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Above par C O M E

THE CHAMP Henrik Stenson returns to Earth

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JOIN THE CLUB Step inside one of the world’s grandest clubhouses

WELCOME TO REDWOOD Make yourself at home in Jumeirah Golf Estates’ latest luxury residential offering


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A WARM WELCOME PAGE 04

Living The Dream All you need to know about life at Jumeirah Golf Estates PAGE 08

Take It As Red Jumeirah Golf Estates’ finest villas yet are ready to view PAGE 14

Come On In Inside Jumeirah Golf Estates’ stunning clubhouse PAGE 18

Professional Practice Meet the Middle East’s greatest game changers PAGE 20

The Race Ends Here The men most likely to win the DP World Tour Championship PAGE 22

The Holes That Matter Most Discover the most challenging holes on Earth

We would like to extend a warm welcome to Jumeirah Golf Estates. We are already a thriving community of families and international visitors, and the recent opening of the Clubhouse is a milestone development that cements Jumeirah Golf Estates’ status as the region’s leading residential golf community. Given the extensive array of recreational facilities now on offer in the heart of the community, we anticipate increased demand for our growing property portfolio especially our recently launched Redwood Park and Redwood Avenue developments. Ranging from informal to fine dining, the Clubhouse has a host of delicious dining options. Fresca Café & Delicatessen is ideal for those seeking light snacks and healthy dining options, using only the highest quality ingredients, while Swirl Bar and Lounge is the perfect spot for socialising and enjoying premium beverages and light meals overlooking the 18th hole on the Earth course. The trio of outlets is topped off by the contemporary Flame Tree Restaurant & Grill, which offers a selection of international cuisine in a fine-dining setting. Open for lunch and dinner sittings, the restaurant’s indoor and outdoor seating areas offer spectacular daytime and twilight views of the 18th hole on the Fire course. The Clubhouse is also set to become a popular venue for events of all sizes. Facilities include the Race to Dubai Suite, an intimate private dining room for special events and celebrations; The Boardroom, a fully equipped meeting room for up to 16 delegates; and a tranquil 500-capacity outdoor events lawn with stunning views of Dubai’s ever-changing skyline. The Clubhouse will become the social focal point of Jumeirah Golf Estates for members, residents and visitors, uniting first-class food and beverage outlets, events spaces and golf facilities to enhance our already attractive membership package. This exciting development stands alongside our European Tour Performance Institute and two championship golf courses in promising golfers and members a valuable, world-class proposition. Yousuf Kazim General Manager

Neal Graham General Manager Club Operations

Managing Director Victoria Thatcher | Editorial Director John Thatcher Contributing Editors Tracey Scott, Eleanor Joslin| Contributing Deputy Editor Richard Jenkins | Senior Designer Adam Sneade | Designer Andy Knappett | Photography Gerry O’Learly, Glen Pearson, Getty Images, Corbis/Arabian Eye To contact any of the above people, email firstname@hotmediapublishing.com

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L I V I N G

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s one of the world’s finest and most prestigious golf communities, Jumeirah Golf Estates is an address unlike any other in the Middle East. This all-villa community, where the number of villas with full golf course views account for over 80 per cent of the properties – the highest percentage of any such development in the world – is made up of 13 different developments (three of which are owned and operated by Jumeirah Golf Estates), each showcasing a distinct style and ambiance: at some, you’ll see residents driving around in their own designated golf buggies. Here, residents are afforded unparalleled levels of luxury and truly unique facilities, all set amidst splendorous surrounds just 15 minutes from Dubai’s iconic landmarks and closer still to the venue for Expo 2020. The newly opened Clubhouse at Jumeirah Golf Estates is amongst the biggest and best in the world. It boasts standout facilities including restaurants, swimming pools, and a children’s recreational area – the ideal venue for resident families. Additionally, the on-site European Tour Performance Institute (ETPI) is an exceptional facility, one of two globally that the European Tour has accredited with its name. Along with the very best in state-of-the art golf tuition services and equipment, the greatly experienced team at the ETPI use a unique approach to improving your golf game, providing services which include fitness programmes, osteopathy and sports therapy massage. More than just a golf teaching facility, it is in effect a centre of excellence for personal wellbeing. Of course, central to everything here are the two majestic golf courses, Fire and Earth. They account for a truly outstanding playing experience and are home to The European Tour’s season-ending showpiece for the Race to Dubai title. Fitting recognition, then, of what is a world-class and ever-growing golf community without rival in the region.

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H E

D R E A M An idyllic lifestyle is par for the course when you’re part of Jumeirah Golf Estates’ exclusive golf community

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YO U R

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The lowdown on Jumeirah Golf Estates’ own luxury developments FIRE Framed by a wide variety of captivating fauna carefully selected to reflect the course’s overall theme and to enhance its natural setting, Fire is in complete harmony with its surroundings. The undulating topography, with its considerable protrusions, creates a more challenging level of play and demands a well-thoughtout strategy; going directly for the flag may not always be the best approach, which gives Fire a strong sense of classic links-style play.

Redwood Park

Redwood Avenue

Redwood Park provides a first-time residential opportunity at Jumeirah Golf Estates – luxury three- and four-bedroom townhouses overlooking the 11th and 12th holes of the Fire course. The design of the Redwood Park development, which will house 75 townhouses in total, perfectly complements the elegance and aesthetics prevalent throughout the whole of Jumeirah Golf Estates; lush landscaping, winding walkways and water features abound. This a development built with families firmly in mind: shared amenities include swimming pools (one for adults, one for kids), shaded children’s play areas and barbecue facilities, which give you the opportunity to spend the whole day poolside, soaking up views of the neighbouring Fire course.

Redwood Avenue is a collection of exclusive villas – with five or six bedrooms – that all boast commanding views over the Fire course and its striking red-sand bunkers. The villas are available to purchase in one of two styles: with high-spec add-ons including state-of-the-art audio visual systems, B&B Italia interiors and custom-designed Italian kitchens replete with Miele appliances, or as a blank canvas that affords you the opportunity to design the interiors to meet your personal preference. Outdoor living is a key feature of Redwood Avenue. Each home benefits from individually designed garden plots, plus outdoor cooking and dining facilities, while the community’s beautifully landscaped public areas, parks and nature strips make for serene surroundings.

Inspired by the great parkland courses of Europe and North America, Earth sets the scene for an incredible experience

EARTH

Whispering Pines

Flame Tree Ridge

Whispering Pines is a distinctive gated community of threeand four-bedroom homes, offering commanding views over the Fire and Earth courses or across to Dubai’s stunning skyline. Dotted with intimate, secluded gardens, and with water features lining its streets, the verdant Whispering Pines is a haven of peace and serenity. Whispering Pines’ threeand four-bedroom villas – available in four distinct styles – are all constructed from authentic Tuscan-style materials and feature two-car garages, a swimming pool and, best of all, an electric golf cart.

Flame Tree Ridge comprises four- and five-bedroom villas, set aside the Fire and Earth courses. An unmistakably Mediterranean air pervades Flame Tree Ridge. The Tuscanstyle villas feature authentic stone façades and pitched terracotta roofs, and all come complete with extensive landscaped gardens, swimming pool and double garage. Homeowners have a choice of eight architectural styles and a wide variety of interior colour schemes in a range of modern and traditional finishes to ensure that the Flame Tree Ridge living experience is as stylish as it is comfortable.

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Inspired by the great parkland courses of Europe and North America, Earth – the home course of the DP World Tour Championship – sets the scene for an incredible experience. The rolling fairways, brilliant white bunkering and deep red-ochre landscape are framed by myriad trees and shrubs, making each hole picture perfect. This abundance of nature is complemented by the many lakes which dot the course, and which are home to a wide variety of wildlife. The memorable journey through Earth is concluded on the famous ‘Norman Mile’, over which the last four holes are played alongside or over water, culminating in the meandering creek that runs the full length of the final hole.


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TA K E

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Why Jumeirah Golf Estates’ luxurious Redwood development is in prime position to be among the city’s finest

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magine waking up to early-morning birdsong, sipping a steaming cup of coffee on a sun-dappled balcony, and gazing out across lush green fairways, where the first golfers of the day are either in full swing or trundling past in golf buggies towards the delicious breakfasts that await them at the Clubhouse. When you’re buying into the luxurious Redwood development, you’re buying into more than just a home. You’re buying into an exclusive lifestyle. A lifestyle where golfing, restaurants, recreation and wildlife are all to hand and par for the course. Add to this the annual DP World Tour Championship that takes place on your doorstep and you’ve got the ultimate golfdriven lifestyle. Jumeirah Golf Estates is centred around two world-class golf courses, Fire and Earth, and many golfers have already taken up the sport on these esteemed fairways. Overlooking the 11th and 12th holes of Fire are the luxurious Redwood Avenue villas, the flagship properties of the Redwood development due to their generous size, versatile layouts, high-end finishes and unrivalled views. “When you’re looking to live in a golf estate you’re looking to buy into the whole relaxed lifestyle,” reflects Paul Crowe, sales and marketing manager at Jumeirah Golf Estates. “When I walk around Redwood I see a beautiful, green community, almost like an oasis in the desert. We’ve created a self-sufficient ecosystem here so it’s a very natural environment with lots of birds and wildlife and recycled watering systems. “Much of the landscape in Dubai is flat so we have formed elevated levels within the estate to give it a more traditional village feel. The Redwood villas and townhouses are designed to evoke the warmth of the Mediterranean, with natural stonework, red rooftops and chimneys reminiscent of charming towns in Spain and Italy. There are working fireplaces, too, and while this may seem unusual in Dubai, residents here do use them and they give a real sense of home comfort.” The Redwood development is split into two areas: the townhouse complex of Redwood Park and the villa community of Redwood Avenue, with prices starting at AED3.6 million. Currently available off-plan, Redwood Park will be home to 75 premium townhouses, measuring between 2,800 and 3,200 square feet, with three or four bedrooms. Developed with a central path leading to the middle of the community, all residents will have easy access to the community swimming pools, barbecue areas and landscaped gardens. This is the next phase of development and will start very soon, in January 2015. Meanwhile, Redwood Avenue provides 55 properties directly overlooking the scenic Fire golf course. “These are our biggest villas on the estate,” says Crowe. “They range from 7,000 to 8,000 square feet, with between five and seven bedrooms, designed in 11 contemporary layouts, so they really

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Whereas most of Dubai is flat, our elevated levels give the estate a more traditional village feel

are quite spacious and versatile. Only four remain to be built and can be designed in any one of these 11 styles, so buyers have a lot of leeway if they pick one of these plots. “Internally, there is a choice of two finishes for the villas and townhouses. The complete package has a luxurious B&B Italia kitchen with the full kit-out. This is really exceptional. On the other hand, some people like to put their own stamp on their new home and this is where we offer the basic finish, which is still really well done but lets the buyer finish the interiors.” Redwood is one of three master-plan communities built by Jumeirah Golf Estates, alongside Flame Tree Ridge and Whispering Pines. In total, the expansive estate will cover 1,119 hectares in the Jebel Ali district, with 10 other residential communities and a number of lakes, nature trails, parks and

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landscaped gardens joining the golf courses and leisure facilities at the Clubhouse. All the properties at Redwood boast gardens with ample space for swimming pools to be installed – an option most residents opt for, says Crowe. However, you only have to pop to the newly opened Clubhouse – one of the largest clubhouses in the world – to find community swimming pools, children’s pools, sociable barbecue areas, a choice of restaurants and a generous outdoor terrace where you can sit back and enjoy the ambient winter weather. Elsewhere, there are also tennis courts and the celebrated European Tour Performance Institute, Jumeirah Golf Estates’ very own golf academy. “The golf facilities here are amazing and there are only two of this kind in the world that carry this endorsement for the European Tour,” enthuses Crowe. “If you want to learn to play golf we provide a complete holistic approach and look at all aspects of your wellbeing. First we work on your body and

Buyers are seeing this as a lucrative option and there’s a very strong rental yield from properties here

make sure your back is properly aligned and check your fitness levels, and only then do we give you a golf club.” While your neighbours could be from any number of nationalities, Jumeirah Golf Estates has already proved popular with those from the UK, Ireland, northern Europe and India. But it’s not just prospective homeowners who should be interested. “There’s a very strong rental market here, too, and half our properties are leased to tenants,” he continues. “Buyers are seeing this as a lucrative option and there’s a very strong rental yield from properties here. Demand is particularly high for three-, fourand five-bedroom homes. People want the lifestyle on offer here as there’s so much on your doorstep – like waking up to green, grassy views and birds singing in the trees rather than desert and traffic – it’s a very different environment compared to other areas in Dubai. In addition, there’s a good secondary market and property can get snapped up quickly.” What can we expect in the future? Perhaps a 14th community to meet demand? Time will tell. But what is certain is that there’s still plenty to look forward to at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

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CO M E As Jumeirah Golf Estates’ eagerly awaited Clubhouse swings opens its doors, Above Par takes a look inside‌

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n pulling up outside the Clubhouse at Jumeirah Golf Estates you would be forgiven for thinking you were in the Mediterranean. Occupying a sizable plot overlooking the development’s driving range and practice area, this landmark building is much more than a clubhouse. Home to a trio of new restaurants (and more to come), a children’s play area and swimming pools, it is a destination in itself. And it is set to become an epicurean hotspot for residents and visitors alike, says Kamal Alahendra, food and beverage director at the Clubhouse. “It’s a completely different experience,” says Alahendra, who joined the Clubhouse following successful stints at the Jumeirah Group and Ritz-Carlton Hotels. “The golf environment, the Clubhouse concept, the surrounding greenery and the simple, easy-going lifestyle that can be found here make it the perfect location for socialising with friends and family.” Much like the development’s golf courses, the restaurants here are varied and spectacular. For a spot of fine dining there is Flame Tree Restaurant & Grill, a contemporary restaurant serving international cuisine in stunning surrounds. With head chef Rajiv Ranjan at the helm, diners will see their taste buds transported to Italy, India, Thailand and back again. And if the uninterrupted views across the 18th hole on the Fire course do not distract you from the menu, make sure you place an order for the trio chocolate terrine to close your meal.

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A hop and skip from here is Swirl Bar & Lounge, a casual restaurant serving a modern European menu throughout the day. A suitable spot for socialising, Swirl offers stunning views across the 18th hole on the neighbouring Earth course. Looking for a spot to thrash out a business deal? Then the Race To Dubai Suite, named after the prestigious tournament of the same name, might just be the place. Located next to the Clubhouse’s snooker room, the plush leather seating, fully stocked bar and private setting is enough to make any meeting a comfortable one. Available for private hire, it pays homage to the tournament and its past winners, with golfbased artwork and memorabilia dotted about the room to contemporary effect. Members or visitors on the go should stop by Fresca Café & Delicatessen before departing the Clubhouse and check out the fresh sandwiches to take away. Alternatively, non-golfers should book the afternoon tea and wait for their significant other to finish a round. Aside from the epicurean delights, the design of the Clubhouse deserves a round of applause, too. The architectural elements of its exterior are standout and striking, with features evocative of the Mediterranean, such as multi-level roofing, terracotta façade and open courtyards. The style of the Med continues inside, too, where it blends seamlessly with contemporary Arabic décor – think high ceilings, light marble, and stunning archways and bays. And the team behind this creative explosion? Dubai-based KST Designs. “The brief from the client was to be able to blend the clubhouse with the restaurants and bar, and appeal to non-golfing guests while being respectful to the idea that this


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is a golf clubhouse,” says Katherine Stealey Tranter, creative partner at KST Designs. “I was approached by Truelux, a procurement company with whom I’d worked on residential projects, and, by working together, we were able to offer a destination for golf, dining and relaxing.” Returning to the restaurants for a moment, and the interiors were as important as the menu for both Alahendra and Stealey Tranter. “The layout of the Clubhouse bar and restaurant are very open plan; multiple smaller rooms that

interlink, we’ve kept some key fabrics and finishes which run throughout, then have accent colours to distinguish the rooms apart. The Swirl Bar & Lounge has a primary colour of blue for water and wind, while the Race to Dubai room at the opposite end is red for fire and earth. Where the rooms meet at the Flame Tree Restaurant, we’ve used purple as a combination of the blue and red. This means that the colour graduates naturally from one space to the other without shocking the eye and helps the spaces to flow.”

Much like the development’s golf courses, the restaurants here are varied and spectacular

are inter-linked to allow the space to be more flexible. We needed to develop a design that defined the different areas but would also work as a complete scheme, as from certain viewpoints you do see the whole space. “The restaurant and bar have full height windows allowing uninterrupted views of the courses, while polished stainless steel, clean-lined furniture, traditional golf artwork and photographs create more of a boutique hotel ambiance.” For the colour palette, the design team focused on nature’s four elements: fire, earth, water and air. “As the spaces

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And flow they have – right to the top of every must-visit list in Dubai. For residents, Alahendra says the “choice, tranquility and proximity to their homes” is what makes the Clubhouse and its restaurants so appealing. Holidaymakers, meanwhile, can enjoy the “glorious weather, five-star service, al-fresco dining and golfing experience”. When asked how the Clubhouse will rank against its neighbours in Dubai, Alahendra simply says: “In terms of the building, the capacity, the space, the facilities, the equipment and the staff, we will be number one, I am sure.”

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P R O F E S S I O N A L

P R A C T I C E

Even the best golfers in the world need a place to tune up their game. Step inside the European Tour Performance Institute to find out how they do it...

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nside a state-of-the-art facility at the sprawling Jumeirah Golf Estates, there’s a secret. It is the secret to success. Ok, it’s not really much of a secret – there are ETPI signs pointing it out all along the pathway to the building – but what takes place inside is still pretty special. Wayne Johnson, along with his team of coaches, are revolutionising the way that golf is practised, pioneering a highly analytical technique that will improve the scores of anyone who enters – from a total beginner to a tour pro. The development couldn’t have found a better director of

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instruction than Wayne Johnson. Revered throughout the golfing world for his educational skills, the Englishman has spent over 20 years working with some of the best golfers on the planet. Johnson says: “I started off as an assistant professional up in the Lake District in England, and then over the years I’ve had opportunities to work predominantly overseas. Very much involved with the club operations and golf academies, I worked in Portugal for several years at a club called Pinheiros Altos, I worked at private members’ club in London called The Wisley for a year, and I also worked in America with Butch Harmon, one of the foremost

golf coaches, for four years. I got very involved with working with guys like Tiger Woods, Adam Scott – great players of the game.” Johnson first came to Dubai in 2002 and immediately made an impact, working on high-profile golfing developments before settling at Jumeirah Golf Estates. He says: “I was involved in the creation of Race to Dubai and the Dubai World Championships. As that’s evolved, I’ve taken on the role of the instructional side here at Jumeirah Golf Estates, setting up the European Tour Performance Institute.” The ETPI is the magnificent result of several years of


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research by Johnson and his team, and he is understandably proud of the facility, saying: “The ETPI is one of only two in the world [the other is at Terre Blanche Hotel, Spa & Golf Resort in France]. The European Tour bestowed their name upon the project, and we’ve got what we would call worldclass, state-of-the-art teaching facilities. We can analyse a golfer’s swing through video analysis, we have a putting studio, we can custom-fit people for golf equipment, and we have an extensive practice and short-game area. We incorporate a gymnasium for strength and conditioning and we also have physiotherapy. We can work on the swing

The ETPI Team

The ETPI is the magnificent result of several years of research by Johnson and his team, understandably proud of the facility

of the client, their strength and conditioning, and also any treatment they might need to promote better body motion. We can adapt the teaching style to whatever the customer needs. We work with young golfers, children as young as four, all the way up to what we call ‘Weekend Warriors’, guys who play each weekend and are trying to break a hundred or ninety. We also work with experienced, tour-level players. From the tour-pro to the beginner, we see them all.” For a golfer at the top of his game, the ETPI is crucial to keep them from slipping into any bad habits. Video analysis of the entire range of golfing movements allows them to watch back their form in super-slow motion HD, to pinpoint the exact moment an error occurs, allowing them to correct it next time around. “The elite performers, they love it,” says Johnson. “What the facility offers them is a training ground which is second to none. There are very few facilities in the world that can offer the practice area, combined with the gym and the video analysis. Tour pros like a lot of video analysis. They work with a programme called TrackMan, which measures their ball flight, so they get a lot of statistical numbers from that. And when they use those numbers and combine them with video they’re getting the best information possible. Some tour-level players get very analytical, but our teaching philosophy here is not to analyse it too much. We have all that information at hand, but we think it’s important how you relay that information. Some like all the numbers, but we don’t want anyone to get paralysed by analysis. It’s a fine line for an amateur golfer between being helped by the information, or held back. For the tour pro, however, he likes a lot of statistical data because he can see how it’s showing an improvement in his ball speed, club head speed, and the angle of attack. So, for that level of player, he has the ability to digest that information and adapt his swing to maximise it.” Johnson isn’t exaggerating when he talks about how much the professionals respect the facility. During our tour, he shows some video replays of Adam Scott’s swing, which the golfer recorded during a visit the previous week for customers to compare themselves against. As we stroll across the practise greens, Johnson tosses a few more names out. “David Howell will be a regular, he lives in Dubai,” says Johnson. “Darren Clarke popped in last Thursday and met one of my groups and said hello. We’ve had lots of players coming throughout the year, especially over January and February when they have the Desert Swing events. David Horsey’s around here somewhere. They’re here week in, week out. It’s great for people here to rub shoulders with some of the best players in the game.”

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MEET THE MEN WHO CAN CHANGE YOUR GAME Wayne Johnson Director of Instruction As the leader of the group, Wayne has assembled a crack team of specialists to improve all aspects of a golfer’s game. A former National Coach of the UAE golf team, Johnson is one of the most knowledgeable authorities currently working in golf today and is the first port of call for many tour pros looking to up their game. With Butch Harmon, Johnson has assisted players like Tiger Woods, Mark Calcavecchia, Lee Westwood and Jose Maria Olazabal. Mathew Parker Senior Teaching Professional Parker comes from good golfing stock – his uncles and two cousins are also pros. Parker himself first picked up a club at the age of four, played county golf and represented the prestigious Woburn Golf Club, before settling in Dubai with the aim of helping people of all ability levels improve their game. His approach to the game is one of enjoyment – if you’re having fun, your game will improve. Neal Dinan Strength and Conditioning Coach Johnson says that the modern golfer spends as much time in the gym as on the range, and Dinan is an expert in getting bodies in top golfing shape. Educated in sports science in the UK and the USA, he works with clients to identify weaknesses in the body which, when dealt with, result in improvements on the course. Diet, exercise routines and conditioning are all tools in Dinan’s repertoire to maximise a player’s potential.

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This year’s Race to Dubai calendar has so far featured 48 tournaments in 26 countries. Now the scene is set for the 49th and ďŹ nal round. We look at the men most likely cap off their season in style...

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THE WINNERS

Race to Dubai 2014 Rory McIlroy 2013 Henrik Stenson 2012 Rory McIlroy 2011 Luke Donald 2010 Martin Kaymar 2009 Lee Westwood DP World Tour Championship, Dubai 2013 Henrik Stenson 2012 Rory Mcllroy 2011 Alvaro Quiros 2010 Robert Karlsson 2009 Lee Westwood

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ithout a doubt, the biggest pressure will fall on Henrik Stenson, the defending champion. Many expect him to repeat his performance from last year, where he won the DP World Tour Championship in convincing style by an impressive six shots. He also set a new tournament record, with a 25-under-par score of 263, and became the first person to win both the Race to Dubai and the US PGA FedEx Cup in the same year. Currently at No. 2 in the European Tour rankings, he has enjoyed a good year so far, with a career-high ranking of No. 2 in the world back in May, and his best ever finishes at the Masters and US Open on the PGA Tour. In the Race to Dubai, he came second at the Volvo World Match Play Championship in the UK, and most recently third at the Turkish Airlines Open in Turkey, which will give some encouragement ahead of the Jumeirah Golf Estates clash. Earth is also a course Stenson knows well. Stenson’s biggest obstacle will be world number one and Race to Dubai winner Rory McIlroy, who won the DP World Tour Championship back in 2012 as well as that season’s Race to Dubai (a feat matched by Stenson last year and Lee Westwood in 2009). McIlroy has proved almost unstoppable this year as his game has come of age. His win in The Open Championship in the summer bagged him a third major, making him one of only three players in history to achieve this by the age of 25 or under (the others being Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods). This was followed by another major just three weeks later, with McIlroy winning the PGA Championship for a second time. He has won five European Tour events this season, helping him capture this year’s Race to Dubai crown. McIlroy is also ranked No.1 by the PGA Tour, heading up the table there, and this week at Jumeirah Golf Estates he has a point to prove – his last visit to the UAE, for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship back in January, saw McIlroy lose the tournament by a single shot, partly as a result of a twopoint penalty he conceded. His return is an opportunity to capitalise on his success this year and make up for that past mistake. Behind McIlroy and Stenson is Jamie Donaldson, who can be found in the European Tour rankings at No. 3. For European golf fans, the undoubted highlight of the Welshman’s year came when he secured the winning point

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for Europe at the Ryder Cup – the first time he had ever taken part in the tournament. The shot in question was on the 15th hole at Gleneagles, when he hit the ball 146 yards to land within 18 inches of the pin. A sublime shot. It had been a brilliant debut for Donaldson all round, in which he had beaten major champions Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson and Keegan Bradley during the course of the weekend, as well as world No. 9 Matt Kuchar. Dubai was where Donaldson and his family headed for a celebratory getaway following the Ryder Cup, so he will already be familiar with the city, while he also has previous form in the UAE – tasting success at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in 2013. On this season’s European Tour Donaldson recently came top in the D+D Real Czech Masters in August, winning by two strokes. This year has been one of improvement for Sergio Garcia. His win at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, defeating Mikko Ilonen in the play-off, saw him edging his way back into the world’s top 10, while a stellar performance at The Open Championship, where he ended runner-up to McIlroy, saw him re-entering the top five. In the European Tour rankings, Garcia currently sits in fifth place. His victory in Qatar marked the first European Tour win for Garcia since 2011, after he had tied in second place at the same competition the year before. He also performed well for this year’s Ryder Cup team, silencing the harsh criticism of Nick Faldo who had captained the losing European side in 2008 and been less than complimentary of Garcia’s performance. The highlight for Justin Rose in 2014 has undoubtedly been winning the Scottish Open. The Englishman managed five birdies in the first nine holes of the final round, with a performance that saw him climb to third in the world rankings. The victory also came just two weeks after Rose had triumphed at the Quicken Loans National, near Washington DC. Despite winning two events on the Race to Dubai calendar this year, a slip-up at the recent WGC-HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai has seen Rose drop in the rankings to eighth place. The skill he had shown earlier in the season appeared to be lacking, and he finished joint 48th, despite beginning the event fairly well. Can he pull it back for Dubai? One thing’s for sure, the competition for all concerned will be fierce across all four days.

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T H E

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M O S T

PGA Director of Instruction and EPTI head Wayne Johnson on the Earth course holes where the DP World Tour Championship will be won or lost Hole 2 583 yards, par 5 This is a great hole on which to be aggressive early on. The driver from the tee over the right hand fairway bunker allows the ball to kick forward and run downhill, shortening the hole and giving a great opportunity to play a fairway metal second shot into the green. It’s an early birdie or eagle chance and a great confidence builder.

Hole 14 626 yards, par 5 Extremely long par 5 from the elevated Championship tee; a great drive from one of the longer players will give them an outside chance to reach in two, however, with water running along the right hand edge of the fairway for the last 150 yards, any approach play erring a little right will certainly catch the lake and prompt a bogey. Play smart – it’s a three-shot hole to the green which will often include a 100-yard pitch shot and with it a chance to make a birdie.

Hole 15 371 yards / 320 yards, par 4 The 15th is a relatively short par 4, and on at least two of the tournament days the tees will be pushed forward giving the longer hitters the ability to drive the green and create a relatively easy birdie chance – this is a must attack hole if you are going to give yourself a chance to be in the mix come Sunday.

Hole 16 486 yards, par 4 The downhill dog leg right 16th is one of the great closing holes on the final stretch; with the Sunday pin position almost certain to be tucked on the far right-hand side of the green bringing water into play. The best strategy is to play for the centre left of the green; any shot moving a little right will catch the slope of the green and run down towards the pin; a straighter shot will stay in the middle of the green and offer a straightforward two putt for par, allowing the player to attack the last two holes.

Hole 18 620 yards / 570 yards, par 5 Another key hole throughout the week of the Championship; with water splitting the fairway, accuracy off the tee is a must. However, on two of the days the tees are again moved forward, creating a great closing hole. In 2011 we saw Alvaro Quiros play a fantastic three wood second into the heart of the green to close with an amazing eagle to claim the DP World Tour Championship in style.

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Above Par JGE dec'14  

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