Golfing around... Jumeirah Golf Estates Dubai
EARTH AND FIRE COURSES, JUMEIRAH GOLF ESTATES DUBAI
The Earth Course has grabbed the European Tour spotlight but Robbie Greenfield believes the Fire Course will ignite golfers' passions
Where is it? Jumeirah Golf Estates is sandwiched between Dubai Investment Park and the International Media Production Zone, and you can drive straight in from the Emirates Road highway (E311).
What's it like? The only thing Greg Norman’s Earth and Fire courses at Jumeirah Golf Estates share in common is their immaculate Tifway 419 Bermuda grass playing surfaces. Beyond that, they have about as much in common as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
Where Earth has smooth, formal curves, Fire has unkempt, jagged edges. The rich, deep colours of the former are contrasted by Fire’s singed, rustic appearance. One course dazzles with made-for-television aesthetics, while the other has the more subtle look of a traditionalist’s course. But there is no doubt that in terms of quality, Fire is every inch Earth’s equal.
“From the moment I started working on both courses, I always marginally preferred Fire,” says Bob Knott, the senior course development manager at Jumeirah Golf Estates. “To me, there is more strategy involved in it and I think it’s a course that will appeal to purists.”
Like Earth, several alterations have been made to the course over the past few months, with a change of grasses yielding large clumps of dropseed and the signature ‘fire’ grass in the peripheral areas and around the lips of some of the bunkers. Fire is not as long as Earth (it’s still a monster at nearly 7,600 yards) but is easily capable of one day sharing Dubai World Championship hosting duties with its sister course.
With Earth absorbing the lion’s share of attention in the run-up to the European Tour’s inaugural season finale (13th green pictured), Fire has been allowed to progress stealthily under the radar.
Although Fire’s greens are equally as large as Earth’s they are not as severely undulating. This is probably just as well, because the penalty for missing the playing surface could be more severe, given the extent and complexity of the bunkering.
When both courses open for members and residents in December, it will be fascinating to see which of these two Norman designs earns more plaudits.
Address: Jumeirah Golf Estates, PO Box 262080, Dubai, UAE
Contact details: Tel (9714) 3759999
Club hours: Reservations from 6.30am-7.30pm
Facilities: First floor clubhouse restaurant and balcony, fully equipped retail shop, tennis academy with two floodlit courts.
Price: Summer 18-hole rates are AED375 on weekdays, rising to AED495 at weekends. Nine holes will cost you AED295 and AED375 respectively.
Minimum handicap: Not necessary
Can I hire some clubs? Yes, AED150 for a full set
After the golf: Unwind in the clubhouse, alternatively you're not far from Dubai Marina and the mall, restaurant and hotel-studded 'New Dubai' district.
For more information, visit jumeirahgolfestates.com
Report by Robbie Greenfield
martinrop - 01/10/2013 08:23
Hi we are really looking forward to our visit, at the end of October to play the fire course, think it is 28th, cant wait.
ADD A COMMENT »