Emirates Golf Club (Majlis Course), Dubai

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The Majlis championship course is a challenging par 72, 7,301-yard layout. Designed by Florida-based course architect Karl Litten, the original 18 holes were built in and around the dunes of a beautiful site on the edge of the city of Dubai, donated by His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, on whose instructions the desert flora was maintained in its natural state.

As the long-time standard bearer of golf in the Middle East, the magnificent Majlis course is undoubtedly a course that sits comfortably among the world’s elite. Contrasting with its sister layout, the also excellent Faldo course, the Majlis is less exposed to the full-on views of the ever-expanding skyline of Dubai Media City and the new Marina development. 

On this layout, the serenely flowing and lush green landscape seems more oasis-like and sheltered from the voracious property development that defines Dubai. The Majlis’ terrific design includes plenty of undulation and elevation change, with 18 superb holes weaving their way between expansive sandy wastes and some original desert scrub, reminders of what lay here before the advent of golf. The most impressive of these desert areas comes at the fabulous, uphill dog-legging par-4 8th hole.

The bunkering here, as you might expect, is excellent, while the greens are large and often prodigiously sloping. Wayward drives may not be too severely punished given the width of the fairways, but beware the presence of water hazards, not least at the par-3 7th, one of the best short holes you’ll play anywhere. With the par-4 9th and par-5 18th skirting either side of a lake, and both finishing on the same (double) green, you will certainly need to hold a steady nerve on the tee and approach shots at the close of each nine hole loop.

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