Majlis course is rebunkered by TPL


Sean Dudley

Emirates Golf Club has hired design firm Thomson Perrett & Lobb to modernise its flagship Majlis course, home of the Dubai Desert Classic.

TPL plans to carry out an audit of the course’s bunkering as part of a wider modernisation programme, overseeing the repositioning and reconstruction of bunkers to upgrade the course for professional events, including the Dubai Desert Classic and Dubai Ladies Masters, as well as day-to-day club and visitor play. 

The 7,301 yard course, which opened in 1988 and was the first grass golf course in the Middle East, was ranked among the Top 100 golf course outside America by Golf Digest in May 2009. 

Rod Bogg, special adviser to Dubai Golf, and who oversaw the course’s construction 22 years ago, said: “We selected TPL to oversee the modernisation of the Majlis because of its experience in designing prestige golf courses in the Middle East and its expertise in bunkering.

“Our bunkers are out of date and, due to modern equipment, out of play. Some of the players are hitting the ball 60-70 yards past the fairway bunkers during the Desert Classic. While that is only one week of the year, we need to ensure that the course remains the enjoyable challenge that it is for professionals and amateurs all year round.”

Bogg added: “We are not redesigning or adding additional bunkers to the course, but we are looking at relocating, reshaping and reconstructing the bunkers we do have to bring the course up to the highest modern standards, as well as making some improvements to the aesthetics of the course.” The new look course will be in play for the Desert Classic in 2011.

TPL is already busy in the region, with its multi-course design for Dubai Golf City under construction, as well as a golf course for the landmark New Giza development in Egypt.

Principal Tim Lobb said: “As with all of the bunker work we do at important, established courses, we are taking a subtle approach to Emirates, treading softly and respecting the design that is already in play. What we are doing is reviewing the bunker positioning to ensure that professionals and amateurs alike will require a clear golfing strategy to plot their way around the course. The course needs to stand up to the challenge of the world’s best players, while also remaining an enjoyable challenge for the club’s members and visitors.”