Me and my golf bag: Faldo Course at Emirates Golf Club – May 4th 2016

Emirates Golf Club 14th holeWOW! The word that best sums up my experience of the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai. At the start of May I had a week in Dubai and couldn’t resist a cheeky round of golf at one of the most amazing locations on the European Tour. There are not a lot of sports where you can play where your heroes do but golf is one of them. Whilst Mrs Every_Third_Day spent the morning sunbathing I headed over the Emirates Golf Club for 18 holes on the Faldo course.

From the moment I walked in to the clubhouse I was blown away but place. It is easily the best golfing experience I’ve ever had. As part of every ‘Me and my golf bag’ post I always review the course, clubhouse, shop, facilities and experience and the Emirates Golf Club has set a new standard for all other courses.

Emirates Golf Club 8th holeBefore I review the club I should review my own performance on the Faldo course, it wasn’t bad but could’ve been a LOT better. As per my other ‘Me and my golf bag’ blogs I have identified 3 positives and one area that needs a little more practice.

Positive one – I played with a positive mindset

One of the books I read over in Dubai was ‘Golf is not a game of perfect’ by Bob Rotella. If you are a fan of golf and not read this book I urge you to go to amazon right now and buy it! I read the book in two days and it changed the way I look at a round. The mental side of the game is so important and improving it is really going to help me reduce my handicap. I had a really positive round on the Faldo course (even if my score didn’t reflect that) and the book played a big part in that. When I made a silly mistake I was able to put it out of my mind and focus on the next shot. This meant that I didn’t compound one error with another. My positive approach lead me holing two putts that normally I would be happy getting within a couple of feet of the hole. It is very early days but playing with a positive mindset could unlock some low scores in the near future.

Positive two – The most amazing bunker shot of my life

I freely admit that I am not a great bunker player, I really struggle to get up and down from greenside bunkers and I don’t do much better with their fairway counterparts. However on the 15th hole I played the best bunker shot of my life. With more bunker to clear than green to work with I hit the purest shot to land the ball just short of the hole and watched it release out to four feet. I stood in the bunker for a good minute in slight amazement. Had I just played that shot? Well I had and I now know I can hit great bunker shots. No more excuses I should be aiming to go close whenever I find myself in a greenside sand trap! Oh and I did roll in the four footer in case you were wondering.

Positive three – Recovering from a terrible tee shot on the 18th

After 17 holes I was one shot under my handicap and had a great chance of going round two under if I played the final hole sensibly. Well unfortunately I hit the worst tee shot of my life, not just this year, MY LIFE! I tried to rip a 3-wood down the middle of the fairway and completely cocked it up. I had to laugh at myself because it was so terrible it was funny. Although I was in serious trouble I knew I could still make par and protect one under score. After a great recover shot, a monster four iron and good 9-iron I was left with two putts for a net par. I rolled the first one just passed the hole but left myself with a two footer which I tapped in. In the past I would’ve been really annoyed with myself for hitting such a poor tee shot but thanks to Bob’s advice I saved net par and walked off the course very happy.

Area for improvement – Tee shots

Miss the fairway on the Faldo course and you end up playing your second shot from the compact, dried earth if you are lucky and out of a thick desert grass if you aren’t. My driving game was not on song and I spent too much time on the hitting my second shot from the compact, dried earth. Following the round I booked in to have a lesson and my coach has given me a couple of things to help sort out my driving. With a bit of practice I am sure that I can get my driving back on track the next time I go out to play.

Emirates Golf Club driving range‘Me and my golf bag’ rankings

Well the Emirates Golf Club was an amazing experience and one I can’t wait to try again. Every minute of the time I spent there was brilliant and I can’t recommend the club strongly enough. If you are planning on going to Dubai and like playing golf then this course has to be top of your list.

Here are my rankings for the Emirates Golf Club:

Course – 10/10 – the Faldo course was immaculate and the right balance of risk and reward

Clubhouses – 8/10 – as soon as you walk in you feel part of the club and the staff are brilliant. I didn’t eat there which is the only reason I didn’t give the clubhouse a 10.

Club shop – 7/10 – it is not the biggest shop and doesn’t stock all the big brands (no Nike gear) but there is plenty to keep someone looking for a souvenir interested.

Facilities – 10/10 – amazing driving range, brilliant short game area, incredible locker room and brilliant showers. In a city where luxury is expected this club does not disappoint.

Emirates Golf Club experience – 9/10 – brilliant experience only let down by the fact I had no one to share it with and I didn’t try the food. However I guess that gives me a reason to go back and play another round or two!IMG_7771

Thanks for reading, I hope your golf is going well!

Toby

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