Renowned course designer and golf legend Greg Norman has expressed pride at his Fire course creation at Jumeirah Golf Estates taking its place in the limelight when it hosts the European Tour’s Golf in Dubai Championship presented by DP World on December 2 – 5.
Norman designed both the Fire and Earth courses on the property at Jumeirah Golf Estates, with the latter hosting the season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai – the final Rolex Series event of the season – since the tournament’s inception in 2009.
This year the Fire course will welcome the finest European Tour players for the first time the week before the Race to Dubai winner is decided and Norman is excited by the prospect of the venue being broadcast to a global audience.
“To have the opportunity to showcase the diversity and contrast of the two courses at Jumeirah Golf Estates in a televised setting is something I’ve hoped for all along, and I think it will be an exciting couple of weeks’ of golf for Dubai and the golfing world,” said Norman.
“We designed both the Earth and Fire courses with the potential for tournament play in mind, so it’s very exciting to have the Fire course join the Earth on the European Tour rotation.”
While the top players have learned the nuances of the Earth course over the last 11 years of the DP World Tour Championship, Norman believes the Fire course poses a much different challenge – but one that will be receptive to low scoring if the correct strategy is maintained.
“The Fire plays more like a links course, so there are more options for playing the ground game and using the contours, especially when the conditions are firm and fast,” said Norman.
“The wider corridors allowed us to create a variety of different angles and shot-making opportunities, so while it may appear less intimidating than Earth, the course still requires a great deal of thought and execution to score well.”
Norman, who has designed courses in Oman, Jordan, and Egypt, understands how important the Middle East is to the golfing world and is delighted to have played a part in helping the game grow in the region.
“I’ve always thought there was tremendous potential for the game of golf in the Middle East since I first came to Dubai as a touring professional in the 1990s, so it’s extremely rewarding to see the two courses I’ve designed at Jumeirah Golf Estates becoming such an integral part of taking that growth to new heights – it’s a huge part of what drives my passion for golf course design,” he said