The Wave (“Al Mouj” in Arabic) had a soft opening of their golf course, Al Mouj Golf, on Dec. 1st. Members of the media (and even a few bloggers! 🙂 ) were invited to check out the course for themselves. I wasn’t able to make it that day but was fortunate enough to get an exclusive tour a few days later. For now, 9 holes are open and they will have the grand opening of all 18 holes hopefully at the end of March 2012. For all serious golfers, here is a lovely hole by hole description of their course from the Al Mouj website. Come with me now as I present to you a sample of the beauty of Al Mouj I enjoyed on my tour there.
Al Mouj is obviously located very handy to The Wave housing project in Muscat. It’s along the coast between the official entrance of The Wave in Al Hail and the Aviation Club just down the road. Click here for a map.
The driving range is conveniently located just behind the main entrance and restaurant. Would you believe it only costs 2.5 rials to hit a bucket of 50 balls?! And with their floodlights, the driving range (and course!) is open till 10pm for those working 9 to 5 jobs out there!
Chris Jones (pictured above here) is a PGA Professional who has recently made Oman his new home for your golfing needs. He is working in “The Academy” section of Al Mouj. You couldn’t ask for a more patient and qualifed instructor to help you out; whether you are an old hand looking for tips to better your game or a newbie hoping to learn the basics of golf. Click here to check out some of the Lesson Packages. The Academy is a first-of-its-kind and features a state-of-the-art swing studio. There are 2 PGA Professionals (Jamie Wood is the head golf professional) with one more expected to arrive in January.
As hard as I tried, these pictures really don’t do the course justice. The ocean is in plain view from every hole and the Hajar Mountains in the distance add to the tranquil setting of this course.
Al Mouj is a signature Greg Norman course containing “7,342 yards of lush green grass peppered with bunkers, water hazards and natural dunes“. Greg Norman has been here on numerous trips and made specific changes to the course to make this a course worthy of his name. He is responsible for its magnificent design. It is already set to be one of the world’s top 100 courses.
Some may ask, “How much water is “wasted” on all that grass?” The answer is simply “not a drop“! They use a salt tolerant grass (Paspalum Sea Dwarf TE) and the water used is Treated Sewage Effluent (TSE) so you really could say that they’ve “gone green”!
Hole #4 (pictured above) is sure to be one of Al Mouj’s signature holes as this par 3 island green is played entirely over water.
If you are impressed with the color of the bunkers (or sand traps as they’re also called), there may be good reason. The bunkers, in true Greg Norman style, is made entirely of crushed local white marble! The white marble bunkers and their contrast with the lush green grass of the course are quite a sight to behold.
Sweet pic that reminds me of the fact that all green fees include cart hire and access to the driving range. It is so quiet and serene on the course-it’s hard to believe that November 18 Street is just beyond those bunkers. One you enter the grounds, it’s like you’re entering another realm.
Not only was I offered the opportunity to hit a few buckets of golfballs at the driving range, but the General Manager (St John Kelliher) even gave me some pointers himself! Wow! Thanks, Mr. Kelliher! 🙂
This is looking out the window of the soon-to-be-licensed restaurant at the clubhouse looking past the carts to the Academy.
For now the main points about Al Mouj I wanted to stress are:
- The joining fee for the 1st 100 individuals who sign up for annual subscription will be waived! (That’s 600 OMR!)
- The course is NOT a “members only” type of snob parade but is open to the public; even non members. The staff are warm and friendly and will make even the most out of place people (like yours truly) feel right at home.
- They are open 7 days/week! (and with floodlights, open till 10pm!)
They sell polo shirts, hats, golfballs, hats and golf bags at their shop and are scheduled to start selling golfclubs next week.
Had to pick up a Greg Norman hat at the shop! (16 OR) The shark logo is because people affectionately refer to Greg Norman as “the shark”.
Speaking of shark, check out Shark.com, his official website.
I decided to go all out and buy an Almouj polo shirt as well. (20 RO) The shirt is made of micro-fiber yarn and extremely comfortable. The Almou shirts are also part of the Greg Normal Collection. I figure with the Greg Norman hat and Almouj shirt, you’ll at least look the part, haha!
The logo is pretty cool. There are 18 triangular shapes “born from the realization that the dimples of a golf ball followed a triangular pattern based on symmetry and geometry; both sciences are widely used in architecture and textile design. The colour palette was chosen to reflect the course location. The earthy browns of the Hajar mountain range, vibrant yellows and oranges of the sand dunes, the strong greens of the verdant fairways and the blues of the sea create a bold and punchy palette.” (St John Kelliher)
Thanks again to Almouj’s General Manager, St John Kelliher, and Sales and Marketing Manager, Louise Daly, for an unforgettable tour!
If you want to know more about Almouj or wish to contact them regarding lessons/membership or anything else, go to their website here. If you don’t think golf is your thing, I recommend hitting a bucket of balls on the driving range. At 2.5 rials, the price doesn’t get any better and it’s a lot of fun. Once you’re there, enjoying the breeze coming off the Indian Ocean and you see the gorgeous course and experience the hospitality of the Almouj staff, you just might get a whole new appreciation of the sport of golf, as I did. (Tel: +968-2200-5990)