Arabian Ranches News

April 12, 2002

Arabian Ranches - Hole-by-Hole

NOTE: The following hole-by-hole description by Ian Baker-Finch is based on the current routing of the Arabian Ranches project and is subject to change.

Hole No. 1 (414 yards par 4)
The opening hole is a generous dogleg to the left. The better player will be enticed to carry the impressive waste bunker on the inside of the dogleg. The second shot is a deceptive one, slightly uphill playing left to right. A truly great opening hole.

Hole No. 2 (219 yards par 3)
A long par 3 favoring a left-to-right running approach. The long narrow green sits into the dunes and is easy to approach. The putting here is difficult due to the undulating surface and deceiving slopes. One of the few holes with no sand.

Hole No. 3 (574 yards par 5)
This par 5 can be reached downwind with two big hits. Against the wind, though, it can be a monster. The desert snakes it way across the fairway making the second shot both deceiving and treacherous  a true risk-reward shot. The approach plays slightly uphill to a narrow, two-tiered green set right of a large sand dune. A fun par 5.

Hole No. 4 (459 yards par 4)
The tee shot plays across a ridge with the approach playing slightly downhill. A large, deep bunker guards the left side of the green. The easy way out here is to play the second shot right of the green and chip back up the slope. This par 4 is a real tester.

Hole No. 5 (479 yards par 4)
A great long par 4. Play the tee shot to the right side of the fairway for better access to this huge green. The approach can be run in, but once again, avoid the large bunker on the left. The subtle slopes on this green will test every golfer’s skill level.

Hole No. 6 (430 yards par 4)
This hole is one of my favorites, with desert along the left side of the fairway and mounds to the right. The tee shot is a beauty. The gently undulating green is hidden among the sand dunes, which makes club selection difficult. A beautiful par 4.

Hole No. 7 (236 yards par 3)
This Redan style par 3 favors the low left-to-right running approach, but to access the back pin placements, a high, attacking long iron is needed over a huge deep bunker. Putting on this green will give you nightmares. My all-time favorite par 3.

Hole No. 8 (579 yards par 5)
This par 5 can be reached with two shots if the wind is at your back. The second shot needs to be well placed down the right side to access the flag on this long two-tiered green set into a spectacular sand dune. The desert on the left will catch the overly aggressive play. Beautiful lake view.

Hole No. 9 (446 yards par 4)
Lake on the right. The water should not come into play as you drive up the left side of the dogleg. A 3-wood may be best from the tee as the fairway narrows in the farther you drive the ball. Best approach to this beautifully rolling green is from the right side. A wonderful dogleg par 4.

Hole No. 10 (451 yards par 4)
The landing area is hidden from the tee but is actually quite generous. Keep your tee shot close to the right side to access the long wavy green. A spectacular sand dune hides the left side of the green here and it is much larger than it appears from the fairway.

Hole No. 11 (483 yards par 4)
The tee shot plays slightly uphill on this long par 4. Bite off as much of the left side as you can for a shorter approach. The fairway rolls and dips, making the second shot deceiving. Chipping around this green will be treacherous, as will be the putting. Four is a great score on this tough hole.

Hole No. 12 (235 yards par 3)
Another long and difficult par 3. The tee shot can be run up the left side, but to get close to the right pins, you must carry the desert to the front and right of the green. Once again, generous lay-up areas make for an easy four but par will be hard to obtain.

Hole No. 13 (564 yards par 5)
My design partner, Dirk Bouts, really loves this hole. It’s a beauty. Once again, a generous landing area is slightly hidden from the tee. The green can be attacked with the second shot but must carry a dune from the right-hand side. A strategically positioned tree guards the approach to this beautiful little green set into the sand dunes. Club selection on your lay-up shot is most important here. One of the few birdie holes.

Hole No. 14 (444 yards par 4)
This hole is a real sleeper, a slight dogleg to the left playing uphill into the sand dunes. The fairway slopes slightly to the right, with the best approach coming from the left-hand side. The green is well guarded by a large deep bunker in front. The green is receptive, but tricky to putt.

Hole No. 15 (354 yards par 4)
This is a great short par 4, and easily drivable for the pros, if downwind. For most players, I suggest a fairway wood or long iron down the right side from the tee, leaving a wedge approach to a smaller, angular green. Easy par but there will be lots of bogeys for those attempting a 3.

Hole No. 16 (612 yards par 5)
A long straight genuine three-shot par 5. The desert squeezes in on both sides, making this hole quite intimidating. After two good woods, a short iron is left to a long peanut-shaped green, nestled below the dunes to the right. The huge run-off area left of the green will cause problems with the approach shot and chipping.

Hole No. 17 (232 yards par 3)
A spectacular, long, downhill par 3. The easy approach from the right may leave an impossible chip, but the straight approach must be long and high to catch this majestic, treacherous green. The second of a tough finishing trio.

Hole No. 18 (487 yards par 4)
The home hole is a testing long par 4 that once again favors the brave. Fire the long drive up the right side for a shorter approach over the large bunkers and desert. The easier approach is up the left with a running second shot on to the green. The long green slopes downhill from front to back and is surrounded by large mounding, ideal for tournament spectators.


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