Do you love playing seaside links courses but wish the sun was hot on your back? Well, we may have found your perfect golf destination - the superb Yas Links in Abu Dhabi.
Fresh from creating masterpieces like Kingsbarns near St Andrews and Dundonald in Troon, Scotland, Kyle Phillips, one of the world's leading course architects, has created this genuine, traditional links course out of a flat desert wasteland. It's the first of its type in the Middle East region - and it's a corker.
Where there were rolling dunes and wasteland, there's now a collection of rolling verdant fairways, deep bunkers, wispy rough and inviting, sloping greens with their traditional heartbreaking run-offs. Against all the odds, Phillips has created a modern classic and the par-72 layout, which plays to a maximum of 7,450 yards, is endowed with nine holes that dramatically hug the coastline, while all 18 holes boast views of the shoreline. Multiple teeing areas make all this enjoyable for most golfers.
In addition to the championship 18-hole course, there's a nine-hole academy course, clubhouse, golf academy and floodlit practice facilities, set against dramatic views of the Arabian Gulf.
Yas Links is also memorable because it's situated on the spectacular Yas Island, strategically located between the coast and city of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, with a range of world-class hotels, theme parks, golf courses, mega malls, apartments and villas, and much more. There's a Ferrari theme park, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, featuring the world's fastest roller coaster, and if you want more excitement the Warner Brothers theme park and Yas Water Park should suffice. This is also the home of the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The Yas Hotel is also a unique attraction, with a spectacular aerodynamic gridshell exterior that is a fully programmable cloak of illuminated glass panels, enabling it to act as a light show at night, providing different shades and colours, including animations. Like the fantastic Scottish links-style course in the desert, it's all a little surreal, but makes a trip here all the more memorable.