Els Club - Dubai - United Arab Emirates

The Els Club,
Dubai Sports City,
PO Box 111123,
Dubai,
UAE


  • +971 4 425 1000

The Els Club was the first completed venue within a multi billion dollar development at Dubai’s Sports City that now includes the world’s first purpose-built Manchester United Soccer School facility, the ICC's own Global Cricket Academy, the first ever World Hockey Academy and a David Lloyd Tennis Academy. They've certainly not stinted here at Dubai Sports City.

Laid out in two returning loops of nine holes within the exclusive “golf course villa community” of Victory Heights, this 18-hole championship course has been designed for golfers of every handicap, with a choice of four tees at every hole.

A fair amount of sand was shifted when forming this “desert links,” adding definition to a relatively flat landscape that now features sizeable water hazards at holes 7 and 15.

No doubt golfing purists will groan when they first see the highly contrasting, snowy white sand that lines the fairway and greenside bunker complexes here but then global golfers who play in Dubailand® would hardly expect anything else…

"The Els Club combines the best of all the great clubs that I have played worldwide. The golf challenge is second to none. I am really proud of what we have achieved here. Whether you are an 18 handicap or a scratch golfer, it will be a great test of golf. This course is something very special. I think you can make a course challenging for the best players in the world but at the same time enjoyable for the rest of the world's golfers. We've done that here." Ernie Els 2008.

Dubai Sports City is also the base for the first Butch Harmon School of Golf outside the United States. Run by son of legendary golf coach Butch Harmon, Claude Harmon III has coached the 2008 US Masters Champion, Trevor Immelman and other tour pros including Darren Clarke and Adam Scott. The facility houses a state-of-the-art performance institute which includes physical screening and three dimensional video analysis for the students. If you’ve failed to conquer Ernie’s course due to a hook or slice, head over to the Golf School for a tune-up.

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Reviews for Els Club - Dubai

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Description: The Els Club was the first completed venue within a multi billion dollar development at Dubai’s Sports City that now includes the world’s first purpose-built Manchester United Soccer School facility... Rating: 6.9 out of 10 Reviews: 13
TaylorMade
HRH

A fun course, with some memorable holes named especially the Index 1, and Index 2 holes. The club itself is in a very serene setting and had a vibrant clubhouse. The course condition was good by in large, the staff were attentive and whilst it did feel much more like a club catering for members’ needs more so than some of the other courses in Dubai they were still hospitable. The day I played they had some golf cart issues but it didn’t take away from the day out. Not especially challenging but was great fun. The greens were good, not quick but the pin placement made up for that.

January 19, 2022
5 / 10
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Adam Uttley

The Els Club is one of the best two courses in Dubai. Unlike many in the region it isn’t just target golf and it is all the better for it. Instead of soaking the fairways with as much water as possible, the course is left firm and fast in comparison to others. It also has a good variety of holes that have different options off the tee - a welcome change from more one-dimensional golf, for example at the Majlis nearby.

What makes this course, though, are the green complexes, which are raised and have run-off areas with lots of short grass around them. Combined with their firmness, it means you have to approach from the right angle, miss in the right place, and, crucially, play off the right tees for your ability. I would highly recommend erring on the side of shorter tees for this reason. A few reviews on here state the greens are unfair - for example the 9th - and this simply isn’t the case. If you are approaching with the right club, choose the right part of the green to aim for, and play a reasonable shot you’ll be fine.

Whilst the houses alongside aren’t great, this remains good, strategic golf. You are challenged mentally, as well as how well you can execute your shot and that makes for great golf. I’ve given the course 5 stars on a world basis. You come to Dubai for the weather and in world terms it isn’t the best golf, but the Els is without doubt one of the best two courses in Dubai.

November 26, 2021
8 / 10
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Nicklaus Mills

January is an incredible time of the year to play golf in Dubai and it was complemented with friends old and new. A hit and giggle with friends can be replicated anywhere in the world and unfortunately this course should not replicated. I’m surprised to read that this course had bunkers inspired from Royal Melbourne and a layout from British links courses, because none of that architecture was evident when I played the course. It would be a nice start if they had intended for the aprons and green surrounds to accommodate the running shot like they do on the Sandbelt. Instead you had the greens surrounded with short rough which did not reward nor punish a player. With that being said the ground staff had the greens playing in superb condition and should be commended for their efforts on the course in maintaining this course in the most difficult of environments. The overall feeling of the Els Club was to challenge the modern day golfer and challenge they did by making some holes, like the 9th borderline impossible to play and enjoy. This is coming from someone who hit the strategically perfect drive off the tee to find no where to physically attack any pin location let alone find a conservative place to find par. I understand that this maybe a course not to my taste and for those with a thirst of punishment would enjoy, but after proceeding through “the Lions Den” it clearly highlighted the courses lack of foresight and execution. Fortunately for the resourceful nature of golf in this region, the course may be able to stay viable, even after the words of a 25 year old that no one listens to. But if the course was placed next to Royal Melbourne, it would not be able to survive for several reasons. Too expensive, too high in maintenance and not enough restraint shown to produce a quality course, that the Middle East is yearning for…

September 21, 2020
2 / 10
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Adam

It's lovely. An excellent setting through Dubai sports city which wonderfully encompasses both the lush design as well as the natural desert setting. The greens are all raised and famous for being impossible to hit. A good short-game is a must to navigate them, which comes as a pay-off for the wide fairways. The conditions are never anything short of pristine and the greens are as quick as anywhere, barring the majlis. There isn't much water to speak of but the aforementioned desert creates enough of hazard to keep golfers honest.

Best Hole: 15- One of the few holes where water comes into play, it typically plays as #1 on the stroke index. The water runs the entire way down the right-hand side of the hole so anything sliced is gone. The fairway is narrow and well protected on the other side with deep rough and bunkers. The green is elevated with a large collection area to the front and right-hand side for anything short.

August 08, 2020
10 / 10
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Josh P

Some of the best practice facilities I have seen at a course- with European Tour players regularly here tuning up their games. The course has relatively wide fairways mostly lined with houses, and greens that run quick and are elevated. Despite the condition, there weren’t many memorable holes here and even unlike other UAE courses there aren’t many that come immediately to mind. The 7th and 15th are played around water, and I enjoyed the 12th green setting, but nothing else for me stood out.

April 22, 2020
6 / 10
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Hendrik

I played Els a number of times while in Dubai, and always enjoyed it. It's a classy place, and you realise that the moment you pull up at the clubhouse.

The range (doublesided with the Butch Harmon school on one end) is excellent however sometimes they make you hit from mats (which at this price point and in this location shouldn't be the case). There is a nice short game area too and a few putting greens, one right outside the club house terrace. The putting greens are representative of the course as well.

The course itself is a strong offering but it is a 'resort' course and by that I mean that you have houses left and right of it. I'm not the biggest fan of that but the golf course itself is strong enough to get away with it. The fairways and greens are excellently maintained. However, Els seems to have a penchant for raised greens and difficult run off areas which sometimes make the course a bit unfair I'd say. The 9th hole is a case in point, it's a long par 4 with a green that is quite severely sloped and raised up from the fairway. With a long iron in as your second shot, you probably won't hold the green unless you're a low low handicapper and the up and down is very difficult. A layup is a better strategy but even then it's not guaranteed that you can stop the ball on the green with your third shot. The same happens on the 10th hole and I just don't enjoy such green complexes that much and find them a bit unfair.

One word on the Butch Harmon School - this is just an awesome place and if you're looking for a few lessons I highly recommend the guys led by Jamie. Many Tour pros come here to tune up their game ahead of the Middle East swing so you can find yourself practising next to Tommy Fleetwood for example. It's a really great place.

Els is a fine course but I prefer the simplicity of Abu Dhabi National or the scenery of Yas Links. But if you're in Dubai, you should play here.

October 19, 2019
5 / 10
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Bradley Simpson
played this course on 18 February a few hours after the thunderstorm. Welcomed by course manager . Our party of 3 preferred this course to the fire course. Most greens are elevated so irons shots have to be precise, I struggled to hit irons off the fairway on both this and fire course. Greens not as fast as fire course but did dry out towards end of the round. Aesthetically more pleasing but 150 pound for a round is still expensive. On recent trips we have been given a souvenir wonder why this has stopped? I'd definitely recommend this course
February 22, 2016
8 / 10
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Steve Eggleston
Sitting on the terrace of the most sumptuous clubhouse I have ever seen, eating a first-rate breakfast while gazing over the pristine practice putting green, I felt instantly as if I had stumbled into a king's paradise where my every whim would be taken care of before I had even thought of it. And the magic of the place was that I felt like I belonged there - a millionaire if only for a day!That the golfing experience didn't quite live up to the billing is not entirely surprising, but I left the Els feeling that there is an opportunity missed here.The course itself is stunning, but only if you can ignore the half-finished building site that surrounds it or some of the less than beautiful skyscrapers that abound in Sports City. The group of 4 buildings decorated by a cricket bat, tennis racquet, golf club and hockey stick stay in my mind as some of the ugliest architecture I have seen anywhere in the world. The fact that on several holes you take your line off the bright red hockey stick is a real blot on the overall experience.Having got that gripe out of the way, the quality of the course is visually stunning and in great condition. The wasteland desert areas give a real sense of where you are, while the manicured fairways and greens are so lush that it feels a real privilege to play off them. And throughout it is a serious test of golf.The highlights were the 7th and 15th holes running either side of the two lakes in the middle of the course, and the 9th and 18th holes playing up towards the magnificent clubhouse.It was good to see some normal length par 3 holes, testing all types of approach shot, rather than the 200+ yarders that seem to be the norm at the other courses around here.The fairways are enormously wide at times and nearly all of the trouble seems to be around the greens, which are fast and very slopey, with a lot of very deep bunkers placed aggressively around most of them.And when you find a green that appears on the card to have no bunkering, like 6th or 8th, then beware, because the wasteland is near at hand at the bottom of some huge slopes to cause you real problems if you miss the green.If I were to be hyper-critical I would say that the course feels a little bit unbalanced as a result - too easy off the tee and too difficult around the green. An example of the difficulty of the slopes is the par 3 second, where it is hard to find a flat spot to place the pin, and some putts break by 10 feet or more. The bunkers also have very deep sand in them, so it is not unusual to get terrible plugged lies - a bit unnecessary when you consider the difficulty of the greens being played to!A final annoyance was that in December, when no other courses had any restrictions, the greenstaff stuck rigidly to a carts on paths policy. With the very wide fairways this became so annoying that we ditched the buggies after 12 holes and carried for the rest of the round.So the Els, for all of its polish, is for me a bit too much style and not enough substance. It still ranks very high compared to most courses that I will ever get to play, but it flatters to deceive and is not as good as some of the other options around here, nor as good as the sumptuous clubhouse surroundings would have you believe.
March 23, 2013
6 / 10
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Mark

After playing the Majlis, Earth & Fire courses on this trip, The Els Club was certainly in the best condition of them all. All the fairway and greens surfaces were verdant green. Also, the greens have noticeably less grain than the other courses which made putting a lot easier. Being the first time I have played The Els Club, I was surprised by all the housing on the course since the website photos suggesting that the course is located in a barren and undeveloped desert. Els Club Golf Course - Photo by reviewerThat said, there is a surprising amount of room between the housing developments and there is not sense of confinement. What the layout lacks in terms of architectural detail, it makes up in the fact that it is probably the most playable course in Dubai. It one has just arrived and has a little jetlag, this might be the ideal first stop on a golf holiday. The course has two loops (front & back) that intersect at one stage (the 7th and 15th holes). As a result, there is not tedious back-and-forth parallel golf. This journey is kept relatively interesting. The practice facilities are excellent (this is where Rory McIlroy tunes his game while staying at his home in Dubai). There is also a Butch Harmon School of Golf, but like the one in Macau, it is kind of a franchise operations with Harmon only making the occasional ceremonial/promotion visit. Finally, the club has the best clubhouse in the region. For one, it isn't under construction (like Jumeirah, and the renovations at The Montgomerie), it has plenty of room, and the restaurant has a very good menu and a great patio over looking the 9th and 18th greens.

March 17, 2013
8 / 10
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Mark
Just back from this year´s buddy trip to Dubai. We played Els Club, the Montgomerie, the Emirates Courses and Dubai Creek. Having read the reviews on those courses, I wasn´t expecting too much from the Els Club. But I was positively surprised. The layout of the course does not suffer too much from housing projects along the fairways, which generally bother me. I really like the different ways each hole is protected. The difficulty of the layout is sort of sublime. Greens looked faster as they actually turned out to be, which kept the score o.k..Condition was simply perfect, just like the service of the staff. Very recommended. Comes in tied 1st compared with all courses we played (with Majils Course)
March 06, 2013
10 / 10
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