The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia or Al-Mamlaka al-Arabiya as-Saudiya to give the country its official name is the largest country on the Arabian Peninsula. Occasionally known as ‘The Lands of The Two Holy Mosques’, referring to Mecca and Medina – Islam's two holiest cities – Saudi is a country of intrigue and sand, lots and lots of sand.
But there’s much more to Saudi than a desert landscape, there’s plateaux and mountains too. The country is also steeped in history and Saudi is the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad and the cradle of Islam. With more than 25% of the world's known oil reserves, Saudi Arabia is a very wealthy country, but the game of golf has only just begun to take its grip on the Kingdom.
There are more than a dozen courses in Saudi, some are sand based layouts with browns instead of greens, but there are eight grassed courses which include: Safaa (a 9-hole layout for city residents and their guests) and Royal Greens (opened in November 2017) near Jeddah, Rolling Hills (built for Aramco employees) in Dahran, Arizona (a 9-hole community-based course) and Dirab in Riyadh. Not too far from the capital are two other 18-hole facilities called Riyadh Golf Courses and Nofa Golf Resorts.
In November 2020, Golf Saudi revealed ambitious plans to build between 16 and 23 new golf courses and host at least four professional tournaments by 2030. The Crown Prince’s commitment to golf extends beyond course building to possibly including golf within the school curriculum. The Kingdom’s golfing future is bright.
Our Middle East rankings were last updated in February 2019. Click the link to read the story.