For many golfers, the most vital hole is the 19th. It’s here where we can dissect our many failings from tee to green without fear of being judged. And even if we’ve made a fool of ourselves on some of the city’s finest courses, we can always be rest assured the bar keep will console us and make us feel a whole lot better about those missed putts from five inches and that horribly shanked drive that scared the life out of the local wildlife.
Get over your yips and enjoy our captain’s pick of the capital’s post-round bars...
19th Street Bar & Restaurant
It’s not that golfing is secondary at the Abu Dhabi City Golf Club, but with just nine holes, it’s perhaps not quite as serious as some of the other clubs. Yet when it comes to F&B, it punches above its weight thanks to 19th Street’s extensive menu that has everything from salads to Arabic dishes to pizzas cooked in its clay oven. There’s a bar, too, of course, with a lovely terrace area.
Open daily 6am-midnight. Abu Dhabi City Golf Club, Mushrif (02 445 9600).
Opened by Gary Player a decade ago, Saadiyat Beach Golf Club has had plenty of time to bed in as one of the capital’s best courses. There’s no shortage of food options close to the course, but on site there’s Hawksbill, named after the species of sea turtle that nests nearby, offering pub grub and an outstanding buffet breakfast for just Dhs65.
Open daily 6am-10pm. Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, Saadiyat Island (02 499 8107).
The bronze statue of the game’s founding father, Old Tom Morris at the entrance of Yas Links hints at its appreciation of golf’s early days, as does the name of its bar – hickory being the material that used to be used for golf club shafts. Inside you’ll find a surprisingly excellent international menu designed to reward you when you’ve finished on the green.
Open daily 8am-noon. Yas Links, Yas Island (02 810 7714).
Murphy’s Sports Bar
At 22 years old, Al Ghazal is the oldest golf course in Abu Dhabi, but now the only one without any grass at all. You certainly don’t need to worry about hitting it into the sand – there’s nothing but it on this desert 18. Murphy’s is a lot newer than the old course, a trendy Irish-themed bar with exposed brick walls and a will to party til 3am every day.
Open daily noon-3am. Al Ghazal Golf Club, near Abu Dhabi International Airport (02 505 5023).
The Championship Lounge
To go for a drink in the Championship Lounge is to follow in the footsteps of some of the world’s best golfers. Away from the hectic weekend of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, come here for meals and refreshments, or to watch live sport being shown almost every day of the week.
Open daily 4pm-11pm. Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Sas Al Nakhl (056 536 2230).