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Majilis Golf Course Analysis

Before getting into our betting tips for the Dubai Desert Classic, I do recommend having a read of my tournament preview article here. You can catch-up on all my deep-dive analysis of the Majilis Course at Emirates Golf Club, correlated course form, and weather for the tournament. It also helps pro...

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The DP World Tour remains in Dubai for another week for one of the season highlights. As a Rolex Series event, this is not only one of the best fields but also one of the largest purses. The list of past winners reads as a who’s who of European golf. It is often a marker of golfers we can expect big futures from. Included in that list is Rory McIlroy. I met a curly haired 16 year old amateur McIlroy here in 2006. He would achieve his first ever tournament win here in 2009 and has thrice lifted the famous coffee pot trophy. Emirates Golf Club was also my home course for the 8 years I lived in Dubai. Hopefully, that additional local experience helps our Dubai Desert Classic preview.

A very young DeepDiveGolf at the Dubai Desert Classic with Lee Westwood
A very young DeepDiveGolf with Lee Westwood at a coaching clinic 2007 Dubai Desert Classic

As frustrated as Rory will be after the inaugural Dubai Invitational, where he really should have won, it is perhaps easy to feel the same about our week. However, I feel quietly positive after the tournament. It was always going to be a tricky event to tip. Firstly, markets were dominated by McIlroy and eventual champion Tommy Fleetwood at very short single figure odds. Further, the golf course had not been used on tour for 24 years. It took some extensive diving into 1990s leaderboards!

I was pleased to see our extra deep-dive analysis proved true. We nailed the winning score, our course comps worked perfectly, and key metrics were spot on. Frustratingly, our three golfers named as last off the card all made the top 10 with Thriston Lawrence runner-up. Overall, I take it as a positive our analysis was so accurate. It bodes well entering our Dubai Desert Classic preview and the season as a whole.

Rory McIlroy is in the Dubai Desert Classic field in our preview

Emirates Golf Club Course Analysis

The Majilis course at Emirates Golf Club plays host to the Dubai Desert Classic, as we preview what to expect from the golf course this week. This venue has held the tournament since 1989, except for 1999 and 2000 when last week’s Dubai Invitational venue Dubai Creek hosted briefly. Whereas Dubai Creek is a short and narrow course, the Emirates is a long and expansive property. The Majilis course plays as a 7,428 yard par 72 and is one of the longest golf courses on the DP World Tour.

That provides the first clue of what is required for success here. A strong driver is well correlated to success here. Rory McIlroy is obviously one of the best in the business with that club. Bryson DeChambeau is a past champion with a record of 18-1-8 here. Other past champions Lucas Herbert and Viktor Hovland can send the ball out there, as can Sergio Garcia who is both long and straight with the driver.

Our second clue comes from approach play. Obviously, several of those already named are some of the best ball-strikers in the business. Names like Paul Casey, Lee Westwood, Tyrrell Hatton, and Ian Poulter add to that list. Putting also receives an uptick here compared to other golf courses.

The bulk of scoring will happen on the back 9. That features 3 par 5s and the par 4 17th which is drivable if you cut the corner. This culminates in dramatic final hole, with a carry over water required if going for the green in two. It always make for an exhilarating end of the round. Being able to draw the ball is a big positive, with majority of key holes playing right-to-left.

The 18th hole could decide the tournament for our Dubai Desert Classic preview
The 18th hole at Emirates Golf Club

Emirates Golf Club Comp Courses

Firstly, it pays to highlight in our Dubai Desert Classic preview that prior course form is vitally important. This is the most correlated golf course on the DP World Tour for prior form as a predictor to future success. We have seen a number of players become course specialists. Perhaps none more so than Stephen Gallacher. He held an ins