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 principalTim Lobbsaid: “Ain Sokhna is a resort town about an hour fromCairo– the closest beach to the city – and is frequented mostly byCairoresidents 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.
Thomson Perrett & Lobb is the golf course design firm founded by Peter Thomson (five times Open Champion) based inSurrey,UK. The principals of Thomson Perrett & Lobb have more than 80 years of experience in golf course design and a portfolio of more than 200 projects in more than 30 countries worldwide.
It is a multi-disciplined organisation actively involved in golf course design, course restorations, master planning, architecture and landscape architecture. The firm’s experienced design team have been involved with some of the most highly rated and successful golf projects around the world.
TPL has recently opened an additional office inCape Town, to serve the growing African golf market
Thomson Perrett & Lobb www.tpl.eu.com