With many of the world’s best heading to the Gulf state of United Arab Emirates this week for the 12th edition of the HSBC Golf Championship, we thought it would give us the perfect opportunity to provide the Hole19 community with a review of the National course at Abu Dhabi Golf Club.
Abu Dhabi Golf Club (National course)
Located just a short drive away from the hustle and bustle of the world’s largest hand-crafted city, the host venue of 2017’s biggest tournament so far will be sure to provide its usual fair, yet challenging golfing test.
At 7,583 yards, the Abu Dhabi Golf Club’s National course provides a solid Par 72 examination and, arguably, is as aesthetically pleasing as you are likely to find anywhere in desert golf. For good reason, Peter Harradine’s masterpiece has been dubbed “an oasis of tranquility carved out of the desert”.
The course boasts 18 holes of lush fairways and strategically placed bunkers, while the slick, undulating greens mean that one-putts will be at a real premium, with two-putts graciously accepted.
Hole focus: 8th hole – Par 5 (541 yards)
There are many great holes on this golf course. Its signature would have to be the Par 3 12th - with water to carry and a landscaped rock wall backdrop, this one is not for the faint-hearted. Graeme McDowell is probably a bit of a fan too after doing this in 2012:
Of the others, we like the Par 5 8th.
Hole 8, in particular, provides a solid birdie opportunity for the golfer who plays it in the correct manner. With the hole doglegging to the left, a well-executed draw will set-up an opportunity to go for the green in two.
Get out of position with your approach shot and there are numerous bunkers ready to greedily snare your ball. If you do find the sand with your third shot all is not lost, as reigning champion Rickie Fowler showed us last year.
Summoning all of his expert technique, at just the right time, Rickie bounced back from double-bogey on the 7th by holing out for an eagle 3 on the very next hole.
It would be remiss of us not to mention the striking falcon-shaped clubhouse design at the course. There are few clubhouses in the world of golf as spectacular as that which overlooks the 9th and 18th greens on the National course. It is truly outstanding.
For any of our Hole19 community members who may visit Abu Dhabi in the near future, we would advise you give this one a try. It won’t come cheap, with a round likely to set you back upwards of £100.
The rest of us will just have to enjoy this golfing “super course” from the comfort of our own armchairs, as the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship starts this Thursday.