5 Reasons to Take an Arabian Golf Cruise

Enchanting days, relaxing nights and world-class golf are cornerstones of PerryGolf cruises to the Arabian Gulf.

The 2018 Arabian Gulf & Emirates Golf Cruise embarks from Dubai on Oct. 31, 2018. PerryGolf Co-Founder Colin Dalgleish is your host for this 7-Night, 4-Round voyage which tours the Persian Gulf.

Clients interested in enjoying a few more days at sea (and another round of golf) might prefer the 11-Night, 5-Round 2019 Arabian Gulf & Emirates Golf Cruise, which also departs Dubai, setting sail on Nov. 29 of next year.

Whatever your pleasure, PerryGolf and Azamara Quest form the ideal partnership to help you enjoy this mystical corner of the world, experience the culture, refresh at sea and play exquisite golf courses sprinkled throughout the region.

Open your eyes to these five reasons to cruise the Arabian Gulf.

Dubai

Dubai Grand Mosque

Known as the ‘Venice of the Gulf,’ endless skyscrapers and the powerful beauty of extravagant architecture mark this progressive oasis in the desert. Explore the Dubai Grand Mosque, which was originally constructed in 1900, but has undergone numerous rebuilds and renovations during the last century and features the tallest Minaret in Dubai. Gold Souk is the largest market of its kind and offers an array of goods that should not be missed. Traditional wooden boats (dhows) float along the Dubai Creek Waterfront, which separates Deira from Bur Dubai, carving through the city center. Walk the narrow streets and gaze at the limestone homes in Bastakia, a neighborhood  and restored  Bastakia, a neighborhood

 

The Golf

Saadiyat Beach was designed in harmony with the natural landscape and with respect for the coastal environment.

Perhaps you watched the epic shootout last month between Haotong Li and Rory McIlroy at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic. Li outlasted McIlroy with a remarkable 23-under total, taking full advantage of the pristine condition of the Emirates Golf Club Majlis Course, which was the first grass course in Dubai and the longtime host of this marquee event on the European Tour schedule. PerryGolf cruises to the Arabian Gulf include a round on the Majlis Course, which includes seven freshwater and saltwater lakes. This region is loaded with an array of other wonderful courses available as part of the cruise package. Saadiyat Beach Club, designed by Gary Player, was the first oceanfront layout in the region. Royal Golf Club Bahrain is a Colin Montgomerie design, mixing links-style and desert golf. It was the site of the European Tour’s inaugural Volvo Champions Tournament. Doha Golf Club, available on the 2019 PerryGolf Arabian Golf Cruise, is the home of the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, which you can enjoy on Golf Channel from Feb. 22-25. The talented South African professional Branden Grace won at Doha in 2015 and 2016 while reigning U.S. Masters champion Sergia Garcia took the crown in 2014.

 

Abu Dhabi

The capital of the United Arab Emirates features a population of 1.2 million, 80 percent of which are expatriates. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a must-see attraction on any visit to this city. It’s the eighth-largest mosque in the world, but you’ll be hard pressed to find one that’s more spectacular. Constructed entirely with white marble, featuring massive chandeliers, the mosque is intricate and rich in detail, and the abundance of natural sunlight flowing into the building alters the appearance and feel of your visit, depending on the time of day. Making a desert safari in a four-wheel drive vehicle is also an enjoyable way to spend part of a day in Abu Dhabi, not to mention the gorgeous waterfront along Corniche Road or the plethora of souks and malls where you can shop to your heart’s delight.

Doha

From the city’s social center in centuries-old Souq Waqif to the striking beauty of the Museum of Islamic Arts on the waterfront, which was designed by I.M. Pei and a multitude of historical buildings and artifacts that represent the region’s diverse and interesting culture, Doha is a interesting city that can be enjoyed on PerryGolf cruises to the region. Hop aboard a dhow and cruise the bay along the seaside promenade Al-Corniche, sure not to miss Palm Island and its beauty. Doha is the capital of Qatar and the recent rapid economic expansion is easy to see.

 

Relaxation and Relationships

What better way to rekindle your relationship with your better half, than spending a week or so at sea and on land, enjoying the amenities of an elegant ship like Azamara Quest, playing golf together or simply experiencing the culture and history available in this unique part of the world. Onboard the ship, you’ll enjoy fine dining and beautiful views from the deck in addition to an array of lounges and bars, where you can expect first-class service and hospitality from the highly trained staff and crew. Make friendships with your fellow guests that are certain to last a lifetime. That’s a hallmark of any PerryGolf cruise and the exotic adventures awaiting in the Arabian Gulf are certain to be satisfying and memorable.

How the 2019 Open Championship at Royal Portrush came to be

Royal Portrush, ranked No. 14 in the Golf.com World Top 100, welcomes the best golfers in the world for the 2019 Open Championship.

The Open Championship was last held in Northern Ireland in 1951 and the champion earned 300£ (or roughly $11,000 today). Max Faulkner surely cherished clutching the Claret Jug as he stood on the 18th green at Royal Portrush and the winner’s check was a welcome sight as well. However, when compared to the $1.8 million Jordan Spieth collected for winning last summer at Royal Birkdale, the paltry pay Faulkner received reflects the immense growth professional golf has enjoyed during the last 66 years.

As the purses and galleries increased, having sufficient room to erect the necessary infrastructure on and around the course became a requisite ingredient for any club wishing to play host to the Open Championship. Few doubted the quality of the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush – it’s routinely ranked in the top 20 in the World – and whether the golf holes provided a stern enough test to deserve a spot in the Open rota. But the tight quarters around the course seemed too cramped to welcome 200,000 spectators during tournament week and ensure they enjoyed a pleasant experience.

Bordered by Bushmills / Dunluce Road on one side and the North Atlantic Ocean on the other, it appeared Royal Portrush in County Antrim, Northern Ireland must remain content to live forever as a one-time Open Championship host and savor the fading memories from Faulkner’s magical week.

That was the situation until 2014 when leaders from the Royal & Ancient Golf Club along with noted golf course architects Tom Mackenzie and Martin Ebert formed a plan to renovate Dunluce Links, create the necessary room for the Open’s Spectator Village and make the golf course a demanding test for the modern professional without compromising legendary Harry S. Colt’s design from the 1930s. The legendary golf writer Bernard Darwin described Dunluce Links as such in 1951:

Mr. H.S. Colt, who

designed it in its present

form, has thereby built

himself a monument more

enduring than brass.

Upon receiving unanimous approval for the renovations from the Royal Portrush membership in 2015, the R&A awarded the club the 2019 Open Championship. On-course construction began that fall and was completed in the summer of 2017. Each step of the journey, Mackenzie and Ebert surely saw Colt’s vision and heard Darwin’s words, as they steered their crew to execute a renovation fit to carry the course through the Open and decades beyond.

With the R&A intending to use the former 17th and 18th holes on Dunluce Links as the Spectator Village, it was Mackenzie and Ebert’s task to create two new additions on the existing property. They added the 7th, a 572-yard par-5, and the 8th, a 435-yard par-4, which fit the terrain and routing as if they’ve been in place for decades. No. 16, the brutish 235-yard par-3 known as Calamity Corner, is one of the only bunkerless holes at Royal Portrush – not as if sand is needed to protect par. Open contenders will aim to avoid Bobby Locke’s Hollow which lines the left side, poised to collect a wild hook or pull.

In all, Dunluce Links has the fewest bunkers (70) of any course in the Open rota. By comparison, there are 150 at Muirfield and 210 at Royal Lytham & St. Anne’s.

Now, the refreshed and enhanced Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush, measuring more than 7,300 yards, sits along the shore waiting to test the world’s best in the summer of 2019. Once again, Mackenzie and Ebert have doctored a course in the Open rota and prepared it to face the extraordinary talent of the modern professional golfer.

Golf observers, club members and historians hope for a mystical week in July 2019 to extend a golden era for Irish golf as Dublin native Padraig Harrington, local favorite Graeme McDowell, longtime Royal Portrush member Darren Clarke and world No. 10 Rory McIlroy – who grew up in Holywood roughly 60 miles away – have claimed major titles in the last decade.

PerryGolf can take you to Royal Portrush. Join the Hogan Bracket on the 2018 Open Championship Cruise and you can test your game on the renovated links, pausing certainly to snap a photo on No. 13, a beautiful par-3, known as ‘Feather Bed.’

You can also attend the final round of the 148th Open Championship in 2019 and play other great links in the rota along the way, such as Royal Liverpool and Royal Birkdale, by joining PerryGolf on a 12-day cruise from Edinburgh to London aboard the luxurious Azamara Journey.

Scottish Reflection on US Open at Chambers Bay

Chambers Bay - 2015 US Open - 9th Green

I made a personal Facebook post about my thoughts on the US Open which received a number of thoughtful comments. Bottom line, the US Open at Chambers Bay, which was positioned as a US Open on a links course, certainly has formed any number of opinions on a variety of related topics. On one hand that is good. On the other, Read more “Scottish Reflection on US Open at Chambers Bay”

Rory McIlroy Teams Up with Nike

Nike has announced a huge sponsorship deal which will make Rory McIlroy one of the highest paid sports stars in the world.  The deal is reported to be worth around $100m – $125m over a five year period, which could earn the Northern Irish golfer around $50,000 per day!

Tiger Woods has been Nike’s main standard bearer for the past 15 years, however the new world number one will now be paid even more than Woods.  Rory is quoted as saying “I chose Nike for a number of reasons.  They are committed to being the best, as am I. Signing with Nike is another step towards living out my dream.”

To view a fantastic new Nike advert, featuring both Tiger and Rory, click here.

By Keith Baird.  Keith is one of PerryGolf’s Golf Travel Specialists.

US Open Thoughts

Colin Dalgleish, Co Founding Director of PerryGolf with Rory McIlroy at 2007 Walker Cup Matches

What a great event and wonderful to see a new era evolve in competitive golf with a friendly, attractive personality. My brother as Captain of the 2007 Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup Team at Royal County Down Golf Club had the privelege of working with him and has consistently said that Rory was both mature for his years and a extremely pleasant young man…the camera does not always allow the “nice” to show through on television, but in this instance it did. Congratulations Rory! 

The Thursday pairings whereby the USGA grouped Spaniards and Italians together just seemed odd….the media did not seem to take issue with it but my sense is that it gave an slight advantage to players like Garcia who would have enjoyed 2 rounds with people they are comfortable with. 

Disappointing the way that the commentators decided early in the week to criticize the formula for the World Golf Rankings…that discussion would have more credibility when the US was better represented at the top of the rankings. The formula may well need to be redrawn, given the international scope of players and their event schedules but why pick now to discuss? 

An interesting statistic from the June 17 issue of Golfweek; “The British Amateur attracted only one player from USA in the world Top 100”. If that fact is correct, it would seem given the recent history of golfing achievements that younger US college players need to take a more global view than even those of their slightly older peers! 

It is great to see this new excitement in golf, some tremendous rivalries shaping up that will be for years to come….next stop Royal St. George’s.
 

About the Author: Gordon Dalgleish is the Co-Founding Director of PerryGolf, the leading provider of international golf vacations. You can find him on Google+