I played the course in December 2012 after some unusually heavy rain. Let me start by saying that I really like playing this course. The layout is very interesting and tests a variety of shots, particularly on a windy day like the one we experienced. The scrub areas are much more punishing than at some of the other more manicured courses in the area and the overall feel is of a natural course - as far as that is possible in the middle of a sand desert!Clearly the condition of the course leaves a bit to be desired when you have just come off playing at somewhere like Jumeirah Golf Estates. There were areas of fairway that were under-water, pointing at drainage problems, and several areas of bare earth, or ground under repair where new turf had been laid. The greens also had a multi-coloured look to them that suggests some problems with the grasses.None of the above seriously impacted the playability of the course, however, and the greens, for all the slightly strange look, ran true and fast.We started at 10th, and the back 9 is outstanding - out in the dunes and scrub and using the natural ruggedness of the land to great advantage. Driving needs to be precise and the putting surfaces feel smaller than at other courses and well protected.The start of the front 9 is less promising playing around the practise ground and much flatter. However it picks up the further away from the clubhouse you get.Practice facilities and clubhouse were excellent, and the staff were friendly. The course was also not very full, which meant that we got a pretty clear run and were able to play some extra holes - which was allowed under the green fee.Because of the relatively poor condition, and a couple of forgettable holes at the start, this is not a standout course in this region. However for the price (which is one of the lowest around, with lots of discounts available if you check with locals who have vouchers) this was a really good day's golf, with a lot less pretension than some of the other courses, and I will be keeping it on my itinerary for future trips.
Date: March 24, 2013