A visual treat, this has to be one of the best courses not only in the Middle East, but in the world. What they have managed to do here (a piece of marshland only 5 years ago) is not short of exceptional. It is easy to forget that you are playing in Abu Dhabi and not in Scotland, until the mid afternoon heat hits you. Every hole is a thing of beauty to behold and a joy to play. I was playing with two Scots who've played many of the classic links courses (St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Turnberry, etc.) and they rated this as high as anything back home. High praise indeed.The round begins gently and gets progressively more challenging and stunning. From the fantastic par 3 8th to the beautiful and thrilling par 5 18th, this course can hold it's own with any around the world. Kyle Phillips has shown his mastery of links golf with holes which allow a variety of ways in which to conquer them. The fairways are open and rolling, inviting you to really go for it. But beware of the rough, which is shin high and punishing. One errant drive can lead to a real card wrecker. The greens are large, wonderfully fast and true, with subtle breaks which make putting from even 6 feet a test. The bunkering is not excessive and well thought out, with sand conditions consistent throughout, unlike some courses out here.When we played the wind was gentle, but it was still a great test. With a stronger breeze, I imagine this would be a brute. All in all, a unique and wonderful experience for this part of the world. For a proper golfing test, breathtaking views and sheer golfing pleasure, nothing else compares to it in the region.
Date: October 26, 2012