Designed by Kyle Phillips, one of the world’s leading golf course designers, Yas Links Golf Club is the first genuine links golf course in the Middle East region. Although it only opened in 2010, the recognition hasn't be slow to roll in, with the likes of Golf Digest (USA) voting it the 24th best course outside the States and Golf World including Yas Links in their list of the Worlds Top 100 Courses in 2011.
Closer to home, it was also awarded the Best Sporting Club in Abu Dhabi for both 2011 and 2012 by Ahlan! magazine.
It's well deserved, too. The 18-hole course, 9-hole academy course, club house, golf academy and floodlit practice facilities are all set against dramatic views of the Arabian Gulf. It's unique coastal habitat provides a unique golfing experience.
MEMBERSHIP: Yas Links offers a selection of membership packages. Full access to the course comes under the Classic package and is available to individuals for AED 25,000, AED 36,ooo for couples and just AED 5,000 for juniors. Social and 5-day memberships are also available.
FACILITIES: In addition to the 18-hole course, there is a 9-hole academy course, academy, floodlit practice ground, swimming pool and the Mediterrannean-style restaurant Barranca and the ever-popular Hickory sports bar.
Yas Links has established itself in a remarkably short time as the best golf club in the Middle East and one of the top 100 in the world. And quite rightly: it has the perfect combination of being visually spectacular and incredibly challenging. The clubhouse is magnificent and the facilities second to none, including the driving ranges, academy, and floodlit nine-hole par-3 course.
This is not an easy course. Like all links, you have to hit the ball straight or you will find yourself in big trouble. The rough is severe and very difficult to get out of – providing you can find your ball, that is. All the holes are well designed with plenty of bunkers protecting the greens but the par-5 seventh, par-3 eighth that runs along the coastline, and the 9th are particularly enjoyable on the front nine.
The back nine is slightly more challenging with the 14th, the 17th – a psychologically challenging par-3 over the sea – and the long, long 18th, which snakes along the coast and has wrecked many good rounds, the standout holes.
High handicappers will find the experience memorable if a little frustrating particularly if it is windy, which is quite often. Mid to low handicappers will love it.
Steve McKenlay, Editor-in-Chief