With the 2018 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship suddenly upon us, many of you might be feeling inspired to step up to the tee yourself and give the game of golf a go.
Long gone are the days when this leisurely game was only for elderly gentlemen with lots of money and a fine collection of tweed. Golf is for everyone.
We also live in one of the best places in the world to play the sport. Not only do we have year-round sunshine, but we also have loads of fantastic courses to play on.
But this isn’t a simple a game, and learning to play is so much easier when you have an excellent coach helping you hone your skills.So here are the best places in the capital to work on your swing.
Abu Dhabi City Golf Club
The golf academy at this Al Mushrif club is exceptional. Boasting the only two-tiered driving range in the UAE (because hitting balls is so much cooler when you’re one level up), there’s a whole range of individual and group lesson packages available. Or, if you’d rather work on your skills by yourself, you can get video lessons delivered straight to your phone or email. How clever is that? All range balls and equipment are included, and a 30-minute introductory lesson costs Dhs105. Kids can also get involved at the renowned junior academy, which introduces more than 200 young players to the game every year.
Prices vary. 19th Street, Al Mushrif (02 445 9600).
Abu Dhabi Golf Club
Host of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and home to the iconic Falcon Clubhouse, golf fans from throughout the world dream of playing on the same greens as the world’s top players at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. But you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy the amazing facilities here. The friendly coaches at the on-site Abu Dhabi Golf Institute use fancy video technology and many other clever methods to help you quickly get your technique down to a tee. The junior ‘Future Falcon’ classes and ladies-only development programmes are really popular, too.
Prices vary. Khalifa City A (02 885 3555).
Al Ghazal Golf Club
This welcoming golf club in Masdar City comes with a few quirks. If playing on immaculate grass seems a bit boring to you, here you can have the unique experience of playing golf in the sand (and no we don’t just mean when you’re stuck in the bunkers). If you’ve never swung a club before, you can hit the driving range for just Dhs25, while group lessons are available for Dhs250. There’s loads of other sporting facilities here, too, including a running and cycling track and tennis, volleyball and basketball courts.
From Dhs25. Masdar City (02 575 8040).
Saadiyat Beach Golf Club
With beautiful views over the white sands of Saadiyat Beach and the bright blue waters of the Arabian Gulf, we’re happy to have any excuse to hang out at this picturesque club. Learning the game is definitely easier when you’re surrounded by such stunning scenery, and there are even roaming deer to keep you company. Individual lessons start from Dhs345 for 45 minutes, and beginner programmes are available for men, women and juniors. The floodlit facilities mean you can fit in your practice sessions after work, and you can always go for a bite to eat at the Hawksbill Restaurant afterwards.
Prices vary. Saadiyat Island (02 499 8100).
Yas Links Abu Dhabi
You’re just steps away from the sea when you play the rolling fairways of Yas Links, and the nine-hole par three Academy course is the perfect place to experience your first round of golf. It’s also floodlit, and with the last tee time not until 9pm, you can continue to play long into the evening. You’ll start off learning on the swish driving range, but it won’t take long before you’re out amongst the sand dunes and feeling like a proper golfer. One- or two-month lesson packages are available, and 45-minute private sessions start from Dhs425 if you prefer to go it alone.
Prices vary. Yas Island (02 810 7710).
WHAT IS IT...
The Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, from January 16 to 19.
To see if England’s Tommy Fleetwood can win a third title on the trot.