One of the drawbacks of this beautiful game is the time it takes to play 18 holes. For most golfing mortals, ‘getting out’ once a week is as good as it gets and more often than not, weekly practice time is limited to about 15 minutes before your tee time and a couple of putts on the practice green by the first hole. It is therefore no surprise that we find it hard to improve and get those scores down and improve the old handicap.
Considering that a good 75 per cent of our strokes are from short distance, maybe 150 yards or less, it is a decent strategy to focus on improving that particular aspect of the game and the availability of excellent nine-hole par-three courses in the UAE provide the perfect environment. An additional major benefit is in the relatively short time it takes to play such a course and the cost is very reasonable too.
Trump International Golf Club in Dubai has a superbly manicured, floodlit, nine-hole-hole par-three course. The holes range from 100 to 195 yards and water is in play on most of the holes that are routed around a large central lake. The undulating greens are fast and challenging (well they were on Monday night) and the pace of play was steady. A 6.15pm start saw our ‘two ball’ walk off the ninth green an hour after starting the round. (Yes, we walked the course, there are no buggies here). Not a bad way to finish the day and start the evening.
This facility offers ample parking and a quaint facility called the ‘Caddy Shack Drive In’ where food and beverages are available and a comfortable outside terrace overlooking the course — with those big portable air conditioners to keep you cool.
- Dubai Duty Free Irish Open: Straight hitting from Dubai’s Adri Arnaus
- All in the family: World No. 1 Nelly Korda’s PGA Championship triumph keeps the golf ball rolling
- High societies: New visitors can offer golf clubs social security and a nice money-spinner
- Dubai Duty Free Irish Open: Peter Cowen on his players
For nine holes play, non-members of Trump International Golf Club will pay Dh110 before 6pm and Dh125 between 6pm and 8.50pm. Luckily for me, my playing partner was a member and the guest rate was Dh85.
All in all, this was a value for money experience, a good challenge (to try to break 30) and a really great practice session. This also has to be a great way for beginners to gain confidence before migrating to the big 18-hole challenge.