Trump International Golf Club, Dubai is a world-class golf course, exceeding all expectations. The 7,300-yard, par 71 course is located just ten minutes from Sheikh Zayed Road and sits at the heart of the 42 million square foot Damac Hills master development. World-renowned and 2016 Olympic golf course architect, Gil Hanse, was appointed to design the spectacular 18-hole golf course.
The opening hole is long and without any yardage guides. With desert scrub running down the left and Out of Bounds down the right you would think it’s a nervy opener. But far from it. It’s wide and open with no rough to worry about. Your only concern is going long as the fairway narrows and brings bunkers to play on the right and the desert landscape opens up to create one large bunker area close to the green.
Holes 2 through to 7 boomerang around a wall of luxury apartments where the ‘links’ theme continues. Once the residents are in situe, it will give a unique grandstand feel to the course. It will be the ideal gallery spot whenever a championship event is staged here.
Hole 8 starts to make its way away from the apartments as you head for home. But this is one hole that you need to watch out for. A fairway bunker on the left will draw you into playing out to the right where there is plenty of room. But you are positioned at the wrong angle to approach the green and will have to tackle three greenside bunkers that guard the elevated green. Again, Hanse has you thinking you are playing a links course.
Hole 9 has desert scrub down both sides of a narrowing fairway and houses on the right. The challenge is the green that is protected by a large lake that cuts in from the right. There’s also a series of bunkers to the left and right edge. There is plenty of room to the right but watch out as your ball could easily come into play on the first fairway. It will be interesting to see what the ruling for this hole turns out to be.
The back nine of Trump Dubai is a par-35 and plays more than 300 yards shorter than the front. (From the tips the course measures 7,229 yards, with a rating of 73.9 and slope of 131.) But the back nine features the most talked-about holes on the course. “I loved No. 12,” says young English pro Tyrrell Hatton, who holds the unofficial course record with a 67.
The 17th has to be the ‘Signature’ hole. A short par 3 that just draws you in visually around the manicured desert landscape and bunkers. But it’s more straightforward than you might think. With a wedge or nine iron in your hand you can afford to go long and bring the ball back towards the hole using the open area at the rear as a back stop.
This extraordinary project features a 30,000 square foot clubhouse, which is the largest of its kind in Dubai. Overlooking the 9th and 18th greens, the expansive clubhouse offers four high-end restaurants, state-of-the-art gymnasium and a luxurious infinity swimming pool. The development also includes a golf pro shop, offering the latest in equipment and apparel; a golf academy with a 9-hole, par 3 academy course; and a double sided driving range, chipping facility and putting greens that emulate the undulations of the course to accurately reflect the challenges that await.