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The Gulf Club

Majlis greens to grow up to 40% as USGA specification rebuild begins at Emirates Golf Club

Photos courtesy Emirates Golf Club

By Kent Gray
The five-month rebuild of the most recognisable greens in Middle East golf is underway. In the meantime, may we humbly suggest you brush up on your lag putting.

All 18 greens on the Majlis layout at Emirates Golf Club, plus the practice green beneath the club’s famed Majlis clubhouse, are being dug up and rebuilt to full United States Golf Association (USGA) specification.

Originally built as ‘push up’ greens in the late 1980s, the surfaces are subject to the region’s high-stress climatic conditions so had come to the end of their natural 20-25 year lifespan.

That was evident at January’s OMEGA Dubai Desert Classic but Dubai Golf CEO Chris May is confident the rebuild will impress members and guests when the course reopens in late September and the pros when they are fully bedded for next year’s European Tour stop.

Like for Arabian Ranches Golf Club’s recent greens rebuild project, Emirates G.C. is having the chosen Tifeagle Bermuda grasses flown into the UAE in refrigerated containers from Atlas Turf in Georgia in the U.S.

The most noticeable change will be the significantly increased size of the surfaces, thus the aforementioned tip to work on your lag putting in the intervening five months.

We are very excited to have started work on the Majlis Greens Rebuild and we look forward to reopening at the end of…

Posted by Emirates Golf Club on Tuesday, May 4, 2021

 

“The greens will essentially remain the same as Karl Litten’s original design,” said May. “The most noticeable difference on re-opening in September will be the increase in size of the greens. The putting surfaces will be brought back to their original size with the average increase being close to 40 percent.”

Scratch beneath the surface and the big long-term benefits can be found.

“The fundamental change will be enhancing the drainage in the greens complexes by building to USGA specifications.

The 1st green on the Majlis is prepped for the rebuild.

“This will enable the golf course maintenance team to manage and present the greens to the world-class conditions that are expected on the Majlis course. The greens will be hand sprigged to ensure a consistent coverage with this work to be complete by the end of June after which the grow in will take place through to opening.”

Dubai Golf is also investing in drainage to the Majlis’ greenside bunkers to improve playability. Al Naboodah Contracting, the company responsible for the majority of golf courses in the region, is undertaking the construction.

American Terry Baller, who has significant global experience with many of the top design companies, is the design consultant.

“We are very much looking forward to reopening for play in September for our members and guests and providing world-class putting surfaces on the Majlis course for many years to come,” said May.

 

Kent Gray

Editor of Golf Digest Middle East. Has written about golf since 1989 and owned a suspect short game even longer.

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