Trump Dubai designer delighted with course

Joy Chakravarty 09:46 14/12/2016
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The 17th hole at the new Trump Dubai course.

Hanse was in Dubai to have a final look at the golf course, which is expected to open to the public sometime in February next year.

The golf course is ready to play, but the final touches are being given to the futuristic-looking clubhouse.

And Hanse, who designed the Olympic course in Rio as golf made a triumphant return to the Games, said: “The golf course is right where I’d like to see it. I am thrilled with how it is looking. It just fills me with a sense of immense pride at what the team has been able to achieve.

“We started here with a very blank landscape, one that was hemmed in by developments. We had definition for the ground, but almost no definition in the ground. So, to come up with this, I am really proud.”

So, what can you expect at Trump Dubai? It is a par-71 course that extends to 7,229 yards from the tips. The first thing that strikes you is how wide the fairways are, followed by the distinct lack of rough around the greens and fairways. Even though protected by real estate at most places, there is a strong wind that blows at most of the time. The greens are of varying sizes and most of them have strong slopes.

What will golfers find different at Trump Dubai compared to other UAE courses?

“I think one of the things that I have been told is unique to Dubai are the tees. There are no defined Strategic nature of landscape makes Akoya stand out Hanse angles for distinctive course in UAE tee boxes. There are just large areas of grass that flow through and merge right into the fairways. That’s a different look and feel for
the course,” said Hanse.

“I think the native landscape materials that we have used – the trees, the bushes, the grass – bring a real desert feel. Even the landforms are beautifully shaped and inspired by the desert.

“We have tried to give a rustic feel to the golf course. The fairways are wide. There is a reliance on short grass to provide a lot of character around the greens. To hit a recovery shot with the putter around the green is fun for most golfers. I think the key word that we have really focused here is fun.”

Even though the fairways are magnanimous in size, Hanse draws comparison with Augusta National Golf Club course to explain why being wide does not mean it is easy.

“Wide fairways are part of our philosophy. It’s something that we have done on the Olympic golf course as well. We like to give players room to play off the tee, but to score out here, you’ve got to hit much more precise tee shots,” said the man who also redesigned the legendary Blue Monster course at Doral.

“What we tried to do in Rio and what we tried to do here. It is our core belief that angles matter.

“Augusta National is a perfect example of that. It’s wide golf course off the tee, but to score, you’ve got to hit the correct part of the fairway, and then when you hit the greens, you’ve got to be in the proper quarter of the green. So, the level of precision is pretty high for a very wide golf course.”

You can’t help but ask Hanse – what has been the reaction of Mr Donald Trump?

“I haven’t heard much from him. I think he has been pretty busy with some other things!” said Hanse.

“Larry Glick, his Vice-President of Golf Division, was here and I am sure he will give him all the report. I am sure I will get to know soon what he thinks. But I am sure even he will be proud of this.”

Membership is now being offered by Trump Dubai. For information, call +971 4 4289800.

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