Golf legend Ernie Els officially opened the world's first Els Club at Dubai Sports City alongside a host of sporting VIPs yesterday. Els was joined by Andrew Flintoff, tennis legend Martina Navratilova, former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel of Denmark and former captain of the world champion South African rugby team John Smit. Mace is the project manager for the Victory Heights development of which The Els Club is part.
"Right from the start we knew we wanted to embrace the uniqueness of this amazing environment and incorporate the natural dunes and native plants into our design, both from an aesthetic and strategic standpoint," explained Els. "We call it a ‘desert links’ and I think that captures the essence of this golf course nicely. I mean, there is a genuine sense that you are playing golf in the desert and that was definitely one of the single most important design goals of ours. We really didn’t want something that looked artificial."
While Els has designed courses in North America, Asia, and Africa, only a select number of developments worldwide will bear The Els Club name, the hallmark of facilities which will benefit substantially from direct and ongoing personal input from Els and his team. Els is the world's current number five ranked golfer and former British and US Open champion.
Ernie Els said: "Today's launch of The Els Club here in Dubai - the first of its kind anywhere in the world - is truly a special moment for all of us who have been involved on this magnificent project since its inception. The Els Club at Dubai Sports City will be a truly timeless, world-class golf experience for players at all levels."
President of Dubai Sports City, Khalid Abdulrahim Al Zarooni said: "The Els Club is the first completed venue in Dubai Sports City, and it has been constructed and presented to exceed world-class standards. We thank Ernie Els and his team for the excellent work they have done here over the last few years, and we welcome the Els family and the Els design team to our rapidly growing community."
DUBAILAND® CEO Mohammed Alhabbai said: "I would like to extend my congratulations to Dubai Sports City on the achievements accomplished. We are proud to witness the launch of yet another world class attraction, The Els Club, at Dubai Sports City which will become an integral part of the DUBAILAND® Destination offerings."
In addition to the 7,538 yard links style golf course, The Els Club will boast a 60,000 square foot Mediterranean-style clubhouse currently under construction, where members and guests will have access to a private lounge, state-of-the-art meeting and conference facilities, and a varied choice of dining outlets.
General manager of The Els Club, Thomas Rubi said: "The Els Club at Dubai Sports City will be distinguished by its design standard, the levels of hospitality service shown to members and guests, and the year-round excellent golf course conditioning."
The Els Club will be managed by Troon Golf, the world's leader in upscale golf course management, and is accepting applications for membership, with play scheduled from March 2008.
More about Victory Heights