas Island; +971 2 810 7710
At Al Ghazal they’re shaking things up a bit by switching typical golfing greens for “browns” to create sand golf. The course is created by compacting rolled and treated sand and oil which results in large sloping dunes. Players will appreciate this surface as it allows for super-precise putting. There are 18 holes in total, the front nine are on a 5,000-year-old archaeological site which is the old coastline and the back nine are recently improved and certainly tougher. Top tip: players can bring fake grass mats for teeing off.
Al Ghazal Golf Club Airport Freezone Area, Terminal 2; +971 2 575 8040