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Abu3baid

Golf Courses in the Middle East

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Even though many would not expect to find golf courses in the Middle East, it is a particularly hard secret to keep that there are many out there!  Especially when the "Race to Dubai" which started in 2009 really put the Middle East on the map in terms of Golf.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DP_World_Tour_Championship,_Dubai

The Race to Dubai celebrates both the diversity and the shared passion for golf across the globe. From the curtain-raising South African Open Championship in November across all five continents through to the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, The 2014 European Tour International Schedule presents 12 months of enthralling tournament action featuring 48 tournaments in 26 countries worldwide.

The DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, is once again the culmination of the four-tournament Final Series which, as in 2013, will also feature the BMW Masters and the WGC-HSBC Champions in China and the Turkish Airlines Open in Antalya.

Henrik Stenson won The 2013 Race to Dubai and became the first man to win The European Tour's Race to Dubai and FedEx Cup on the US PGA Tour in the same year. Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy (2012), England's Luke Donald (2011), Germany’s Martin Kaymer (2010) and England's Lee Westwood (2009) have previously won The Race to Dubai.

We can use this thread to share our thoughts, experiences and ideas about different middle east courses..

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Dirab Golf & Country Club

Dirab Golf & Country Club pride’s itself as the first 18-holes championship grass golf course (par 72) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Nestled amongst the panoramic hills of Dirab ( avast farm located 35 km southeast of Riyadh City) Dirab Golf & Country Club offers the best golf in a totally relaxed and soothing atmosphere. Dirab Golf Course is professionally maintained to competition standards.

Renowned for it’s exceptional year round playing conditions, rolling fairways, large target greens and challenging hazards- 9holes are floodlit enabling play after sundown.

Having hosted the 1 st Saudi Arabian National Amateur Golf Championship in 2001, 10 th Annual GCC Golf Championship and 28 th Pan Arab Golf Championship, Mena Golf Tour in 2012, Dirab Golf & Country Club is suitable for both seasoned golfer and novices alike

Course Information
Yardage
B lack Tee:                     7280 yards
White Tee:                      6756 yards
Red Tee:                        5590 yards
Course Rating / Slope:       72.1/115 Black         70.2/133-White        70.5/110-Re


I usually play the White Tee's and with woods usually on both sides it makes things very difficult indeed.  This would be the first course I would recommend to anyone going to Riyadh on Business (I don't think there are tourist visas given)!

@CraiginKSA let us know about your experience at the Aramco course in Khubar/Dammam

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The Rolling Hills Golf Club is one of the nicest courses I've played on (damning with faint praise as I mostly play munis).  The course opened in 2006, I believe.  It is inside the Aramco camp in Dhahran and is for Aramco members and guests.  There are a few tournaments every year where people from all over the Middle East come and play (if they can get a visa!).

The course was originally approved by management due to a genius problem solver who noted that the camp produced an enormous amount of gray water.  He pointed out that if the salinity was removed, then it would be perfect for watering grass.  So the course is not really a golf course, but a water disposal area!

Anyway, it's a beautiful course with a great group of members.  Aramco sponsored Tournaments every month, a couple of member-sponsored scrambles every week, and two or three large tournaments where we get vendors and Aramco employees from all over the Kingdom over for a two-day event.

The course was laid out in the dessert, but over the years, vegetation has grown up around the course so that if you miss the fairway, instead of punching it back from the sand, you're hitting another ball as you probably wont find your original tee ball.  It's a challenging 73.7/137 from the blues and 71.5/133 from the whites.  It's not overly long at 6687/6191.  Wide open fairways, but a lot of places to get into trouble.

The players don't waste a lot of time, except when there is a tournament.  I've gotten around in 2 1/2 hours many times.  Some of that is due to no crowds in the 110-120 degree heat.  But even in nice weather everyone is ready golf and it rarely takes 4 hours to play 18.

Abu3baid!  Next time you are in the eastern province, get in touch and we will tee it up!!

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The Rolling Hills Golf Club is one of the nicest courses I've played on (damning with faint praise as I mostly play munis).  The course opened in 2006, I believe.  It is inside the Aramco camp in Dhahran and is for Aramco members and guests.  There are a few tournaments every year where people from all over the Middle East come and play (if they can get a visa!).

The course was originally approved by management due to a genius problem solver who noted that the camp produced an enormous amount of gray water.  He pointed out that if the salinity was removed, then it would be perfect for watering grass.  So the course is not really a golf course, but a water disposal area!

Anyway, it's a beautiful course with a great group of members.  Aramco sponsored Tournaments every month, a couple of member-sponsored scrambles every week, and two or three large tournaments where we get vendors and Aramco employees from all over the Kingdom over for a two-day event.

The course was laid out in the dessert, but over the years, vegetation has grown up around the course so that if you miss the fairway, instead of punching it back from the sand, you're hitting another ball as you probably wont find your original tee ball.  It's a challenging 73.7/137 from the blues and 71.5/133 from the whites.  It's not overly long at 6687/6191.  Wide open fairways, but a lot of places to get into trouble.

The players don't waste a lot of time, except when there is a tournament.  I've gotten around in 2 1/2 hours many times.  Some of that is due to no crowds in the 110-120 degree heat.  But even in nice weather everyone is ready golf and it rarely takes 4 hours to play 18.

Abu3baid!  Next time you are in the eastern province, get in touch and we will tee it up!!

I have heard very good things about this course, and the above explains why the grass is so lush over there.. Although, it is right next to the ocean to be fair so water isn't really an issue as much as it is in Riyadh (which by the way is on a plateu as well)!

Will definitely take you up on that (I'm assuming your a member), but I usually like to tee it up real early to avoid that 110-120 heat that everyone loves to avoid!!

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The front nine has lights, so we play in the evening as well.
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Quote:

I usually play the White Tee's and with woods usually on both sides it makes things very difficult indeed.  This would be the first course I would recommend to anyone going to Riyadh on Business (I don't think there are tourist visas given)!

I never had a chance to play at Dirab while living in Riyadh. I played once(?) at Arizona Golf Resort 9 hole course where friend of mine was resident. I was total beginner that time so it was fine. Then I moved to Kuwait and joined Sahara Kuwait Resort. There I played for about one year and enjoyed it very much. The course was great, although lack of trees inside the horse track makes it look hmmm interesting.

It is only 4h drive from Dammam...

edit. Sahara is also lighted, but they close at 11pm I think. In Kuwait there is (was?) also one sand golf course with browns instead of greens. Never played there but it was cheap...

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I never had a chance to play at Dirab while living in Riyadh. I played once(?) at Arizona Golf Resort 9 hole course where friend of mine was resident. I was total beginner that time so it was fine. Then I moved to Kuwait and joined Sahara Kuwait Resort. There I played for about one year and enjoyed it very much. The course was great, although lack of trees inside the horse track makes it look hmmm interesting. It is only 4h drive from Dammam... edit. Sahara is also lighted, but they close at 11pm I think. In Kuwait there is (was?) also one sand golf course with browns instead of greens. Never played there but it was cheap...

Very nice! Arizona is actually my home course where we play 2-4 times per week! I didn't know that Kuwait was 4 hours from Dammam, I have an uncle living there so if I ever go visit I'll make sure I remember my clubs. Thanks

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I've played here twice in my life, but the last time was in the 90s.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/22/travel/22journeys.html?_r=0

There is a tree line on either side of the Nile River for a few miles (as I recall) that ends right before the sands of the Pyramids and the Sphynx.  The course is right inside the trees, before it all turns to sand, and the view of the pyramids is very cool. It's mostly a goat track, but it's fun. No carts, but the caddies were great!

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I've played here twice in my life, but the last time was in the 90s. [URL=http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/22/travel/22journeys.html?_r=0]http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/22/travel/22journeys.html?_r=0[/URL] [URL=http://thesandtrap.com/content/type/61/id/103120/] [/URL] There is a tree line on either side of the Nile River for a few miles (as I recall) that ends right before the sands of the Pyramids and the Sphynx.  The course is right inside the trees, before it all turns to sand, and the view of the pyramids is very cool. It's mostly a goat track, but it's fun. No carts, but the caddies were great!

Wow!! I have to admit that is probably the coolest view you can have on a golf course! I would have never known that this exists! Is that picture yours or is it from a site? Edit: saw the article duh.. I'm not really sure if there is anything that matches that, amazing!!!

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Yah the article captures the course perfectly. It was never busy when we went. And it's funny they point out that the pyramid is OB. It's like a mile or more up a huge ridge that I suppose the Nile carved into the landscape. The pic makes the pyramid look sorta close, but it's a ways off. I'd be interested to know if golf is dead in Egypt now. Lots of turmoil there and leisure activities probably not high on people's list of priorities.
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Google maps satellite view. Looks like half mile from course to Cheops Pyramid. The left portion is pretty much all sand and is elevated a little bit from the Nile valley to the right. I recall it being quite a stark divide. The Sphynx is in bottom left of pic- you can just make out the cat legs. This has brought back memories!
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That looks awesome, definitely would love to play there for the view alone

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That looks awesome, definitely would love to play there for the view alone

I played once in high school and I remember wondering if I could climb the pyramid and hit one back to the course from the top. I decided it would need quite a tailwind and not sure id wanna stand on top with a wind that strong. Back then you were allowed to climb up the sides to the top, but i'm sure those days are long gone.

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Are you from the middle east or something? Theres been a lot more tournaments these days(Qatar Masters, Abu Dhabi, Dubai) that I hope we see some middle eastern golfers soon. Along with eastern Europe it's really the only major area where literally NO golfers are from.(This, of course not counting west, north or east Africa) Hell, even central america can claim a few.
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