The 2015 Race to Dubai began in South Africa and ends at the Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai, spanning over 25 countries and taking in a range of stunning courses along the way.

With the race already underway and reigning champion Rory McIlroy looking to defend his title, we’ve picked some of our favourite courses that will feature throughout the year. If you haven’t chosen your holiday destination for the year, this is probably the best place to start.

 

Leopard Creek Country Club
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Based on the fringes of Kruger National Park and adjacent to Crocodile River, Leopard Creek Golf Club is situated in an idyllic and beautiful location. As the names suggest there’s plenty of wildlife around and sightings of crocodiles, hippos, antelopes, buffalos and elephants will give you a little extra incentive to hit the fairways.

The Championship Course, which saw Louis Oosthuizen shoot -13 in December, is one of the finest courses in South Africa and lakes have been diverted through the development to provide that extra challenge.

Play at Leopard Creek Golf Club

 

Black Mountain Golf Club
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The Black Mountain Golf Club in Thailand is one of the most challenging but exciting courses in Asia. Only opened in 2007, the course has received rave reviews including the “Best Championship Course in Thailand.” The breathtaking landscape is an added bonus to the interconnected waterways, undulating fairways and greens like carpet.

Careful approach shots to the green is the secret to success and the Black Mountain caddies are also available to provide invaluable knowledge.

Play at Black Mountain Golf Club 

 

Emirates Golf Club
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When the Emirates Golf Club first opened it’s doors in 1988, it was the first all grass championship course in the Middle East. It now boasts two championship courses, the Majlis Course which is the host to the Dubai Desert Classic every year and the Faldo Course, refurbished by Nick Faldo.

Both courses are kept in immaculate condition. The Majlis course is built in and around the dunes on the edge of the towering skyscrapers of the city. Justin Rose says the 8th hole is one of the top nine holes he has ever played.

The Faldo course has it’s own unique element to it. Fancy a round during the middle of the night? No problem, as it’s the first and only floodlit golf course in the UAE.

Play at the Emirates Golf Club

 

The Wentworth Club
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The West Course at Wentworth Golf Club is the home to some of Britain’s most prestigious tournaments and it will host the BMW PGA Championship once again in May 2015. Based in Surrey, the Wentworth Club has three spectacular courses, the East course, the Edinburgh and the West course. In one of the UK’s most picturesque settings, fairways are surrounded by woodland of pine, birch and oak with fast running greens.

Robert Karlsson and Thomas Bjorn share the course record after shooting a 62 at the course that held the 1953 Ryder Cup. Not only is Wentworth well worthy of playing, it has stacks of history and you can follow in the footsteps of golfing legends.

Play at Wentworth Golf Club

 

Doha Golf Club
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Known for being kept in it’s exemplary condition and a formidable test of golf, Doha is a worthy location for the Qatar Masters. It is set in a stunning location along the shores of West Bay Lagoon, its high bunkers and clear lakes are just a couple of features that make this course stand out above any other in the region.

Play at Doha Golf Club

 

St Andrews Links

The oldest golf course in the world, St Andrews is a course full of history and tradition. With seven courses, you won’t be short of options or struggling for tee times. The Old Course dates back to over 600 years ago and the Swilcan Bridge and Hell Bunker are features known across the globe, but one of the greatest features of all is that it remains a public course.

All the courses are well worth a round but the Castle Course, the newest to St Andrews Links, is an experience golfers won’t forget in a hurry. Situated on the rugged cliff top, it provides spectacular views over St Andrews.

Play at St Andrews Links 

 

Abu Dhabi Golf Club
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Abu Dhabi Golf Club offers the most luxurious and memorable golfing experience in the Middle East. Aim between palm trees and over the seven saltwater lakes on the magnificent course carved in the desert. The stunning falcon clubhouse overlooks the course and is the ideal place to relax after a round. The par-72 course offers a challenging but fair test with lush fairways and strategically placed bunkers.

Play at Abu Dhabi Golf Club

 

Trump National Doral
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Dubbed the ‘Kingdom of Golf’, Doral boasts five championship courses but the most impressive is arguably the ‘Blue Monster’ course which was named ‘Florida’s Golf Course of the Year’ in 2007. As you might have guessed from the name, you have to battle large lakes throughout which affect nearly every hole. Host to the WGC-Cadillac Championship, the course is dramatic and will test the nerves of golfers of any skill. If you fancy a challenge, then you will thrive at the resort.

Play at Trump National Doral

Richard Forrester

Richard Forrester

Richard Forrester is an experienced sports writer, having worked at SportsVibe and written for numerous sporting titles including Golfing World, Birmingham Mail and Stoke City's website.

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