Yas Links - United Arab Emirates

Yas Links Abu Dhabi,
PO Box 128008,
Yas Island,
United Arab Emirates


  • +971 281 07777


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Yas Links

Yas Island – the location of a multi-billion dollar project by Aldar, Abu Dhabi’s foremost property, investment and management company – occupies an area of around 6,000 acres in the Arabian Gulf and it’s the site of a number of world class attractions that include a Formula 1 Grand Prix racing track, the Ferrari World theme park and, of course, the Yas Links golf course, which opened in 2010.

The golf facility extends to an 18-hole layout, a 9-hole academy course and floodlit practice area. It’s the first project that architect Kyle Phillips has worked on in the Middle East and he was involved right from the outset when it was decided to shape nearly two miles of coastline (during the construction phase of an access route to the marina) and use almost 2 million cubic metres of dredged sand to cap the golf course.

Extending to 7,450 yards with five tee positions at every hole, Yas Links was over three years in construction and it lies across the highway from the Yas Marina car racing circuit with eight of the holes – including three of the four short holes on the card at 8, 13 and 17 – located right against the coastline.

Many think the “Cape” hole at the 9th is the best of the par fours because the tee shot has to carry water on the right and the more length that’s gained from the tee, the shorter the approach is to a green that falls away at the back.

The 18th is a fine finishing hole where the shoreline snakes along the left hand side of the fairway, threatening shots all the way from tee to green. The safest option is to play away from the water, avoiding first a central fairway bunker off the tee then a long waste bunker down the left side of the narrow green.
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Reviews for Yas Links

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Description: Extending to 7,450 yards, Yas Links was over three years in construction and it lies across the highway from the Yas Marina car racing circuit with eight of the holes located right against the coastline. Rating: 8.5 out of 10 Reviews: 13
TaylorMade
Hendrik

Played Yas a number of times while in the UAE. It's a spectacular setting and a strong design by Kyle Philips. I've enjoyed every visit and keep coming back. You can get some good tee time deals by checking their website or calling in on the day.

The front 9 are somewhat tamer than the back 9 which often play into the wind in the late afternoon. That makes 14-18 a long walk with tough shots into the wind. Sure, Yas Links is a 'faux' links course but done extremely well. The conditioning is very good and the greens always in top condition. I've taken both carts and walked the course, and walking is fine except if it's too hot of course. There is also a good range and a small short game area plus a 9 hole par 3 practice course (which I think is lit at night).

The clubhouse has a nice terrace overlooking the 18th green, and around the corner from the 9th, and it's a good place for an after round drink. The food is good too. Given the proximity to the race track, you sometimes hear the pitch of high-revving engines but it's not something I mind.

I would strongly recommend Yas Links if you're in the region. Abu Dhabi is just two hours from Dubai and it's well worth the drive. I'd also play Abu Dhabi National and perhaps Saadiyat while in the area.

October 19, 2019
7 / 10
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Phillip Akers

From the staff to the course Yas is of the highest quality anywhere. Upon arrival the staff in the changing room cleaned our shoes before sending us through to where our buggies were waiting and ready to hit some balls on our names range bay. From there the course is just superb. The greens put your short game through the most stringent of tests but good shots are rewarded. Thanks for a great experience. Phil Akers

June 02, 2019
10 / 10
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Raimondas

My opinion it is bit overrated and overpriced golf course in Abu Dhabi (and in all UAE). I played two times in all of Abu Dhabi golf courses and my ranking could be: 1. Abu Dhabi (National), 2. Saadiyat Beach, 3. Yas Links. Definitely it is desert style golf course similar to scottish links without trees to survive midday sun and long enough to walk. Golf cart is desirable in hot days. Concerning prices staff is not very flexible as Abu Dhabi National and bit higher than in other Abu Dhabi golf clubs, but service is lower level (especially if you are not member).

Yas Links is not very picturesque golf fields and besides that you see is couple hotels and large round building (offices or something else), definitely roof of Ferrari World. Nothing attractive...

In general both times condition of fields was good, greens fast and relatively large with many pin positions, fairways with some laps of ground, but playable. Clubhouse is big and spacious with views to sea (gulf). Food and beer in restaurant is pretty good and prices are high enough.

Golf course is challenging enough except few holes. One of remembrance hole was No. 7 (par 5 really challenging and risky), No. 9 and No. 15 (short, drivable par 4 that requires risky shot over water and bunkers to reach, tricky hole). 17th hole is about 200 y and the longest par 3 on the course making for a really difficult finish in windy conditions. The last hole (par 5) is the longest and one of the hardest on the course. Into the front wind it required a crazy long drive and not worse second shot with wood. To play towards a huge gully that drops down to the water must to carry huge perfectly 3 wood direct and carefully. After this hole the pint of beer is necessary.

No doubt every golf course rating is always a subject with a lot of subjectivity, depending on various criteria. I always rating by the following criteria: course complexity or challenging, fields condition (especially greens & fairways), service (only what you can get: buggie, club rent, condition of clubs, the amount of choice and etc. except staff and other subjective things that depends on your or staff mood), surrounding views or pleasure to the eyes and definitely value for the price. All criteries will be rating from 1 to 5 stars. Concerning Yas Links my personal opinion is follow:

1. Challenging - 5*

2. Condition - 4* (could be better especially fairways)

3. Service - 4*

4. Surroundings - 3* +

5. Value for the price - 3* +

I think it's really not worth going back again.

March 25, 2019
6 / 10
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David Davis

In January of last year it was time for the first trip to the Middle East for golf. First on the list was the highly acclaimed Kyle Phillips gem Yas Links.

One of the interesting aspects of this project, other than the usual fact that it was built totally in the desert, is that the Phillips team not only designed the course from ground up but also had the Yas Links Golf Course - Photo by reviewer opportunity to design the entire area including most of what you see between the course and the sea. Thus a major project and the end result is pretty incredible all things considered. Yes, this is another very high end Middle East Members Club and arguably the best course in the Emirates, especially given its recent world top 100 ranking awarded by one of the US magazines.

One thing that is very different about desert courses in the Middle East is that you have to get use to the extreme modern skylines, which are often filled with, or soon to be filled with, cities. Yas on the other hand sits next to the Ferrari World Amusement Park for lack of a better word. Besides that you see a couple large hotels and this large round building off in the distance that looks as if it will take off into space one day to bring the first space pioneers to their destination. (Look at my photos).

The front 9 has an excellent routing taking you out from the clubhouse before cutting back towards the water on the 2nd hole. It’s amazing that this course was made from literally nothing as the shaping has been made to seem very natural in this links-like set up without a single tree if memory serves correctly. The playing conditions are fast and firm even with the warm weather grasses. Though they still take some getting use to when chipping or putting from around the green.

The greens have interesting shaping and are relatively large with many interesting pin positions. I really like the par 3 4th hole with a slight Redan character on the right side though the green is Yas Links Golf Course - Photo by reviewer large enough that the hole would completely change if the pin was middle or left. The risk reward, reachable par 5 7th offered a very interesting cut off as much as you can chew tee shot with the tiger line being over bunkers flanking the right side of the fairway. A solid tee shot allowed for an opportunity to go for the green which was blind and up over a hill. This green had some crazy shaping with a right front severe fall off – a great aspect for this risk reward par 5.

Finally, the 9th hole which was very different from the tips as opposed to the white tees due to the fact that it offered a much more interesting angle on the tee shot. However, note there was a significant carry of about 220 yards required even though it played downwind on a couple of our rounds there – actually more so in the afternoon when the wind seemed to pick up. We were told this was a reverse wind so perhaps into a 3 club wind I would sing a different tune. In any case the 9th is another gem of a hole bringing you back to the clubhouse.

The back 9 really picks up where the front 9 left off and runs down the coast in the opposite direction of the clubhouse. Now the spaceship I mentioned earlier really comes into view on every hole. At the par 3 14th the spaceship serves as a backdrop for the green and makes the hole rather surreal. The hole is a short iron that must factor the wind into play and plays over water to a fairly large green. Finding the correct distance in the elements is tricky here.

The 15th is a short, often drivable par 4 that requires a heroic shot over water and bunkers to reach Yas Links Golf Course - Photo by reviewer in one. I’m guessing on most occasions this short dogleg right is better played with something like a hybrid or low iron and a wedge. Tricky hole!

The 17th hole is about 200 yards and the longest par 3 on the course making for a really tough finish. Playing into a very strong wind our playing partner nailed his driver to about 10 ft. Shot of the day even though we were mocking him before for taking out driver.

The 18th is a finishing par 5 that is terribly long and admittedly my least favorite hole on the course. To say it’s tough is a huge understatement. Into the wind it required a crazy good drive, but what made it so tough was really the second shot. It plays towards a huge gully that drops down to the water. To carry it required a perfectly struck 3 wood and that was when you played off to the right. Laying up left at least 2 shots which felt very awkward. Perhaps downwind this would feel much different, but no matter what with the space given that second shot would never be easy. For me this might have been too tough a finish to this great course. Ultimately challenging, yes, however, I’m not sure it’s a great idea to send most golfers home unable to finish the 18th hole.

One thing is certain; Abu Dhabi has been put on the golf map thanks to Yas Links. If you ever venture to the Emirates for golf, try and play here. You won’t regret it!

March 07, 2019
8 / 10
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Fergal O'Leary

Yas Links is another wonderful addition to Kyle Phillips' global portfolio. The shaping team did a magnificent job taking a flat desert in Abu Dhabi (UAE) and created wonderful undulation, hollows, humps and bumps.

After a gentle opener, the course grows some teeth with enjoyable changes in direction and a commendable variety in how the holes are configured. I felt that the course really stepped up a few notches from the par 5 7th hole onward. A large mound dominates the landscape down the 7th fairway setting up a blind second shot into a par 5. Once again, Kyle entices to hit a heroic shot on a reachable par 5. The par 3 8th hole brings Yes Links Golf Course - Photo by reviewer you to the sparkling body of water surrounding much of the Yas Links course, and presents a wonderfully shaped green with many dangerous pin positions near the water’s edge. The water runs all the way up the par 4 9th which has superbly positioned fairway bunkers. It’s a very tough hole to close out the opening loop.

Much of the praise for Yas Links comes from the strength of the holes on the back nine, especially playing along and over the crystal blue body of water that is an integral part of the course. The shaping is highly commendable from fairway to green-apron and the course asks a lot of you to hit heroic carries over water. Stand out shot includes the tee shot on the par 3 17th over water into a very well protected green followed the 18th hole which I would describe as a ‘double cape hole’. For those courageous enough, both the drive and the second shot on this massive par 5 are over huge bodies of water. Standing on the 18th tee will give you shivers (if such a thing is possible in 42 C degrees of heat) looking out at where you’re supposed to hit the ball.

The closing five holes at Yas Links are an absolute monster challenge and it’s no surprise at all that both professionals and amateurs rank this as #1 in the Middle East by a country mile. Kyle provided very intelligent teeing ground options to ensure the course is playable and the forced carries are in line with player’s abilities. Given that you’re in the desert, the architect also made a commendable effort to make this feel like a links course with careful discrete placement of buggy paths, well thought out tee box presentation close to the previous greens and wonderful positioned pot bunkers integrated with superbly shaped mounds/bluffs.

There is a lot of construction going on all around the golf course which in places can be unattractive, but such is life in this part of the world where hundreds of cranes are part of the ever growing skyline. There is so much to love about this golf course and the way that Kyle Phillips created a crescendo of challenge and excitement throughout this incredible piece of land.

June 21, 2017
8 / 10
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David Ramsay

I and my wife played here twice during our week break in Abu Dhabi, without any question this course is spectacular. The 1st days play we had the Shamal wind was blowing strongly which meant 16, 17 & 18 were playing right into the wind - Wow what a set of closing holes; really world class. We really did not expect the course to be so good, we're from Scotland and have played Kingsbarns and members at Carnoustie - this course stand tall with these and the other great links courses - and better than many!

The 2nd day we played the wind had dropped and softened the course, but this did not detract from the course.

Would we return? Yes absolutely; 100%. Our thanks go out to the green keeping staff who have managed to keep the course in top condition.

March 09, 2017
10 / 10
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Ivo Sefranek
The Yas Links was a very mixed experience for me. The course itself is great, although not a true links. The design and the condition is fantastic and I think it is the best course in Abu Dhabi. Unfortunately it is completely surrounded by ugly and loud construction sites which spoil every view. Never the less the green fee is very high: I payed 180€ weekdays which is a lot I think. The really, really annoying fact for me was the following: my wife is pregnant and cannot play at the moment, so she decided to accompany me in the cart. At the Yas Links I had to pay an extra 20€ for her as a spectator fee! I have never heard something like this anywhere in the world and I always try to play the top courses. For me this is absolutely ridicules and it spoiled my Yas experience completely.
March 29, 2016
4 / 10
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Bernhard Koehler
October 26, 2018

what does the personal story (which is for sure a insolence of the golf club) have to do with a golf course rating? i can`t understand such reviews. "... The course itself is great, although not a true links. The design and the condition is fantastic and I think it is the best course in Abu Dhabi." and then a 3 ball rating?

Jeff Kissel
October 31, 2018

I've paid more than that for a spectator at least once. It's commonplace on high end courses.

Mark
Just back from a 4-round Buddy trip to Abu Dhabi. Yas Links was our second stop and we all loved it. Apart from the excellent condition, we were surprised by the pleasantly relaxed feel of the facility. The clubhouse had an almost british Pub atmosphere.Holes 10-18 had the edge for us. All par 3s were spectacular. A true links course in the heat and the Ferrari world as Background. Crazy.
March 10, 2016
10 / 10
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Julian Dell
Brilliant Course in great condition. Recommend walking to enjoy fully the design and nuances of the course. When I played greens were fantastic - typical links with lots of Swales - would guess you could set some very tough pins!
April 06, 2015
10 / 10
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steve
January 16, 2016
played in dec what a pleasure I played with a lady member and I think the course is set up hard for the girls, but if you ever get the chance its great well worth the money.
Tom Sleater
Played many of the courses on this site, and these days only really tend to add reviews for stellar courses. Yas Links is certainly one of those. The place belies its years and does give a strong links account (i am a member of RCPGC as well so feel well placed to judge). The holes are all strong and there is good length and use of the land - with true greens and great vistas of both the sea and the ferrari action. The closing three holes are card scorchers if you are not on your metal...its a pleasure to play. slight downside would be the cost - but its only money...and i think its pretty standard for the area and certainly no worse that the likes of dubai creek etc. i would strongly make this the first on the list for those touring dubai or abu...its that good.
April 04, 2013
10 / 10
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