Built on the site of an old quarry on the outskirts of Cairo, the course at NEWGIZA Golf Club is the final design from architects Thomson Perrett & Lobb, opening for play in 2019. It’s part of a massive 1,700-acre development to the east of the capital which also includes housing elements, a sports arena, and a number of hotels, schools and universities.
Located only five miles from the Giza pyramid complex, a UNESCO World heritage site, the 18-hole layout is characterised by dramatic elevation changes, with sandy waste areas replacing rough and several water hazards also coming into play, especially on the inward half. For many, though, the imaginatively-shaped greens are the layout’s most outstanding attribute.
Highlight holes include the signature par three 4th (with around a 100-foot drop from tee to green); the par three 13th (where the boomerang-shaped green is positioned behind a small lake); the short par four 15th (which has its green modelled on the 13th at Woking); and the par four 18th, played to an elongated, bunkerless home green.
“Within the design and during the construction phase we have tried to enhance the previous quarry features and have 50 feet plus vertical quarry walls up against some holes to add drama and retain the site characteristics within the playing experience,” Lobb said. “It has been an incredible journey from complex design work, challenging construction conditions to seeing the course mature into a grown-up golf experience.”
Today, I had the privilege of playing at New Giza and was really impressed. I've played a lot of courses, but honestly, I don't think I've ever played one better than New Giza. The layout is amazing with really astounding changes in elevation, considering you're in the desert. The course is the best maintained of any that I've been to as well. It's just beautiful. The greens are really fast, the practice areas are great, and I really don't have any complaints about it. It's not the most challenging course, though it's far from easy. I think if it were slightly more challenging, I would rate it a 6. If you only have time for one round of golf in Egypt, play New Giza.