Prior to 1989 it was tricky to enter Qatar as a tourist but these days the country is warmly hospitable and a unique holiday destination. With plenty of high-class hotels, restaurants and wonderful leisure facilities surrounded by the inland sea of towering sand dunes… perfect for an exciting desert safari. Wonderful beaches stretch alongside the glistening Arabian Gulf and large modern shopping complexes offer world famous brands alongside bustling souq market stalls – once the preserve of Bedouin traders.
According to the Qatar Golf Association, golf in the State of Qatar dates back to 1949 when the first course was built in Dukhan by the Iraq Petroleum Company. In those days the game was played on the desert browns and today many Qatari golfers still play on desert sand courses.
Qatar’s first grass course opened for play in the mid 90s. It was designed by Peter Harradine and is located some 10km to the north of the capital at Doha Golf Club. Starting in 1998, Doha Golf Club hosted twenty-two editions of the European Tour’s Qatar Masters, played annually between January and March. Tournament winners include Major champions Ernie Els (2005), Sergio Garcia (2014), Retief Goosen (2007), Paul Lawrie (1999, 2012), Adam Scott (2002, 2008) and Henrik Stenson (2006). The event moved to Education City in 2020.
The Qatar Foundation engaged
Olazabal Design to construct a new, no expense spared, course which was scheduled to be built entirely – tee to green – to USGA green specifications.
José María Olazábal and lead architect Toni Ortner then fashioned
the 18-hole Education
City layout (along with a 6-hole course
and a floodlit 9-hole par three track) using Platinum Paspalum
grass, which opened in early 2019.
Our Middle East rankings were last updated in March 2021. Click the link to read the story.