Al Hamra Golf Club Course Review
GF Round: £125wd, £150we
Par 72, 6,703 yards
GM Verdict A challenging but constantly engaging course with water regularly in play
Favourite Hole The magnificent closing hole, a par 5 with the lagoon lapping up on the right all the way
Al Hamra Golf Club is about an hour’s drive north of Dubai in the city of Ras Al Khaimah. It was designed by Peter Harradine who is something of a local specialist having also been responsible for the famous National Course at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. It opened for play in 2007/8, and it runs alongside and through purpose-built lagoons and housing.
My visit was hampered a little by early-morning mist which made my camera redundant on the front nine. The opening five holes work their way round in a loop to the 18th tee, each of them either flirting with or propositioning water. This includes the super-scary par-5 3rd which has it on both sides and which you must then cross. Not being able see clearly was probably a help!
The 6th and 7th are the first two dry holes, a strong par 4 and a lovely short hole. These opening seven, along with the 17th and 18th, also have floodlights for evening golf and make a perfect 9-hole loop.
A very long par 5 and a maximum-distance two-shotter take you to the turn before the back nine begins with a trio of very scary holes.
The 10th and 12th are probably the two hardest par 4s on the course, both with greens perilously close to the lagoon, and they sandwich a very scenic par 3 with a green that juts out into the water.
There is some respite from the water over the next five holes and hopefully the chance to pick up a shot or two on the card.
The closing hole is a wonderful long hole, a kind of mirror image of the 18th at Pebble Beach in that you must not go to the right.
For all but the strongest, it’s a genuine three-shotter with a lay-up to the widest stretch of the fairway.
Even when safely on the green, you can be left with a very long and/or curvy putt. Regardless, it should be a thrilling and very scenic conclusion to an enjoyable and testing round of golf.
Although the course had hosted three Challenge Tour events, it was not so much on the golfing radar before 2022. The hosting of the Ras Al Khaimah Championship featuring the likes of Danny Willett and Bernd Wiesberger, and subsequent staging of the Ras Al Khaimah Classic, have changed all that. Following a round on one of the best golf courses in the UAE, you can enjoy very tasty food and drinks in The Bay Sports Bar. Managed by Troon Golf, Al Hamra Golf Club has an excellent course that looks sure to become better-known.
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Rob Smith has been playing golf for 45 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly for over ten years, specialising in course reviews and travel. He has now played more than 1,200 different courses in almost 50 countries. Despite lockdowns and travel restrictions in 2021, he still managed to play 80 different courses during that year, 43 of them for the first time. This included 21 in 13 days on a trip to East Lothian in October. One of Rob's primary roles is helping to prepare the Top 100 and Next 100 Courses of the UK&I, of which he has played all but seven and a half... i.e. not the new 9 at Carne! During the 2021-22 review period, Rob played 36 of the Golf Monthly Top 200. He is a member of Tandridge Golf Club in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at email@example.com.
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