Dubai Golf Head of Academies Stephen Deane surveys the holes set to play a crucial role in the outcome of the inaugural Golf in Dubai Championship on Fire
These are exciting times for Jumeirah Golf Estates. Back-to-back European Tour events are a golden opportunity to showcase the Dubai Golf-managed club’s two Greg Norman-designed courses, Fire and Earth, to a global television audience.
It will be a boon for Dubai Inc., showing the world that the Emirate is open for business after the complications of COVID-19. There’s more to come with the OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic at sister club Emirates G.C. in January, not to mention the opening of the Middle East’s first Topgolf facility on the old Faldo driving range this month.
Back at JGE, there’s sure to be numerous shots of the picturesque range and world-class short-game improvement area beamed around the world too as the European Tour’s class of 2020 prep for their final fortnight. It’s a timely sales pitch for Dubai Golf’s network of Peter Cowen Golf Academies.
“We wish Peter Cowen Academy tour players Jazz Janewattananond, Thomas Pieters, Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Callum Shinkwin, Eddie Pepperell, Mike Lorenzo-Vera and Romain Langasque every success as they compete in the penultimate event of the European Tour’s 2020 season,” Dubai Golf said ahead of the inaugural Golf in Dubai Championship, scheduled for Dec, 2-5 on Fire.
“We’re also excited to announce the launch of our online academy coming soon, giving students globally the opportunity to improve their games remotely when and whenever they maybe.”
In the meantime, we’ve commissioned Dubai Golf’s JGE-based Head of Academies Stephen Dean to help us negotiate the holes on Fire set to decide where the European Tour’s newest event will be won and lost.
Par3, 250 Yards
This is a challenging hole so early in the round. With a 230-yard carry to reach a green complex well-guarded by bunkers, a solid long iron or hybrid shot here is a must. The large, undulating green provides the opportunity for some challenging pin placements come the weekend.
The 2nd has the potential to be a momentum maker or breaker for the rest of the round.
Par 5, 555 Yards
With a green easily reachable in two shots for the European Tour’s best, expect plenty of red numbers on this straight away par 5. Birdies and eagles will abound with the hole a chance for the front-runners to extend their lead or perhaps those tripped up earlier, maybe by the tricky 2nd, to claw their way back into proceedings.
Par 4, 490 Yards
The longest par 4 on Fire has a double defence with out of bounds down the entire left-hand side and well-placed bunkers in the landing area off the tee and guarding the green front right. The contenders need to stand up and hit a solid tee shot here because there is no bailout. Will be a pivotal hole as the pressure heats up moving into the back nine come Saturday’s final round.
Par 3, 251 Yards
The longest par 4 on the course is followed by Fire’s longest par 3. It’s home to a long green that will again provide some testy pin placements.
The leaders will need to pay close attention to their club selection as anything short can easily find the well-placed bunker on the right and anything long or flighted too low will release quickly through the back of the green. Anyone playing the 10th and 11th under par will certainly make a move on the field.
Par 4, 340 Yards
A great short, risk-reward hole that will tempt many to have a nudge at the green off the tee, depending on the tee location and wind direction.
A raised green means any miss to the right brings a problematic, but far from impossible, up and down birdie into play.
This hole will produce many birdie and eagle opportunities and will challenge the players’ strategically each day. A front tee, downwind scenario come the final round will certainly make this a pivotal hole as the players close in on the European Tour’s newest piece of silverware.