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Yas Links named in Top 25 Courses

Yas Links has been named one of the world’s top 25 by American magazine, Golf Digest.

A voting panel of experts ranked the two-year-old course 24th in the world, making it the best new golf course outside America.

Designed by one of golf’s most innovative designers, Kyle Phillips, Yas Links is a testing par 72 that measures 7,414 yards off the back tees and boasts one of the game’s most spectacular finishing stretches, sitting opposite the Yas Marina Circuit F1 race track and in view of the iconic Ferrari World Abu Dhabi theme park.

The combination of Yas and the emirate’s other two championship-ready courses – Abu Dhabi Golf Club and Saadiyat Beach Golf Club – create a distinct and differentiated golf experience.

“Much like he did with Kingsbarns 10 years ago, Kyle Phillips has created a golf course from scratch that feels and plays like a completely natural site he just happened to stumble upon,” said Robbie Greenfield, editor of Golf Digest Middle East.

With six clubs within a 90-minute drive, Abu Dhabi has a wealth of golf offerings – from parkland to beach and links courses – for all types of player.

Source: Golf Monthly

Ralph Lauren Magazine: Global Golf

Yas Links (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates)

He is credited with creating some of the most enduring and iconic golf courses, places like Kingsbarns in Scotland, Verdura in Sicily, and the Grove in England. Now, American architect Kyle Phillips has trained his gaze on the Middle East, designing Yas Links, a course that is being lauded as one of the world’s best. Featuring a collection of memorable holes, including a pair of waterside par 3s on the back nine, this demanding, 7,394-yard par 72 made Golf World’s Top 100 Golf Courses in the World for 2011. Stretching along three kilometers of Persian Gulf coastline, with nine holes fronting it, this course boasts more than 100 bunkers and endless links-style panoramas.

A longtime contributor to RL Magazine, Farhad Heydari is the international managing editor at Centurion and Departures magazines for Europe, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America.


Yas Links the best of the best

The UAE has made relentless progress as a golfing haven ever since the Majlis Course made its breakthrough in becoming the first Asian venue for a European Tour event – the Dubai Desert Classic in 1989.
Emirates Golf Club was out on its own in those days in more ways than one as it provided expatriates based all over the Gulf region with their only opportunity to swing a club in anger on a verdant rather than sepia surface.
Twenty-two years later the rivals are stacking up for the trendsetting Majlis. In my opinion, several are comparable to what was labeled on its birth as the “miracle in the desert” and one can claim to be even better.
Here is a personal appraisal of the top 10 courses in the country listed in order of a 17-handicapper’s preference.
No 1: Yas Links
Take a bow Kyle Phillips for your masterpiece which on the coldest of winter days could possibly be mistaken for one of the warmer British Open venues.
Within earshot of Yas Marina Formula One Circuit (it’s one detracting feature on race days) its penal rough to catch wayward drives from a variety of tee boxes provides a demanding test for golfers of all abilities and offers stunning coastal views from many of its holes.
Yas hosted the first of what is sure to be a series of professional events in January when the Al Naboodah Invitational moved there from its previous Dubai Creek home. Read More…

Yas Links Abu Dhabi named “Best Course in the Middle East”

Yas Links Abu Dhabi, the new Kyle Phillips designed golf course which debuts at IGTM this week, is the “best course in the Middle East,” according to the latest issue of Golf Course Architecture magazine.

The world-class development on Yas Island, home to the Yas Marina Formula 1 Circuit, venue of the season ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and the spectacular Ferrari World, the world’s largest indoor theme park, has received widespread critical acclaim.

It is the first Middle East design for leading course architect Kyle Phillips, creator of World Top 100 Course Kingsbarns, Scotland, as well as the highly rated Verdura Golf & Spa Resort (Sicily), Dundonald (Scotland), and The Grove (London), who has created an extraordinary links overlooking the Arabian Gulf that rides rolling sand hills along three kilometers of coastline, and features nine seashore greens.

Following a recent visit to the site, Golf Course Architecture editor Adam Lawrence, wrote Yas Links is the, “first pure golf course in the Gulf,” and, “it is a golf experience like no other in the region.”

He added: “I am very confident in asserting that Yas Links is the best course in the Middle East by a distance, and that it has taken golf in the region to a whole new level.”
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GOING OUT: UAE’s best amateurs all set to become part of golf’s history

For many the much-anticipated Men’s Open 2011 being held at Yas Links this weekend represents a dream come true as it affords the opporunity to become a part of local history.

And that’s the reason the first two-day event at the spectacular Kyle Phillips designed course, named among the top 10 new international golf courses in the world, has a full field of 108 players and a lengthy waiting list.

Sponsored by Sport360°, who will also be providing the Player of the Tournament trophy, the 36-hole gross strokeplay event has “one of the strongest amateur lines-ups in the region with half the entrants between a +4 and 4 handicap,” said Jamie Goodenough, Sales and Marketing Manager at Yas Links.

Day one will see competitors tee-off according to their handicap with the tee positions the same as those used for the recent invitational, while day two’s play will start in accordance to the scores from the previous day with championship tees in use.

Set against the backdrop of dramatic views of the Arabian Gulf, Yas Links Abu Dhabi combines stunning scenery with the thrill of links golf’s ultimate test: uneven fairways, pot bunkers and unpredictable wind conditions.

And here’s what some of the stars of world golf had to say about the course with its rolling hills and nine seaside greens:

World No.1 Lee Westwood: “The course is very good. It’s very similar to the other ones Kyle Phillips has designed, it’s got a feel like Kingsbarns to it.”
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The Architect of Every Golfer’s Dream

Imagine a ride in one of the first Ferraris, and being driven by the car’s creator, Enzo Ferrari.

You could ask him about the distinctive roar of the engine, the uncomfortable seats, and twiddle the knobs until he responded with a stream of invectives.

I had a similar experience recently when I played a round of golf with Kyle Phillips, the architect of Yas Links Golf Club.

Kyle who? you might be asking. The world of golf architecture is split in two: on one side Arnold Palmer; Jack Nicklaus; Ernie Els; even Tiger Woods – legendary names of golf recognised the world over; and in the other camp Pete Dye; Robert Trent Jones; and Kyle Phillips – hardly household names.

However, mention Kyle Phillips to golfers and even granite-like Irishmen get a tear in their eye and start to wax lyrical. “The course is fantastic, you can run balls in, they’ve got lots of great run-offs,” says Graeme McDowell, the US Open champion and Ryder Cup star who played the course this week. “You can hit lots of different shots in and around the greens. I think Kyle has created something pretty cool here.”
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Goose Flies Away with Invitational Top Prize

Abdullah Al Naboodah almost managed to give his 104 invited friends the ultimate links experience in the middle of the desert as the latest edition of the Emirates Airline Invitational proved to be a major success in its first outing at Yas Links Abu Dhabi.

That list of 104 included 52 top professionals from the European Tour, including the world No.1 Lee Westwood and the reigning US Open champion and world No.4 Graeme McDowell.

The Kyle Phillips-designed Yas Links is a true links course, and that likeness was enhanced by the overcast and breezy conditions.

It even rained a bit, but the occasional showers were too short-lived to make it too uncomfortable for the players.

And one man who tamed the course despite the tough playing conditions was South African Retief Goosen, who gave enough indication of his current form with an eight-under par 64 round, which was enough to win him the top professional prize.
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The Goose Flying High at Emirates Airline Invitational

Retief Goosen got his season off to the perfect start by winning the Pros event at the Emirates Airline Invitational Hosted by Abdullah Al Naboodah at Yas Links Golf Club, Abu Dhabi, as England cricket legend Michael Vaughan and playing partner Ross McGowan scooped the Pro-Am two-man Team prize.
The Goose warmed up for his first outing on The European Tour in 2011 – this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship – in stunning style, shooting a round of 8-under-par 64 that included seven birdies and a scintillating eagle at the at the 11th with just one bogey at the 17th.

The South African only entered the event last Thursday and had never played Kyle Phillips’ delightful Yas Links course before but after experiencing at first hand the unique and much-lauded atmosphere generated by the region’s most prestigious Pro-Am he’s more than happy he decided to take part in the event.
“It was my first round here so maybe that was a good thing – I didn’t know where all the trouble was,” said the two-time US Open champion. “I just tried to hit good shots, played solid golf, putted well and hit a lot of shots close to the pin. The course obviously suited my game quite nicely. I was a late entry so I think I made the right decision to play.

“Yas Links is a beautiful layout, it hasn’t been open very long but it’s in really great shape. It can get tough – when the wind blows hard round here it can get really difficult. The greens are also obviously very sloping so they can be very tricky.
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Top 10: Professional-Level Golf Courses

With the opening of new courses at Yas and Saadiyat in 2010, Abu Dhabi has laid down its marker as a top golf destination. As in previous years, the venue for the European Tour HSBC Championship is the Abu Dhabi National (Thursday to January 23), but Yas Links stages an exciting hors d’oeuvre on Monday. The No 1 golfer in the world, Lee Westwood, and the US Open champion, Graeme McDowell, head a line up of tour professionals for the invitational Pro-Am hosted by the Dubai entrepreneur Abdullah Al Naboodah. Half the Dh1.8 million purse will go to local charities and half to charities chosen by the winning professionals. Even if you’re invited, you won’t beat these guys, but you can join them at home and on other iconic courses around the world.

2. Yas Links, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi

In golf’s rich global pageant, links status is the ultimate accolade but imitators in distant lands rarely achieve the real deal. Key ingredients are sand, sea, “natural” landscaping and an absence of intrusive real estate. Site selection and investment can supply the first three, but the fourth is harder in a necessarily commercial climate. Opened last March, Yas Links are within sight of the F1 Circuit and Ferrari World but there are no fairway villas. Blazing sun insists this is not Scotland, but walking hard past fairways, looking for errant balls in hairy rough and missing putts on huge greens provides a traditional ambiance. The American architect Kyle Phillips, who established gilt-edged links credentials with Kingsbarns, 10km from St Andrews, has worked a similar magic on a course acclaimed as “the best in the Middle East” by Golf Course Architecture magazine.
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Eimrates Airline Invitational Takes Off

Emirates Airline has been unveiled as the Title Partner of The Invitational Hosted by Abdullah Al Naboodah to be played at Yas Links Golf Club, Abu Dhabi, on Monday, January 17. This is the fifth running of the event, after two years at the Four Seasons Golf Club, Dubai and two years at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club. The one-day tournament is universally recognised as one of the most popular and prestigious Pro-Ams in golf and with Emirates Airline taking up the title partnership the event has taken off as a world-class golf tournament.

The event is played in a better-ball format and among the 52 European Tour Professionals taking part – one Tour Pro per pair – there are 41 European Tour Champions, 11 Ryder Cup players, three Major Champions and the World No.1. This year the Emirates Airline Invitational, will be the curtain-raiser for the four-tournament European Tour Middle East Swing.

Abdullah Al Naboodah is delighted at Emirates’ support, saying: “Emirates Airline’s Title Partnership is great news for The Invitational. “We have been successful in building a base of select international brands as Premier Partners and Partners over the past few years but to go into our fifth year with the addition of Emirates Airline as Title Partner is a huge step forward. “The Emirates Airline Invitational will benefit the Pro-Am, and particularly the charities that we – and the Professional Tour players – support. It really does take the Pro-Am to a new level and establishes the event as a world-class golf tournament.”
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