How to play the 18th hole on the Majlis at Emirates Golf Club | By Jonathan Craddock

If you don’t know where you are going, you will end up someplace else.” – Yogi Berra. This quote rings true for many things in life but I think it’s very apt when out on the golf course as you must always have a plan for a hole and play to your strengths. The Majlis really does reward solid golf, and if you can hit your ball long and straight from the tee you can take the course on.

That said, if you have great distance control with your wedges, your plan may differ with the idea to leave a perfect yardage and wedge it close to leave some birdie putts. The 18th is one of many holes on the Majlis that will reward a well-executed plan. Over the years, the final stretch of the Majlis has created a fine spectacle with the 18th offering a potential big swing amongst the leaders.

In 2017 the 18th tee was moved to the right for the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic to offer players the ability to play different shapes into a fairway that slopes away from the landing point towards the water. This new tee offers more of a left-to-right sloped landing angle. The hole doglegs from right-to-left with wind often dictating how much of the corner players may choose to take off. Wind in the area differs from the morning to afternoon, with the afternoon usually playing into the wind and therefore the later groups can face a tougher task. Following your drive, you will be left with a decision to go for the green or lay-up, and it’s always tempting to go for the green when you see Colin Montgomerie’s plaque in the fairway acknowledging his glorious driver off the deck in the final round of 1996 to win the event.

The question here is always to evaluate the risk and reward situation, and if you have a wedge number you are confident to lay up to, then quite often playing the percentages is the best bet. Having the correctly gapped wedges and working on your numbers is something you should be doing on a consistent basis to help reduce your score. Upon approaching the green, which slopes from back right to front left, it is always nice to leave yourself a small uphill putt to enjoy the view of the city and reflect on the memories of playing the historic Majlis course.

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