Nicklaus awarded Palm Hills contract

By Sean Dudley

Nicklaus Design has been chosen to create a golf course at Palm Hills in Egypt. The course, Nicklaus' first construction in Egypt, will feature expansive views of the Pyramids, and will serve as the centrepiece for one of the country's most prominent residential communities.

Palm Hills land planner and architect Shehab Mazhar said: "Nicklaus Design is recognised as the industry leader worldwide. Nicklaus Design's involvement ensures that we will provide players with a state of-the-art, challenging and memorable golf experience to complement the desired atmosphere, comfort and luxury."

Work is expected to begin by the end of 2006.With 27 holes spread across more than 275 acres of land near Cairo, the course will be the largest in the country, making Palm Hills a key golf destination in Egypt. "The creation of this golf course comes at an ideal time, as its development coincides with the government's efforts to turn Egypt into a golf destination," said Yassin Mansour, chairman of Palm Hills Developments.

Golf is a relatively young sport in Egypt, with many believing the British introduced it during the First World War. By the middle of the 20th century the country had seven fully operational golf courses, and during the past decade a boom in golf development began with Ministry of Tourism and Egyptian Golf Federation support for the promotion of Egypt as a golfing destination. The country now has at least 15 courses open for play and an estimated ten more under development.

"This is an exciting opportunity for us and, hopefully, for Palm Hills and the country of Egypt," says Nicklaus Design president Jack Nicklaus II. "The chance to design a course of this nature is a privilege for our firm. More important is the opportunity to grow the game of golf in yet another country."

This article first appeared in issue 4 of Golf Course Architecture, published in April 2006.

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