Following an extensive site visit to the Ayla golf course project at Aqaba, Jordan, on Thursday, August 14, Greg Norman, one of the world’s leading golf course designers, declared at a packed press conference overlooking the course: “Ayla is among the top-three most eco-friendly golf courses in the world, if not the first.”
Norman continued: “When I came to Aqaba two years ago I was pleased to say that the scale and quality of the Ayla project was phenomenal and that I believed that the entire setting and unique design puts it among the best in the world, from my 40 years experience in golf.
“I am now pleased to say that I will be a proud ambassador for Ayla, to promote the project, Aqaba and the Kingdom of Jordan and its people. I regard myself as lucky to be given the opportunity of creating this outstanding golf course, in such a spectacular setting, with the majestic mountains looking down on the Bay of Aqaba.
“It’s a great honour to design the first 18 holes grass golf course in Jordan which has the potential to put Jordan on the world golf map in the future in becoming a worldwide attraction, not only for the sport of golf but also for tourism and commerce. By utilising 235 metres of the shoreline and creating a series of man-made lagoons open to the Gulf of Aqaba the Ayla development has added an impressive 17km to Jordan’s coastline.”
“The work that Ayla have put into the project in terms of water conservancy and creating power through solar panels on the golf course is considerable, and goes hand in hand with what we are doing in our eco-friendly design.”
Sahl Dudin, Managing Director of Ayla Oasis Development Company, the master developer of Ayla explained: “A dedicated 2.5 MW Photovoltaic Plant will power everything within the Golf Course, starting with the water wells, the water treatment/desalination plant, the water features circulation and flood events, Golf Course irrigation pumping, along with the Par-3 course, driving range lighting and the Clubhouse and Academy buildings. All trees and shrubs have been carefully selected from local indigenous species to reduce the irrigation requirements, and a sub-surface irrigation system has been installed to reduce evaporation and water loss.”
Dr. Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat, CEO, Jordan Tourism Board, commented: “To have such a magnificent golf course designed by one of the finest ‘Green’ designers in the world as Greg Norman, means a lot to Jordan’s tourism sector. This world-class golf coursewill attract regional and international golfers of all standards and all nationalities, which will greatly enhance our position on the global golf tourism map.”
Norman concluded: “Building such a sustainable golf course as spectacular as this gives us the opportunity to introduce local flora and fauna, which attracts birdlife and creates a haven for wildlife. The wadis and lagoons are a lure to a variety of fish and sea creatures.
“The water is so clear it is already bringing sea horses, spotted eagle rays, a whale shark and various fish species to the crystalline lagoons. Aqaba is already a “bottleneck site” and a stop-over for migrating birds and I’m sure we will soon see many different species of birdlife on the golf course.”
Greg Norman Golf Design www.gngcd.com