A new golf academy at Oman’s first-ever green grass course is set to grow the sport in the Gulf Arab Sultanate.
The new facility is based at Muscat Hills Golf and Country Club, a Braemar Golf managed property, which cost £400m to build and opened in Oman’s capital city in 2009.
More than just sand and sun
Oman is famed for its year-round sunshine, sandy beaches, cliff-top forts and desert dunes but in recent years developers have set their sights on golf as a means of attracting wealthy Western tourists.
There are only seven courses in Oman – most centred around Muscat – and some are at varying stages of development.
Oman Golf on crest of a wave
The Wave Golf Club designed by Greg Norman Golf Course Design overlooks the Gulf of Oman and is situated in the nation’s capital Muscat. The first nine holes opened in 2011 and the second nine was scheduled to open in Spring 2012.
Ghala Golf Club, also in Muscat, is built in a natural wadi and was first developed as a brown course in 1971 before being turned into a grass course in 2010.
The new Academy at Muscat Hills is managed by PGA Professional Alex Day, features the latest golf tuition technology, the V1 computerised tuition analysis software and Flightscope X2, which provides accurate data not only for golf instruction, but also for the custom fitting of golf clubs.
The new academy is the first of its kind in Oman and features a dedicated swing instruction studio, eight covered practice bays, a short game area and practice putting green.
The investment comes on the back of the development of a number improvements that have been made to the Muscat Hills driving range last October, which saw the opening of a new practice putting green, 9-bay driving range and extensive grass practice tee.
These new developments are part of an ongoing plan Muscat Hills has to develop golf in the Sultanate and also to attract golfing tourists to a country rich with activities and heritage.
“I am delighted with the new facilities that have been developed here. I am now going into my third season and the demand for tuition is stronger than ever. The new innovations and facilities allow me to offer a broader range of tuition services and also allows me to cater to larger groups as well” said PGA Head Professional Alex Day.
“We are aiming for Muscat Hills to become a centre of excellence and one that will attract inbound tourists. We are keen to work with tour operators and PGA Pro led groups on tuition based packages” he added.
Muscat Hills Golf and Country Club has been widely acclaimed for its design which sees the course weave between three dramatic wadis with the back drop of the Al Hajar Mountains.
Oman attracted around 650,000 tourists a year around five years ago and tourism officials in the Sultanate have made a concerted effort to increase that number by developing the sport of golf in the country and offering more than just sunshine and sand beaches.