Katameya Dunes (Lakes) - Egypt

Katameya Dunes Golf Hotel & Spa,
5th District,
New Cairo City,

  • +20 10 008 4588

Despite harsh economic times felt worldwide, Sir Nick Faldo’s design business continues to grow at a steady rate and he broke into the North African market in 2010 with a 27-hole Egyptian project that was undertaken in collaboration with the formidable architectural partnership of Brian Curley and Lee Schmidt.

In a remarkable feat of engineering, the imagination of Faldo and technical excellence of Schmidt and Curley transformed a barren, featureless desert landscape outside Cairo into a lush green golfing oasis, where palm-fringed fairways have been routed around a succession of lakes and streams, with the occasional waterfall feature thrown in for good measure.

Bunkering – as you might expect at such a desert location – is of the highest order and even though the designers might have been tempted to fill them with imported white sand, they’ve mercifully constructed the traps with local, pink-brown coloured sand that blends in sympathetically to the surroundings.

The spectacular water-fronted par three 8th, which measures 210 yards from the back tees, is considered as the signature hole on both the “Lakes” and “Palms” 18-hole configurations at Katameya Dunes, with both courses sharing the same front nine holes.

We caught up with Brian Curley and asked him a few questions:

The Top 100 Team was rather intrigued to find Katameya Dunes was a collaboration between your company and Nick Faldo. Can you tell us how that came about?

“The client came to us early in the process. In the initial discussions, they were impressed with what we have done and the early concepts I threw at them. The idea of bringing on a Tour Pro for marketing was away down the path but I brought up Nick as I had already worked on six courses with him. Nick is a great name for the project as many customers are UK based and I had always enjoyed working with him.”

It also looks quite a feat of engineering – can you throw a few facts at us, like the volume of water that flows over those little waterfalls every day?

“The waterfall system is set up to run at varied levels from slight to full on. At peak it pumps about 20,000 gallons per minute if desired. The funny thing is that the design would typically have the clubhouse at the highest elevation but the views outside the project were, in my opinion, not that great. I felt we could CREATE better views and it would be a greater impact if the water flowed TO the Clubhouse rather than away from it so we placed the Club environment at one of the lowest points. This way, all the views are up to golf with water coming at you. Not a typical solution but it works well here as it provides not only a nice view but also offers protection from the wind.”

Was it a unanimous decision to use very natural coloured sand in the bunkers?

“Yes, that is the sand on site. The large expanses of sand are a huge design backbone feature along with lakes, marshes (to create a feel of the banks of the Nile), and date palms. From there, we add color in bursts of plantings, including around four thousand trees.“
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Reviews for Katameya Dunes (Lakes)

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Description: In a remarkable feat of engineering, the imagination of Faldo and technical excellence of Schmidt and Curley transformed a barren and featureless Egyptian desert into a lush golfing oasis called Katameya Dunes... Rating: 8.5 out of 10 Reviews: 2
Colin Braithwaite

Katameya Dunes is truly an oasis in the desert. Not long by today’s standards, the greens make this course. Also, this course has succulents around, throughout and virtually omnipresent. If you find your ball in them, my advice, take the drop. They are merciless. Get off to a good start as the front is easier than the back and the first five holes are scoring oppties. The first two holes are short par fours. The teeth are the greens fast with a predominantly right roll. The 3rd is a mid-length par three with a knob on the right third of the green. If you are on the wrong side of that, good luck. The 4th is a classic sucker hole, and I was, a short par four. Water all the way down the left side with a fairway bunker on the right side in the landing zone. Everything contours left. Consider laying up to your favorite wedge distance. The first par five, while uphill is reachable. Fairway bunkers left and right and the green is protected with half a dozen or so bunkers. The 6th is the shortest par three and is rated the easiest hole. The 7th is downhill to a well protected green with three front bunkers. I was lining up my putt when the Call to Prayer started. I thought that it may be an omen, but alas, I missed badly. The 8th is a mid-length par three with water right and three bunkers left. The 9th is a long uphill par five that bends left. Fairway bunkers both sides of the landing area with two fairway bunkers left about 80 yards out. Play it as a three shotter.

As I mentioned earlier you need to make hay on the front. One of the reasons for that is the back is almost 700 yards longer. I cannot recall another course with such a disparity. The 10th leans left. Pay attention to your yardage off the tee as there are four fairway bunkers scattered in play. The 11th is another sucker par four. Although this time with a water carry and three bunkers right. Having already blown the round, I threw caution to the wind and went for it. This time truth justice and the American way persevered over the dark forces of evil. I ended up just short right and perhaps more importantly dry. Fun hole, of course, most holes that you birdie are fun. I paid the price on the long par five 12th. Water all the way down the left side and I over cooked and splashed my drive. The fun was not over, the water hazard cuts across the fairway about 130 yards out and sure enough there goes ball number two. The 13th is the longest par four on the course that leans right. It is a “how big is your appetite” water carry. You will still have a long approach shot to a large green with two front bunkers. The 14th has water all the way down the right side. The 15th is a 250 yard par three. I hit driver and got a fortuitous bounce to barely get on the green. The 16th is the last par five and at 615 yards you will need to hit three good shots that avoid the dozen or so bunkers. Cairo typically gets less than an inch of rain a year. Sure enough, I was raining the day I played. The problem became the cart path tunnel from 16 to 17. It was flooded, I investigated a couple of ways over and around to no avail and ultimately had to wade thru the water. Something I certainly did not expect to encounter in the desert. The 17th is a lovely mid-length par three with a waterfall and water right. The finishing hole is a good one, long slightly downhill, water right and fairway bunkers left. The fairway contours right, so favor left of center. A dry tee shot is a good start, but then you will have a water carry approach.

Excellent golf course that I would pay to play again.

February 01, 2022
7 / 10
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charles cutshall
Arguably, the best course in Cairo; and likely the second best in the country, after Sokhna. Players complain about the ice plants and the over-watered fairways; but none can argue about the uniformly excellent quality of the greens. The layout is certainly challenging and you must use the "correct" tees for your skill level. Overall, this is a world-class facility, the only shortcoming being the practice range...which used to be the 8th and 9th holes on the Palms course. If you are in Cairo, you must play th I s course. You will not be disappointed.
January 26, 2016
10 / 10
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