x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Getting in the swing of summer

The Life: Outdoor sports and summer in the UAE don't necessary mix but Rupert Wright takes a swing at finding a game you can continue playing as the temperatures soar.

Green fees come down as the temperature rises. Sammy Dallal / The National
Green fees come down as the temperature rises. Sammy Dallal / The National

Summer is here and the time is right - for what exactly? It's too hot for running, too warm for tennis, but there is still one sport that one can do: golf.

Yes, you probably have to start either early in the morning or late in the afternoon, and you probably don't want to carry your own bag, and it might be a good idea to take a cart with air conditioning. But you can play, which is something, and to make it even better, golf courses, particularly in the capital, are offering sizzling summer offers.

Take the Abu Dhabi City Golf course for example. This has the best location of all, just five minutes from the offices of The National. Nicknamed the "People's Course" for its lack of pretension, it stands within a race track, so that as you foozle about, you can admire beautiful horses being exercised by their trainers. And it is only 9 holes, so you don't need to exhaust yourself.

From now until the end of Ramadan you can play there for Dh99 (US$26.95) including a buggy, until 3pm. After 3 o'clock you have to pay an extra Dh20 for the cart. At weekends, it is Dh119. This is very good value, even better than the club's driving range, which while it is now shaded, has balls that feel like pebbles and travel about as aerodynamically.

At Sadiyaat Beach Golf Club there are no offers to be had - at least they haven't any advertised on their website and nobody called back when I rang to ask - but at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where the HSBC World Championship is held, the price of green fees has plummeted to Dh190 a round during the week.

The best offer of all probably comes from Yas Links. For Dh1500, they are offering unlimited use of the driving range, a lesson to make sure you don't hit anybody, and free use of the 9-hole course.

As 80 per cent of the shots are played from less than 110 metres, this is ideal practice for when the season really hots up in the autumn.

The Quote: “Eighteen holes of match or medal play will teach you more about your foe than will 18 years of dealing with him across a desk.” American sportswriter Grantland Rice