Abu Dhabi (National)Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi
- AddressA - Khalifa City - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
“An oasis of tranquillity carved out of the desert” is how Abu Dhabi Golf Club is billed and for once the marketing spin is correct. As a United Arab Emirates destination, Dubai is where most travelling golfers will head, but Abu Dhabi is where the mystique of ancient Arabia blends with a modern, cosmopolitan society. Most of the country comprises of arid desert called Rub Al Khali (or Empty Quarter) where the gigantic sand dunes are forever shifting in the winds. Abu Dhabi Golf Club is located a short drive, by car, from the modern high-rise skyline of Abu Dhabi city. With its striking clubhouse designed in the shape of a falcon with its wings outstretched, Abu Dhabi Golf Club really is the quintessential oasis.
Past Abu Dhabi Golf Championship winners:
2006 - C Dimarco
2007 - P Casey
2008 - M Kaymer
2009 - P Casey
2010 - M Kaymer
2011 - M Kaymer
2012 - R Rock
2013 - J Donaldson
2014 - P Larrazabal
2015 - G Stal
2016 - R Fowler
2017 - T Fleetwood
2018 - T Fleetwood
2019 - S Lowry
2020 - L Westwood
2021 - T Hatton
Peter Harradine designed the 27 holes at Abu Dhabi Golf Club in 1998. The National is the championship course that hosts the annual $2m Abu Dhabi Golf Championship. The event was inaugurated in 2006 and American Chris Dimarco took the title, which was lifted by England’s Paul Casey in 2007 and Germany's Martin Kaymer in 2008, his maiden European Tour victory. Casey won the title for the second time in 2009 and Martin Kaymer again claimed the Abu Dhabi Championship title in 2010 beating England’s Ian Poulter by just one stroke in a thrilling finish.
Kaymer triumphed again in 2011 claiming his third Abu Dhabi title in four years and in the process displaced Tiger Woods as number two in the world rankings. England’s Robert Rock held off the challenges of Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Thomas Björn to win the 2012 title, claiming the biggest win of his career.
Welshman Jamie Donaldson claimed the 2013 title by one shot from Justin Rose and Rory McIlroy received a two-shot penalty in the third round of the 2014 event, allowing Spain’s Pablo Larrazabal to finish one shot ahead of the Northern Irishman and Phil Mickelson. Martin Kaymer threw away a six-shot final round lead in the 2015 event, finishing third behind runner-up Rory McIlroy. The winner, Frenchman Gary Stal, claimed his maiden European Tour title and also a European Tour exemption until the end of 2017.
Rickie Fowler lifted the title in 2016, winning by one shot from Thomas Pieters and the following year Tommy Fleetwood won by the same margin from Dustin Johnson. Englishman Fleetwood successfully defended his Abu Dhabi title in 2018 after carding just 30 strokes on the back nine of the final round in windy conditions.
The National course is generally regarded by the pros as a tough but fair challenge, but for the average golfer the 7,600-yard tips will no doubt prove too great a test. Saltwater lakes, ornamental trees and palms make the setting oasis-like with lush playing surfaces, bold, strategic bunkering coupled with large greens paint the Abu Dhabi picture. Nine holes feature water hazards, so take ample golf balls!
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