The Dubai Hills Estate is set within the Mohammad Bin Rashid City quarter of Dubai and it’s a development from the Emaar property company, which includes the Burj Khalifa building in its portfolio, along with another couple of golf courses at Arabian Ranches and Address Montgomerie.
It’s a 2018 European Golf Design production, with Gary Johnston the lead architect, and the course is set out as two returning nines – the outward half in an anti-clockwise fashion then the inward half in a clockwise manner – with fairways continually changing direction to create a “big reveal” from one hole to the next.
The site was formerly a camel stable on a largely flat property but, with much of the course laid out at a lower grade because fill was required for the residential areas, it means that quite a few of the holes are played in isolation within little valleys, below the level of the surrounding houses.
“The front nine has some dramatic elevation changes with wadi-style features,” says Gary Johnston. “The holes leading back to the clubhouse (8, 9, 16, 17 and 18) are built around a series of lakes, which double as irrigation storage, and are lusher in their planting style, and the back nine is more desert-like in the shaping and planting.”
Highlight holes include the short par four 6th (which measures 330 yards from the back tees but offers a helping slope on the right of the fairway), the par three 13th (with a lone Ghaf tree guarding the left side of the green), and another short par four at the 16th, which incorporates a split fairway and water down the right side of the hole.