02 Apr 2020

Is Dubai the perfect place to raise a golfer?

Warm weather, pristine courses and state-of-the-art training facilities make Dubai the ideal spot for a golfer to develop their skills and, hopefully, progress to play on tour. In 1988, Emirates Golf Club’s iconic Majlis was the first grass course to be opened, but as the city has developed so too has the golf scene with Dubai now having 12 golf courses. We spoke to a number of aspiring golfers, coaches and professionals to find out what they think of Dubai as a golfing hub for up-and-coming talents.

CLAUDE HARMON

“Certainly, living in a climate where you can play golf 365 days a year makes Dubai an outstanding place to be a golfer. Dubai’s Rayhan Thomas has gone on to study at the No.1 golf college in the world, Oklahoma State University, where PGA Tour stars Matt Wolff, Viktor Hovland and Rickie Fowler all graduated. I think 16 year old record-breaker Josh Hill will help put the UAE even more on the map for junior golf with the career path he takes. Hopefully, this will inspire another young group of players to emulate what these boys have achieved.”

TOBY BISHOP

 

“The facilities in Dubai are amazing, practicing at The Els Club and playing courses like Trump International Golf Club, Dubai – the fantastic opportunities we have living in Dubai, I probably wouldn’t have had living in the UK, so I’m very lucky and fortunate to be living and growing up here.”

JOSH HILL

“My parents moved here a month before I was born so I’ve lived here for 16 years now. It’s been amazing growing up in Dubai with all the great clubs on offer in the region; it really is a fantastic place to get to grips with the game. The first membership I ever had was at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club. The club has such a great atmosphere and everyone seemed to get along really well with each other. The course is obviously really well kept and it’s also a challenge, so it really helped me grow my game and become the player I am today.”


STEPHEN DEANE

“Dubai is perfect for many reasons, and it’s certainly a privilege to learn the game in this wonderful environment.

Outstanding practice facilities and championship golf courses are a given and this is backed up with great coaching and development programmes.

There’s a structure to the learning in Dubai and a development pathway at every level of the golfing journey. The weather is obviously ideal for seven months of the year and this also attracts many of the world’s best players to use Dubai as a practice hub during the off-season.

This practice hub also adds to the package as many of our promising juniors are exposed to world-class players on a weekly basis. They understand what it takes to reach that level and they aren’t intimidated. In many instances it becomes normal for them to interact, practice and play with touring Professionals. This, obviously, is a unique benefit that can only help progress their games.

The multicultural environment here is also a benefit as you learn how to live and develop in a city with so many wonderful individuals with varying beliefs, styles, cuisines, celebrations and languages. It’s a fantastic learning environment for a future touring Professional who plans to play this game globally.

The competitive scene is also strong and developing each year. The MENA Tour has certainly been a massive positive to the region and it’s great having our top amateurs competing regularly and successfully against Professionals. We also provide pathways to college golf in America which can lead to successful scholarship opportunities. Education is vitally important and again is another reason why Dubai works.”


MICHAEL HARRADINE

“Dubai is a great place to raise a golfer. We are very fortunate that there are so many courses with state-of- the-art practice facilities that are kept in great condition and can be played all year round. Once you have reached a certain level though, you have to play tournaments and gain experience in different conditions abroad. Tournaments and conditions aren’t always as rosy as they are in Dubai!”


BRADLEY MOGIRE

“There are so many great opportunities for golfers out here in Dubai, especially up-and- coming players. The weather is fantastic so you could play all year round if you wanted to, although you might get cooked alive in the summer! We have so many world class courses in the region that give players a great opportunity to hone their game and there is a lot of healthy competition between players. Josh Hill, Arjun Gupta and Toby Bishop are three very talented youngsters who all want to beat each other and that has helped push them to be the best they can be. It’s great to see the friendly rivalry and it can only be a good thing for golf in Dubai. We’re also lucky to witness the world’s best players in Dubai twice

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