A couple of decades ago Dubai had only a handful of courses to its name – now it seems that just about every other famous, top ranked professional can boast about a golf course that they’ve designed at the new epicenter of modern world golf.
Colin Montgomerie (along with Ernie Els at the Els Club) has gone a stage further than that by having a course named in his honour. Monty was due to be joined by Eldrick Tont Woods, but Tiger's course fell victim to the global financial crisis.
The Montgomerie is an open, expansive championship course with huge green complexes, laid out on a 265-acre site where the eighteen holes occupy almost half of this area, a third of the remaining terrain is classed as landscaped gardens and the remaining 49 acres are submerged under fourteen man-made lakes.
Monty’s co-designer, the late Desmond Muirhead, was known to indulge in the odd whimsical touch here and there and his off beat architectural mark was clear for all to see at the par three 13th hole where the green was laid out in the shape of the United Arab Emirates. The 13th green has since been softened to a more conventional kidney-shaped island.
The clubhouse also has 21 guest rooms and a pool, so if it's just golf and not sun and sand you're looking for then staying on site is an option.
Visitors can play without an introduction by a member – sorry, “citizen” as they’re somewhat bizarrely called here – and even the most hard to please golfer is bound to be impressed by an imaginative layout that has been ambitiously described as “Scottish links meets Arabian desert.”
The fairways and greens are both enormous and, to be honest, it takes a bit of effort to miss them. With this, it's arguably not the most challenging course in Dubai, which is somewhat unfortunate as it's one of the more expensive. There are few holes that do present challenges, 6 and 18 stand out, otherwise it's pretty straightforward. As with all courses in the area, it's in immaculate condition and the setting in Emirates Hills is almost worth playing the round alone.
Best Hole: 13-Perhaps not the most difficult hole on the course but the layout is cool. An island green with each tee at roughly a 90-degree angle from the other, meaning there are 4 completely different shots to the hole. A mixture of sand and water protects the green fairly well, even if the green is huge.