Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club Feature Review
Review by Golfshake Ambassador Richard Moore
Located in the heart of Dubai, just ten minutes from the airport, Dubai Creek has been named one of the World's Top 100 Must Play Golf Courses. It also has a 9-hole par 3 course, golf academy, six restaurants and bars, gymnasium, tropical swimming pool, a hotel and residential executive villas, and not to forget a 121-berth marina.
Dubai Creek’s Championship Course - Highly Recommended on Golfshake - opened in 1993 and features an 18-hole (par-71) layout originally designed by Karl Litten before its redesign in 2004 led by Thomas Bjorn. The course has previously hosted the 1999 and 2000 Dubai Desert Classic and the Mena Tour’s Dubai Creek Open. Most recently, it hosted the Dubai Championship on the World Amateur Tour and the 12th Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship (AAC) in November 2021.
Dubai Creek really is an iconic site. You see it from the main highway (Sheikh Zayed Road) as you drive from the airport. The clubhouse is in the shape of sails (of a historic Arabian boat called a ‘dhow’) which are often illuminated in different colours at night. Even when I’m not playing, you can’t help but look at it as you drive by!
The entrance is exciting as you drive through a manicured driveway - all palm tree lined. You pass a 225-bedroom Hyatt Hotel on site which I am sure must be fantastic if staying a few days.
The clubhouse is really awe inspiring as you walk up through the covered carpark. I noticed they even have super car sections just for the Ferraris, Lamborghinis, etc.
They have nice practice facilities at Dubai Creek with around 20 bays for a pre-game warm up, with free balls, bunkers, chipping areas and a putting green.
On the Friday I played it was a 7.30am shotgun start (635 dirhams so about £130). All the buggies were lined up with players’ names clearly displayed in the window together with the hole you were starting from. All very well organised even with an announcer to explain the proceedings before we were underway. All perfectly executed, on time.
The course is a sight to behold and is now firmly my favourite Dubai golf course. Tees, fairways and greens are immaculate, the palm trees throughout are attractive to look at and you just can’t stop looking at the amazing clubhouse, not to mention the views across the creek with the Burj Khalifa in the distance is just amazing. It’s a challenge to focus on the golf with all the sights to take in (including the occasional sea plane landing).
Front 9 Overview
The par 4 opener is quite a tester, dog-legging to the left at 438 yards off the white tees. A huge sandy area waits any pushed/sliced tee shot. A tricky opener.
The second is an even bigger test with a huge expanse of water to the left of the fairway to catch any hooked tee shots. Water runs all the way up this 347-yard hole making the approach an additional challenge to this very attractive green. It is a stunning hole.
The third is one of the easiest holes on the course at 303 yards and provides a nice glimpse of some of the stunning houses that overlook the course. The large, elevated green adds to the challenge.
The fourth is a nice par 5 without any major dramas at 504 yards, before you go through an underpass and come out to one of the most attractive par 3s in the whole of Dubai. A short 139 yarder with the creek waiting at the back of the green for anyone thinning their shot. The hole provides a perfect view of the Burj Khalifa and the downtown skyline. For sure one of the highlights of the round is here as the views are wonderful and then the floating 6th tee awaits. Even if you are playing off the whites you must go out to the blue tee so you can tee off over water to get back on the fairway for what is 407 yards off the blues. It’s holiday golf, right? This also provides a great view of the boats - don't forget that is Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club!
The sixth is one of the standout holes as the fairway is so narrow due to the lake on the left-hand side which is very attractive and has you reaching for your camera phone again!
The seventh is a straightforward par 4 that dog-legs slightly left with sandy waste land all up the left. For those with an overhit approach leaking left beware as water awaits.
The par 3 eighth is a real test with a 145-yard carry over water. It’s a nervy one for sure.
The front 9 finishes with a fairly benign par 4 that dog-legs slightly right providing amazing views of the clubhouse and the terrace which awaits you in another two hours.
Back 9 Overview
At 532 yards a tough par 5 tenth awaits with water all down the right and which pinches in from the right for the longer drivers and which provides a tough second shot for the mere mortals amongst us. The more you dare hug the right the easier the approach, as a safer left side brings more trees into play.
The 11th is a short par 4 at 351 yards and the 12th is an arrow straight par 4 SI 1 (418 yards) with a monstrously huge sandy wasteland all up the right, which keeps you focused on keeping it on the short grass.
The 13th is a fabulous par 5 culminating in an island green accessible by a foot bridge. This is one of the highlights of the back 9.
The 14th is an attractive par 3 over water (which has an island in the middle with the Dubai Creek name printed on it in flowers - a nice touch) and the 15th is a 403-yard par 4 which has OOB down the left. The 16th is a nice par 3 at 158 yards with the creek as the backdrop which is situated right in the corner of the course.
Then it’s time to fasten your seat belts for the finishing two holes - the highlight of the round. Many golfers start to tire and lose concentration at the end of the round - do so here at your peril!
The 17th is a short par 4 at 328 yards but all you can see is the water down the left. The water pinches into the fairway to add to the drama. There is a generous fairway waiting at 170 yards for a decent drive that does not pull/hook; then an approach to a sloping green which is the second defence on this hole.
The 18th also has the creek running down the entire left-hand length of the hole. Not quite so intimidating as the 17th but it is still there larger than life. To focus your attention there is also a lake on the right. But the real test come as you approach the green as there’s a large lake which is not that apparent from the middle of the fairway, but it pinches in right in front of the huge green. It is a magnificent hole to finish a magnificent round.
This is my favourite course in Dubai. All the courses in Dubai are of a very high standard but the views from the Dubai Creek are unrivalled. Great use of water hazards, amazing views of the Dubai skyline over the creek and the clubhouse is just awe inspiring and that image alone soon became my new wallpaper on my phone.
If I was to visit Dubai for my golf holiday, I’d definitely play Dubai Creek and the Emirates Majlis and Faldo Courses (the Faldo I think is the toughest front 9 anywhere I have played).
Incidentally, for an evening of fun go to the Top Golf at the Emirates GC for target golf with food and drinks in the bay (like when you go bowling). Great fun. Great views of the city skyline.
Overall Rating - 10
Course (Conditions) - 10
Course (Hole Variety/Layout) - 10
Course (Green Condition) - 9
Course (Challenge/Difficulty) - 9
Club Facilities & 19th/Clubhouse - 10
Practice Facilities - 10
Friendliness/Hospitality - 9
Pace of Play - 10
Value for Money - 10
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|Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club
from 49 reviews