Nine open at new Egypt course

Nine open at new Egypt course
Sean Dudley

The first nine holes of the El Ein Bay golf development in Ain Sokhna, Egypt have opened.

The course has been designed by London-based firm Thomson Perrett & Lobb (TPL), the practice founded by five time Open Champion Peter Thomson.

Egyptian firm Galalah Touristic Investments is the developer of El Ein Bay, which is part of an integrated development including 200 villas and three apartment precincts. “We spent a lot of time with TPL refining the site master plan to ensure the housing has as little impact on the golf course as possible,” said Maged Hosny, partner and general consultant to Galalah Touristic Investments. “As a result, we have a really great golf course that we’re confident people will have a lot of fun playing.”

TPL principal Tim Lobb said: “Ain Sokhna is a resort town about an hour from Cairo – the closest beach to the city – and is frequented mostly by Cairo residents and expats, so we have designed the course to be playable by the widest possible range of golfers. It’s not the longest course, but I believe it will provide a wide variety of shotmaking options, whatever your level of ability.”

Lobb highlighted the par three fifth and par five seventh holes as his favourites among the new nine. “The fifth green has strong contours, which will make it challenging for good players, especially if the pin is in the back right position, which is heavily guarded by bunkers, but it is also large, and thus relatively forgiving,” he said. “And the seventh has a large bunker short of the green that acts as an optical illusion. The bunker makes the green appear much shorter than it actually is.”

US-based firm King Golf International was the contractor on the construction of El Ein Bay. The course has been grassed entirely with Platinum paspalum, supplied by Atlas Turf International.

In a separate development, the ownership of El Ein Bay has linked up with an adjoining golf project, the Little Venice Golf Resort, developed by Hassan Allam Properties, to create Golf Club Sokhna. With the nine holes now open at El Ein Bay, and nine holes, designed by American architect John Sanford, at Little Venice, the new club already has an eighteen hole course, which measures 6,968 yards from the back tees. The completion of El Ein Bay’s second nine, expected for later in 2012, will make the club a 27-hole destination.