Dubai’s newest championship golf course brings a genuine links experience to the Arabian desert. Fast playing surfaces, an absence of rough and the kind of crumpled undulations that you find on the Old Course at St Andrews bring an ancient spirit to this very modern setting.
The Trump International Golf Club, Dubai became the first championship 18-hole course to open for seven years in the emirate when it welcomed its first visitors in early 2017, and so far this Gil Hanse design has been met with unanimous acclaim.
Hanse is one of the top course architects in the business and the Trump Golf brand one of the world’s best operators, so it should come as no surprise that they have created something special at the DAMAC Hills development.
The Trump may be Dubai’s newest course, but it plays like a throwback. Exhibiting many of the traits of a new revolution in golf course design that has dialled back on difficulty, Hanse has focused on playability and fun. He’s also designed a layout that caters for walkers, with each hole flowing into the next. The free-form tee boxes are a superb stylistic addition and give a nod to the famous British links courses, as do the humps and hollows that surround many of the green complexes.
The Trump shares much in common with Hanse’s other recent masterpiece - the Rio Olympics course. Featuring similar bunkering, golfers are encouraged to use the ground to their advantage, which adds greatly to the variety of shot options.
At the heart of the layout is a clubhouse that has become an instant classic, even by Dubai’s lofty standards. Equipped with two restaurants, an infinity pool and a gym, the roof is shaped like a planetary ring and changes aspect from different vantage points on the course.
New golfing additions always attract attention, but the Trump International Golf Club, Dubai does so for all the right the reasons.