Unveiled in 2008, the Ernie Els Club golf course measures a healthy 7,538 yards from the tips, which means you might need some of the South African’s big easy swing to get near to hitting the greens in regulation.
As you would expect from a course that carries a multiple major winner’s name, the Els course is in immaculate condition with a challenging lay-out to go with its championship scale – although the fairways are generous enough to tempt any level player to reach for the driver on most holes.
Located just 20 minutes from the city centre, and managed by Troon Golf, the course attracts corporate golf days, societies, international groups, Daily Fee players, members and students travelling in to stay in Dubai whilst having lessons at The Butch Harmon School of Golf.
The school has already gained a reputation as one of the most technologically advanced teaching facilities in the Middle East, if not the world.
CAPACITY: 250 maximum membership.
MEMBERSHIP: The maximum number of memberships at any one time will not exceed 250, which ensures the club retains an exclusive air.
FACILITIES: At 60,000 sq ft, and with little expense spared, the new Clubhouse, which opened in autumn 2012, is designed in a Mediterranean style that echoes the standards set by one of the most acclaimed courses in the region. Members and guests have access to a private lounge, state-of-the-art meeting and conference facilities and a choice of varied restaurants – and, at 7 metres, one of the biggest big screens in the country!
PARKING: Lots of covered parking in front of the clubhouse.
Well, the experience of playing the Els is considerably improved now that they have finally finished the clubhouse, and it is a superb facility that has a wild, remote air that offers something unique in the country.
This is definitely a course for those with a refined short game. The first hole sets the tone for a course that can quickly dash your hopes of a low score should you have something of a rocket putter.
Almost every hole on the course has a forgiving fairway, allowing those who like to put their back into a firm drive the chance to really swing their Ping, but once you get within 50 yards of the green, life gets much tougher.
The greens are devilishly fast with some nasty unseen cambers. Anyone caught by the side of the greens is advised to put as little power on their shots as possible, with the greens not only being fast but also very small. It is not uncommon to see your dinked chip roll over the back of the green and into the aggressively deep bunkers.
With a spectacular view of the sky scrapers of Jumeirah Lakes Towers and Dubai Marina in the background, the Els Club is an open and liberating course that allows you to open up your arms before pulling you into a fierce battle for par as the greens make life tricky.