From the desert
KEEPING IT COOL
Paul Stubbs gives insight into a different world of golf
Having made the move from Cape Town to Dubai, the first thing that hits you like a slap in the face is the summer heat. With temperatures averaging 45°C without factoring in the humidity, golf has been a distant thought for me, which is a pity because the courses in Dubai are spectacular.
Then I realised all was not lost. A 30-minute drive from the centre of Dubai is an oasis for golfers. Nestled in the DragonMart 2 Mall is My Golf Dubai. It is nothing less than a mind-blowing experience from the minute you walk through the front door.
This facility has 12 simulators, some in luxury private rooms, where you can go as a group. You can choose from hundreds of courses and the technology is quite incredible, with one of the features being that the floor tilts if you land on a slope! There is fairway, semi-rough, rough and sand, giving you the feel of playing your normal round. Another feature is the stats, including how far you hit the ball, clubhead speed and ball speed. All of this gives you a great way to practise and improve.
See what My Golf Dubai has to offer at their exceptional facility
When we arrived we were shown into the beautifully decorated VIP suite and after a 10-minute warm-up on the driving range, we chose to play the Old Course at St Andrews, and what a good choice it was. Every hole offers the same experience as the course itself, although I must admit the putting part takes a lot of getting used to.
The infamous Road Hole took its toll, as you would expect, but after just over two and a half hours we had completed 18 holes. We played some great shots and some not so good ones, but what really mattered is we were able to play a full game of golf despite the temperature being 47 degrees outside.
Our wives could relax in the lounge area where food and drinks are only the press of a button away, although no alcohol is available.
Yes, it isn’t outdoors and it has a slightly different atmosphere but you are playing 18 holes, using all the clubs and skills you would on an outdoor course, which is a fantastic way of countering the Dubai summer heat! And the best part of the entire day… not one ball was lost.
I also discovered that My Golf Dubai has weekly tournaments and pro-ams which are very well attended. It also has an academy where qualified teachers give lessons.
We found it to be an incredible experience and with the weather only cooling down by mid-October, we’ll definitely find our way back there.
taking a shot
Paul Stubbs in action away from the heat and humidity of Dubai.
About the pro
Grant Hepburn took the helm as CEO of GolfRSA in 2015, but his passion for coaching still burns strong. He cultivated a proven track record in amateur and professional golf circles after joining world-renowned coach Robert Baker as his assistant on the PGA Tour in the 1990s. Grant also coached several champions on the European Tour, Asian Tour and the Sunshine Tour, as well as many of the country's top amateurs. He served as the national coach of the SA Golf Development Board for many years and has trained more than 100 coaches locally and internationally. He has lectured in Long Term Athlete Development and Advanced Golf Coaching for the PGA of South Africa and currently oversees the GolfRSA National High Performance Squad.