What’s in Will Zalatoris’ winning golf bag?
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Year-round sunshine and temperatures of around 25°C from January to April make Abu Dhabi the perfect winter golf getaway. With world-class golf courses and amazing hotels, the capital of the UAE is hard to beat for the sun-seeking golfer.
Abu Dhabi’s sunny and warm winter climate provides the perfect conditions for playing golf, while the pristine golf courses here are in immaculate condition all-year-round.
The National course at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club hosts the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA on the European Tour each year and it provides one of the best golf experiences in the Middle East. Leading designer Peter Harradine has carved out 18 exceptional holes with perfectly manicured fairways from the surrounding desert. The Falcon clubhouse is a must-see, and there’s also floodlit golf with tee times up to 9pm.
Ranked by All Square as the best course in the Middle East, Yas Links, on the western shores of Yas Island, is a superb Scottish-style links course where all 18 holes have views of the ocean. Designed by Kyle Phillips, it has one of the best finishing stretches in golf, with the Ferrari World Abu Dhabi theme park and the Yas Marina Circuit, home to the Formula 1™ Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, in the background. It also hosts the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open on the Ladies European Tour.
This is another must-play course. Designed by legendary South African golfer Gary Player, it was the Arabian Gulf’s first seaside course when it opened in 2010, with several holes commanding views of the ocean.
For a unique test of golf, there’s also the Al Ghazal Golf Club, one of the world’s best sand courses where the greens and fairways are made of compacted sand. For a nine-hole option, Abu Dhabi City Golf Club is also worth a visit.
Hotels in Abu Dhabi are very well suited to both families and groups of friends – perfect for a golf trip. Most leading hotel chains have four- and five-star properties here. The most spectacular is the five-star W Abu Dhabi on Yas Island, located at the centre of the Yas Marina Circuit racetrack. A great location for those playing at the Yas Links Abu Dhabi.
For those teeing off at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, the five-star Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi is an exclusive sanctuary located on a 9km stretch of beach on Saadiyat Island, adjacent to the golf course. The St Regis Saadiyat Island Resort is another five-star option offering its own private beach on the island, right next to the course.
Make the most of the fantastic winter weather by heading to Abu Dhabi’s incredible coastline. Corniche Beach is a great spot for relaxing, while Saadiyat Island has a long strip of beautiful white sand. Yas Beach is another fantastic option, where sunseekers holidaying at any of Yas Island’s hotels receive complimentary access to this majestic stretch of luxurious white sand lined with sunbeds and cabanas.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is an absolute must-see, as is the Louvre Abu Dhabi, a stunning art and civilisation museum on Saadiyat Island. If you prefer a stroll or bike ride, then visit the Corniche, a promenade that stretches the length of the northwest shore of the city with views of the skyline.
Considered the symbolic birthplace of Abu Dhabi, Qasr Al Hosn is arguably the most captivating site you can visit here. The oldest and most significant building in the capital, Qasr Al Hosn dates back to around 1760 and is the city’s oldest standing structure. Today, after extensive restoration, it is considered a living memorial and the narrator of Abu Dhabi’s history.
The Cultural Foundation forms part of the complex, a cultural hub with a Visual Arts Centre, historic exhibits, gallery space, state-of-the-art children’s library and theatre. Also located here is the House of Artisans, built to celebrate the artistic relationship between the UAE’s people and its landscape, and showcasing gorgeous displays of traditional Emirati handicrafts.