Course spotlight: Al Mouj, OmanFebruary 26, 2019 Courses and Travel
Greg Norman's design and home of the Oman Open is a match for anything in noisy neighbours the UAE, writes Chris Bertram
The back story
The Wave, Muscat, is Oman’s leading tourism development, and the Greg Norman-designed Al Mouj is the centrepiece of the complex.
Muscat is the capital of the Sultanate and is located on the coast, four hours’ drive south of Dubai.
And while Oman is hardly synonymous with golf, it happens to be home to no fewer than three courses, with Al Mouj comfortably the stand-out.
Al Mouj is all about the setting, being located along a 2km stretch of sandy coastline north of the centre of Muscat.
But it is also a serious test, stretching to 7,342 yards and every inch a championship course.
It enjoys views of the Gulf of Oman – every hole has a sight of the ocean – as well as the dramatic Hajar Mountains that dominate the Muscat skyline.
Al Mouj incorporates natural and man-made sand dunes and several holes sit right next to the sea.
It is not dissimilar to Yas Links in Abu Dhabi – regarded as the UAE’s finest course – in the way it mixes strong golf holes with a spectacular setting.
In winter (October to May) it costs £250 weekdays and £300 weekend (Friday and Saturday).
From June to September it is £150 and £175 – but be aware it will be steamy hot then. All green fees include buggy hire.
There is no on-site accommodation (resorts are not really a thing in the Middle East) but that just means you can stay in one of the best hotels in the world instead.
The Chedi is 15 minutes from Al Mouj and it is hard to imagine more than a handful of hotels worldwide can match it for style, luxury and tranquility.
The rooms are sophisticated but comfortable, there is a choice of three pools – including an infinity one that is the Middle East’s longest – there is a sumptuous spa and gym, and the food is predictably special… from lavish breakfasts to not-to-be-missed afternoon tea.
Even if Al Mouj wasn’t so good, The Chedi is plenty enough to lure you to Muscat.
In January, stay for four nights in The Chedi and receive a complimentary upgrade to the next room category plus save 10 per cent off any treatment at The Spa and 10 per cent off food in all of the hotel’s dining options.