The best courses in the world have a distinct aura from the moment you drive through the front gate and this is certainly true of Emirates Golf Club. This is where it all began, and the magnificent Majlis course plays host to the region’s oldest and most prestigious event, the Omega Dubai Desert Classic.
What makes a true trophy golf course? A fantastic layout and superb conditioning are essentials, but the courses that appear on every golfer’s must-play list the world over must also boast a rich heritage. In Dubai, they don’t come any richer than the Majlis, which was aptly christened the ‘Desert Miracle’ when it opened for play back in 1988.
As you walk through the doors of the striking Bedouin-tented inspired clubhouse, you can’t miss the mounted case proudly displaying a donated club from every single past champion of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. From Tiger to Rory, Seve, Sergio and Ernie, the list of winners here is so impressive that they are instantly recognisable to golf fans by their first names alone. In 2006, the club hosted its first Omega Dubai Ladies Masters and the likes of Annika Sorenstam and Shanshan Feng have helped grow its legend.
The course itself has matured gracefully without ever parting company with its original identity. The world’s best players rave about Karl Litten’s famous layout because it’s a shot-makers course. Numerous clever doglegs call for draws and fades off the tee. For the brave golfer, there are shortcuts to be had but the Majlis can bite back too.
Numerous well-known vistas will greet you when you play the Majlis but be sure to stop for a photo on the par 4 eighth tee. The expanse of desert to the right remains just as it looked in 1988, but the skyline of Dubai Marina that frames this sweeping view encapsulates the very best of modern Dubai. For serious golfers, this is the course around which to build your itinerary.