Sahara - Kuwait

Sahara Kuwait Resort,
Safat,
13160,
Kuwait


  • +965 4769372

  • Saravana Sainath

  • Peter Harradine

  • Edward Retief

Peter Harradine fashioned the golf course at the Sahara Kuwait Resort and it opened for play in September 2005 to a rapturous ovation. Built to USGA standards this is a challenging layout which stretches out to 6,730 yards with par set at a lowly 70.

There’s enough water – in the shape of three lakes – to trouble the mishit shot and with the horseracing track of the exclusive Hunting and Equestrian Club flanking the course, there’s plenty of out-of-bounds to contend with too.

A great deal of earth was moved here at the Sahara Golf Club – or sand to be precise – in fact almost 750,000 m³ was shifted to create a pleasing and undulating layout.

Floodlit holes will ensure that you can play in the cool of the evening, avoiding the daytime heat, and a luxurious new clubhouse and golf academy complete what is already Kuwait’s premier golf club and the country’s finest golfing experience.

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Description: Peter Harradine fashioned the golf course at the Sahara Kuwait Resort and it opened for play in September 2005 to a rapturous ovation. Rating: 5 out of 10 Reviews: 1
TaylorMade
Alex Frolish

Well I’m sure this Peter Harradine layout was an absolute peach of a golf course when it was opened in 2005. Evidence of that is seen in the front nine here where the course remains pretty much as it was some 17 years ago. Sadly the back nine has been severely altered and does not resemble the course that was originally laid out, with almost 1000 yards being wiped off the back nine yardage in recent times, but more of that to come.

Sahara Kuwait is Kuwait’s only 18 hole golf course and is routed predominately amongst the horse racing track to the south of Kuwait City. I found the course to be engaging from the off and the opening salvo of holes has you smiling early in the round. The routing can be a little confusing however, particularly around 4-6 where you venture outside the horse racing track briefly to play the 5th hole. Holes 6 thru 8 are undoubtedly the highlight of the course, with the island par 4 7th stealing the show. The hole gently bends to the right and the fairway is lined on both sides by huge expanses of water. Think 18 at Sawgrass but on two sides. The hole measures 420 yards from the back tees so it is not a hole you can simply play conservatively and get by. Only a straight and true golf shot will avoid the water from this tee!

So to the back nine and what can only be described as the most over zealous of architectural haircuts. What has driven this change, I’m not entirely sure, but it is blatantly obvious something is awry when you get to the 10th tee to be confronted by a 109 yard par 3 that looks more pitch and putt than championship golf course. From previous course plans, it was clear to see the 10th was one of the strongest long par 4’s on the card; well no longer. In fact, it would appear only 2 holes remain from the original back nine, the now 12th and 13th (previously 11th and 12th).

Up to the 15th, due to the setting inside the racetrack and the conditioning remaining in keeping with the front nine, the course just about pulls off this abbreviated routing. Sadly the last three holes really do let the side down badly. You have to travel a few hundred yards from the 15th green inside the racetrack to the 16th tee beyond the clubhouse. To say the final three holes feel like they have been shoehorned in is a solid understatement. 16 is a claustrophobic almost 90 degree dogleg par 4, the 17th is 90 yard chip with a wedge and the 18th is the most underwhelming finisher I have played in some time.

So how to bring my thoughts together on Sahara Kuwait? Well the conditioning here is to a high standard and for 11 of the 18 holes, this course can quite rightly declare itself a championship test. Unfortunately the other 7 holes do not achieve the same standard. Taking a look at the club website, it would appear IMG (International Management Group) were commissioned to oversee the shortening and redesign, but I’ve found it hard to locate a time frame for the work. I’m not privy to what their remit was, but all I can say is it that it is has undoubtedly harmed the cohesiveness and the balance of the test across the 18 holes. I would wager you will still enjoy your game here, but be prepared for some executive course holes mixed amongst the championship standard offerings. The scorecard, at 5550 yards and a par of 67 from the back tees gives you all the clues you need as to the sort of test you will encounter here.

May 20, 2022
5 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

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