The nine-hole course at the Mena
House Oberoi Golf Club is just
beyond the Cheops Pyramid.
If there’s anything that golfers savor as much as a hole in one,
it’s having a great game under blue skies. An ace isn’t guaranteed
on any of Egypt’s 17 golf courses, but excellent weather is
Golf can be played year-round in this 78 million-strong North
African nation one and a half times the size of Texas. Northern
hemisphere spring and fall are optimum seasons, with winter
providing brisk starts for early-morning rounds. An early-morning
tee time, however, is a necessity during the long, hot Egyptian
Golf is taking on new directions in Egypt. The fashionable
activity for affluent Egyptians and jetloads of visitors is also
being actively promoted by the Egyptian Tourism Authority through
its tourist offices in the U.S.
These days, the construction of new courses is regularly
announced. Water-saving courses built with cutting-edge technology
are being integrated into designer resorts that in some cases are
part of marinas or residential developments.
These are recent trends for a healthy hobby that has been on
Egypt’s sporting calendar for well over 100 years. Vintage courses
in Cairo and Alexandria, dating to the late 19th century, were
crafted by the British.
Named after Alexander the Great, Alexandria has become an
inter-national convention destination, particularly with the
opening of the 6,000-capacity Al Zahraa Ballroom adjacent to the
Hilton Alexandria Green Plaza. The sole place to tee off in
historic surroundings is on the century-old, nine-hole layout at
the Alexandria Sporting Club in the middle of this city of 5
The closest golf resort to Alexandria is Porto Marina. This 2007
entrant on Egypt’s burgeoning golf scene features a par 62,
4,047-yard executive golf course, a 6.2-mile lagoon the hub for
numerous watersports a resort hotel and a 500-berth marina.
Hurgada is another golf hot spot with the 400-room Steigenberger
Al Dau Beach Hotel and adjoining golf layout. Its 18-hole
pitch-and-putt, water-hazard-dotted course the longest hole
stretches just over 100 yards is perfect for beginners and those
refining their short game. Across the Red Sea, the Sinai Peninsula
may well become Egypt’s next golf haven. Sharm el Sheikh, the
area’s principal resort town and a world dive center, already has
more than 100 hotels.
Just one, the Maritim Jollie Ville Golf & Resort Sharm el
Sheikh, has an adjoining 6,021-yard championship challenge. An
international golf academy with PGA-qualified instructors lures
first-timers as well as polished players to a stunning setup where
a memorable game can be enjoyed in a dramatic setting of mountains,
desert and sea.
Cairo has the pharaoh’s share of courses in Egypt with seven
grassy playgrounds, welcoming everyone from hackers to hard
Opened in November 1999 after being carved from the desert dunes
beyond Cairo, the 18-hole, 7,108-yard course at the Mirage City
Golf Club is the sporting sensation at the 428-room JW Marriott
Hotel. The resort course is popular with transit passengers as its
just 15 minutes from the international airport as well as
conference delegates taking a break from sessions in the
2,175-person capacity Tutankhamen Ballroom.
Closer to the city is the 1889 Mena House Oberoi Golf Club.
Though the 5,315-yard, nine-hole (18 greens) course is not too
difficult, golfers can be distracted by its unusual setting. The
40-acre, tree-lined course is backdropped by the Cheops