The second championship course at the Emirates Golf Club opened in 1996 and was named Wadi, meaning valley in Arabic. Building a course to compete with the Majlis, the original Emirates course, was a daunting task but we think an admirable job was done.
The Wadi was redesigned in 2006 by Nick Faldo and was later renamed the Faldo in commemoration of the six-time major winner. ‘The Wadi by Faldo’ has a predominant theme of dramatic bunkering on show all the way from tee to green. Golfers will certainly enjoy the Faldo, which is a real challenge with fourteen cleverly positioned lakes protecting the spacious fairways and large greens.
Despite wide fairways and large greens, accuracy and course management (a key to Nick Faldo’s designs) are important to score well on this golf course.
A good alternative to the Majlis or as a warm-up round if you intend to play elsewhere/a few times and are visiting/have visitors. Much better played in the morning as the course has huge footfall generally but especially from the afternoons through onwards as it offers fully floodlit golf whcih goes well into the night. The Faldo obviously is popular and appeals greatly in the evenings of the summer months due to the weather conditions which makes you wonder why there’s not more potential for the course in the winter (in spite of the footfall). Course condition I have found to be mixed - having played it numerous times: morning, afternoon and evenings - I found that the mornings saw the course in better knack, especially the greens. Otherwise it’s a well-maintained but this course clearly does not get the love that the Majlis does. The clubhouse is exceptional and has some great venues to eat, socialise and enjoy the setting (and is open to the public). Of Emirates Hill’s three local golf courses, this ranks third but to be clear if one is visiting I also recommend they start here, especially the higher handicappers before trying their hand at the must-play Majlis.
Nick Faldo clearly had a bit of fun with this, several of the par 4's play into dog-legs which makes it a demanding course to navigate off the tee. Unfortunately, it consistently gets compared to the Majlis but the Faldo is worth playing in its own right. While not in bad shape by any means, it's not kept in the same pristine knick as other courses in the emirate, which does help the greens to run a bit truer. Still worth a crack, especially if you're keen on spending the 1000dhs+ on the majlis.
Best Hole: 7- Basically playing onto a 90-degree dogleg, the fairway is protected by a lake short and bushes long. It makes you ask the question of how short of a second shot you want, but the greedier you ger the harder the drive. The water then juts in at the front of the green with bunkers protecting the miss right.
As mentioned in a previous review, the biggest problem with the Faldo Course is the Majlis. It's at the same resort and it's always in its shadow, however that doesn't hide the fact that it's still a great test and a great course.
I played this course on my trip to Dubai in Jan/Feb 2018 under the floodlights at night and what an experience that was.
The layout of the course is fantastic, surrounding the Majlis course, you get a few glimpses of the special course in the middle although not easy to see in pitch black as the lights only extend to the Faldo.
The 14 lakes on the course are well positioned and the greens and bunker placement are great. Some very good holes, some being quite short, which provide a great challenge. It's not a bombers course, it's about being in play and not being far enough astray so you out of view of the lights!
Although the experience of playing under the lights is fantastic, the only negative I would have is the phase in which the sun sets and you have a odd 20/30 minutes of that awkward sky colour before it transitions to black which makes it very difficult to see the ball.
Walks to tees were minimal, we did play in a buggy but at that time of night, you don't need one dependent on the time of year, Jan was perfect weather in the evening for trousers and a shirt. Although we saw glimpses of other players, we were held up for one hole which the guests let us through instantly.
Condition of the course was as you'd expect from Dubai golf, nothing short of excellent. Coming from the same green keepers who manage a European Tour course it's never going to be too dissimilar. Greens very consistent in pace and even after a day of play, considering with it open in the evenings with a lot of traffic, I thought it was in great condition and they held up well.
Facilities, are the same as the Majlis, the same stunning clubhouse, same guys taking your bags, same fantastic grass range and short game area make it hard to compete (even with some of the official practice Pro V's they had left from the tournament!)
Views are sublime, if you're playing at night it's hard to find a hole you can't grab a picture on, all of the lights from the nearby skyscrapers make the whole experience sublime.
Round Played - January 2018
Walks to tees/Congestion: 8
TOTAL SCORE 44/50