Leisurecorp, the Dubai World company and partner to The European Tour in the creation of The Race to Dubai, has unveiled ‘Earth’ – the spectacular golf course at Jumeirah Golf Estates that will stage the season-ending Dubai World Championship in November this year.
Star players Sergio Garcia, Robert Karlsson, Justin Rose, Darren Clarke and Martin Kaymer were joined by Khalid Yousuf, three-time UAE champion and one of the Emirate’s most talented young golfers, for a sneak preview of the Greg-Norman designed course, which is set to provide the ultimate test for the top 60 players in The Race to Dubai who will be competing for a $10 million prize fund.
The stars played the last four holes of the Earth course, which Norman has described as the “most challenging in golf”, in front of local and global media, giving expert insight along the way and an early taste of what spectators can expect when the world’s top golfers go head-to-head at Jumeirah Golf Estates from November 19-22.
Greg Norman, the legendary designer of the Earth course, said, “The last four holes fall just short of a mile and I fully expect this to be one of the most challenging and exciting miles in golf. There is great reward, but there is also great risk.
“When we first conceived Jumeirah Golf Estates back in 2004, we dreamt that one day the course would hold a great championship, but we could not have imagined the level to which this will be taken. I have been fortunate to have golf tournaments and PGA events played on courses that I have designed, but not something of this magnitude. The Earth course is going to be showcased on a global basis, which is fantastic and I am fully confident that the end result will be a truly great course, fit to host some of the world’s biggest players.”
Sergio Garcia, current World Number 2 and co-designer of Wind, the fourth course at Jumeirah Golf Estates, said, “The buzz surrounding The Race to Dubai has made this season one of the most exciting in living memory and the grand finale at the Dubai World Championship, where so much is at stake, deserves a golf course that will test the very best in the world.
“This is an incredibly impressive golf course and worthy of such an important tournament. Earth could easily be played competitively now and I’m amazed at how much it has progressed. I’m looking forward to coming back in November to play for real!”
Ongoing development of the course stopped for one day only, as the last four holes of the course were unveiled for the very first time. The Earth course will not be played competitively until the inaugural Dubai World Championship to ensure pristine conditions for when the ultimate test of the world’s finest golfers gets underway.
David Spencer, Leisurecorp CEO-Golf, said, “Earth is one of the world’s most anticipated golf courses and we are delighted to show that we are on the home stretch to the Dubai World Championship. The course was actually fully grassed in April last year and it’s ready to play now, but we’re giving it two full seasons to mature before the Championship.
“Over the next ten months there will be intensive maintenance to ensure it is in immaculate condition and has the look and feel of an established golf course.”
Greg Norman Design www.gngcd.com