Abu Dhabi Golf Club: one of the Tour’s best tracksJanuary, 2012
Home to the country's annual European Tour event, Abu Dhabi Golf Club is a true test of all parts of your game...
It’s not every day you get a chance to play a European Tour venue, but if you visit Abu Dhabi you could do just that.
This is where the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship is played – Tiger will be there in a few weeks – and is an incredibly difficult resort-style course. When I visited, we were lucky enough to tackle the course the day after Martin Kaymer’s thumping win in January and the condition was better than anything I’ve ever seen. The greens were lightning fast and true, the fairways and tees like carpets, and the rough as thick as you’ll see.
Playing the course in tour condition is an experience you’ll never forget – there is no doubt – but tackle it from the tournament tees like we did and you’ll leave a broken man. I’d definitely recommend visiting a good few weeks after the tournament finishes to make the experience a bit more enjoyable.
Managed by Troon Golf, Abu Dhabi GC is the oldest club in the city and is arguably the course with most appeal. Saadiyat Beach and Yas Links are stunning in their own right, but you could argue a lot less playable everything being equal.
The stand-out holes here, for me, were the mid-length par-3 12th that’s played almost totally over water with a stone wall behind the green, the 9th – a long par-4 with water either side of the fairway, leading up to the famous hawk clubhouse, and the 5th – a really difficult right-to-left dogleg par-4 risk and reward hole.