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In partnership with Red Sea Global
  1. Red Sea Global
3 weeks ago

Shura Links the Red Sea’s New Premier Golfing Destination

The 18-hole course will be the focal point of Shura Island which opens in 2025 and will feature 11 luxury hotels.

By Toby Louch

Red Sea Global (RSG) – the multi-project developer behind some of the world’s most ambitious regenerative tourism destinations — has officially revealed both the name and design of its golf course and clubhouse on Shura Island, part of The Red Sea. The Red Sea, one of RSG’s megaprojects, has already impressed with world-leading adventure, wellness and luxury offerings, however, the site can also add golf at the highest level to the roster. Shura Links — the course that will play a major role in the Shura Island complex — has been designed to offer a one-of-a-kind golfing experience, as Saudi Arabia’s first 18-hole island golf course.

As this is an RSG destination, sustainability in both construction and operations has played a crucial role since its inception. Key partnerships with environmental consultants have ensured certain parameters like water-use reduction work to not just protect, but improve the surrounding environment.

“Shura Links will provide an unparalleled golfing experience, offering a visually stunning, natural course right here on the Red Sea,” says John Pagano, group CEO of RSG. “As ever, it’s not enough for us to provide spectacular experiences. We are committed to ensuring Shura Links aligns with our ambition to set new sustainability standards. From innovative turf management and careful foliar feeding, we’re putting respect for nature above everything else.”

pro shop on Shura Links
The pro shop at Shura Links / ©Red Sea Global

Easily Accessible by all 11 hotels on Shura Island, in addition to The Red Sea destination as a whole, this new course will be managed by Golf Saudi, which will ensure strict sustainability standards are met and maintained.

Year-round sun and a particularly temperate winter immediately position Saudi Arabia as an excellent golfing destination. The Red Sea will soon pose as a particularly welcome escape for golfers looking to avoid the less game-friendly seasons in Europe and America

As Saudi Arabia’s first 18-hole island golf course, Shura Links has been designed to provide a welcome and exciting challenge for professionals, while also being accessible for beginners. A mixture of holes on the water, marina views and vast fairways framed by the Red Sea look likely to ensure Shura Links is a destination that golfers will want to travel to.

[See also: The New Global Wellness Hub on the Banks of the Red Sea]

The Course

Shura Links clubhouse
The clubhouse was designed by Foster + Partners / ©Red Sea Global

One of the most important steps in creating a world-class golf course is selecting the right design team. The 18-hole 72-par course at Shura Links stretches across 7,500 yards and was conceived by Brian Curley, the golf architect behind the world’s largest golf facility, Mission Hills Golf Club in Shenzhen, China and considered one of the most active and influential designers today.

Having spent over 30 years in the world of golf, Brian Curley and his team at Curley-Wagner Golf Design, certainly have the experience to create a world-class facility.

When it comes to golf, Saudi Arabia offers a new perspective. “Most people picture golf courses as tree-lined turf with features like bunkers and lakes, but usually that only represents about half of the golf property,” says Curley. “The key to designing a desert course is finding the best solution when it comes to non-turf areas.”

At Shura Links, an exciting environment has been created that both takes advantage of the surrounding dramatic landscape, while still allowing golfers to locate their ball. “I find the contrast between luscious green turf and a rich desert landscape of sand to be quite beautiful,” adds Curley.

The ‘Links’ in ‘Shura Links,’ refers to a specific style of golf in its oldest form which was first developed in Scotland. These old courses are found close to the sea, where sandy coastland results in a firmer playing surface while sea winds offer an additional challenge to players. It’s a format that translates particularly well to Saudi Arabia and the Red Sea.

[See also: Discovering the Unmatched Thrill of Red Sea Watersports]

“Links golf promotes a design theory that emphasizes ground game and the use of low-flight shots, which avoid the wind and delightfully roll across the folds of the fairways,” says Curley. Additionally, by using only a minimal amount of water to maintain the turf, firm and fast conditions are created meaning the balls roll further, forging an environment that rewards finesse over power.

Thanks to this premise, Shura Links can comfortably offer exciting play for beginners, while still providing a challenge for the adept. “Firm conditions means the ball runs further, giving an assist to players who are not as long off the tee,” says Curley. “However, the tees used by professionals transform Shura Links into an exceptionally demanding course, adding an extra level of challenge for those who need it.”

Shura Links will also feature an expansive two-acre putting course giving visitors a new challenge and the option to hone their putting while being easily accessible to the clubhouse.

[See also: Six Senses Southern Dunes, The Red Sea: An Oasis of Serenity]

The Clubhouse

clubhouse gym
The clubhouse gym at Shura Links / ©Red Sea Global

Situated at the heart of both Shura Island and Shura Links, the clubhouse is set to play a pivotal role in how guests experience this new site. Designed by Foster + Partners, the facility follows the Coral Bloom design concept that can be seen right across Shura Island, taking inspiration from the flora and fauna unique to Saudi Arabia.

“The clubhouse is designed to enhance guests’ wellbeing,” says Scott Henshaw, head of design at RSG. “Direct connections to nature, a range of luxury spaces and a refined palette of natural materials work symbiotically to help achieve this.”

As guests arrive at the clubhouse, first impressions are sure to make a big impact, “A petal-like timber canopy wraps around a welcoming central courtyard, showcasing a tranquil water feature and a magnificent flame tree,” adds Henshaw.

Designed to add to the landscape as opposed to obscuring it, steps have been taken to ensure the clubhouse fits in with the surrounding environment. An organically shaped roof built within the dune landscape helps the building blend in, while also maximizing the impressive views of the 18th hole.

“The club itself is going to serve as a hub for entertainment and activity, reconnecting golf enthusiasts with nature and introducing them to entirely new experiences,” says Henshaw. “There’s going to be an impressive range of food and drinks areas, both indoor and out, including a beachfront terrace.”

[See also: Thuwal Private Retreat: Your Very Own Red Sea Island]     

Golfing sustainably

Shura Links clubhouse restaurant
The clubhouse restaurant at Shura Links / ©Red Sea Global

In recent years, golf has gained a reputation for high water usage and unsustainable practices. Shura Links could not be further from this approach. Since the course’s inception, RSG utilized the OnCourse platform from the GEO, a non-profit aimed at advancing golf sustainably.

“The clubhouse’s water consumption has been significantly reduced through the careful selection of turf grass and soil sensors that track moisture levels,” says Henshaw. “Simultaneously, the innovative POGO turf management system measures key variables that influence growth and performance, including salinity, temperature, and weather, helping to inform decision-making and irrigation efficiency.”

Shura Links will also use foliar feeding, using natural nutrients like seaweed, which both maximizes nutrient uptake and reduces the potential risk of nutrient run off.

While the course itself needs watering, the design team behind Shura Links took steps to ensure only 20% of the 346-acre site is maintained turf, greatly reducing the resources necessary for upkeep.

Offering professionals and beginners alike a new home to enjoy golf at the highest standard, Shura Links looks ready to reset expectations when the course opens in 2025. Boasting 11 hotels across Shura Island and even more dotted across The Red Sea site, the only thing guests should be thinking about is which one to pick.

To learn more visit visittheredsea.com

Visit the Red Sea Global X Elite Traveler Hub Page Here

[See also: The Red Sea: An Adventure Like No Other]

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