Complimentary Golf Rounds in Dubai

An article about complimentary golfing in Dubai UAE

May 4th 2020 Dubai - Ladies and Gentlemen,

It's been just recently since the Covid 19 lock-down in Dubai has been slightly lifted, a great opportunity to head out to the nature, to spend some valuable time at a golf course, trying to avoid the crowds in one of those shopping malls indeed.

Frankly speaking, it has been a little bit like a push into the cold water, while not being definitely ready for a whole 18 hole around. It did came a little bit unexpected to be actually permitted to have access to a golf course under such short notice.

Complimentary Golf Rounds in Dubai:

Since I am holder of one of those fancy World (Elite) MasterCards, it comes with an exclusive Golf-Program, which allows complimentary 18-hole-experiences in the UAE and golfing discounts up to 40% worldwide. All that is required is to register an account at - link a credit card and there you go, tee-times to be booked, with just a mouse-click or two. Some golf courses may not be available for bookings due to COVID-19 and this would be solely at the discretion of the respective golf course and I did lost confidence in ever being able - again- to score anything this year, which was rather heart-breaking news.

Once logged on there were quite a few courses open to book, and even today, bookings for June 1 2020 would be open for the Arabian Ranches Golf Course, and others, such as Trump Golf Estate, or Yas Links in Abu Dhabi, as well as Sharjah Gold and Shooting Club, The Track Meydan Golf Club. Usually the lead-time from the actual date of entering the successful registered account, until a slot would be available is approximately two to four weeks, with a "subject to approval" email communication between the Golf Lan Platform, the golf-course, the bank and the player at the very last.

Los Angeles, back into the game:

Let's put it this way, I did not play golf for over 15 years and dropped out of a David Leadbetter Training Academy Program, just to pursue a career, obtain a Masters Degree and to, unfortunately left the whole "Golf-Thing" behind. While cruising around California for some business meetings, around a month ago, I popped into one of those Roger Dunn Golf Stores and get a Callaway Trade-In set, not being in the know if I would actually going to hit anything anyways. The actual set, driver, putter, golf-balls, a bag, plus a travel check-in-bag, was below USD 500 in fact, so I just went for it, surfing around those adds from the bank, saying that it would be actually complimentary to play. I was so extremely overexcited to getting it on, that the very next pit-stop was the nearest golf-course, glad that there was one near Walmart and the Sheraton San Gabriel. I could not believe myself that it actually worked, even though it's been over a decade since I was standing at a range, hitting balls, I did it, I went to the club-house and started with a 110 balls, when suddenly a man approached me, saying that he would leave me his basket with around 100 additional ones. Well, my hands started to bleed like hell, especially when I reached the 120 mark, and yes, I did actually count and could not resist to keep playing until those drives would have been completely straight.

Corona came up / almost stranded at SFO / Insurance Covered the Golf-Bag:

Since it's been just 14 days since my outbound from Seoul (South Korea), until my inbound departure to Seoul, it's been almost denied for being able to check-in at SFO, which was mainly for safety and security reasons. There you go, I was in the middle of the EVA Airways Business Class Check-In counter, with a golf-bag, with nowhere to go: except that there would have been a few extra-complimentary nights at the Westin San Francisco Airport, which I did not wanted to make use off. Finally, after a waiting time of over an hour at the check-in-counter, I got my boarding pass, rushed to the lounge, where I learnt that there would be an around 9 hours delay for my connection from Taipei to Seoul, not to mention that a cancellation or re-routing would not have been possible, so I was actually thinking that the airline carrier is trying to kill me and other passengers with Covid 19. Whatever, I took such risk to experiment with Corona in California, South Korea, and just - again - went for it.

Luckily, I got, since there has been an onward connection delay for several hours, the AIG Insurace Group, on behalf of MasterCard did cover trip delay compensations and wired USD 600 to my account, plus additional cancellation-reimbursements from airliner carriers, such as Asiana, for cancelling the flight to China Mainland, Thai Airways for being banned to enter the UAE, and still allowing passengers to actually book tickets online.

Cool Game, Bag Covered, The Game is On:

So the bag, plus an extra 100 bucks was covered by the insurance, golfing is for free now, and petrol in the UAE is below 50 Cents per liter, and that's for 98, 95 is even slightly cheaper than that.
Opened the booking engine to book tee-times and realized that there will have to be an action plan before taking the risk to slice, hook golf-balls around the course, still recalling that Happy Gilmore movie from 1996.

There you go, booked a range pass, got a camera stand, started the analyze the swing, constantly seeking room for improvement and it worked, I was ready to hit the road with one of those golf-carts.

It's all been set, the golf-bag, the training, the camera, the camera stand, the flight from San Francisco, carrying the back around the world, via Taipei, via Seoul, to finally to Dubai, without having caught Covid-19 on my way, and ready to sail away from the crowds at the golf course. Literally a golfer has to look for people while being on the course, definitely hard to catch anything from artificial nature.

Just prior the game, the lock-down:

Ready for greatness, golf-course on lock-down, stay at home, stay safe and flatten the curve, awesome. Well, I felt like winning the lottery and to pass away the very next day, what a disaster! Not an issue to live with it and to do some home-indoor-training, without equipment, not to mention that the swimming pool, sauna, steam, gym, jacuzzi and other facilities in our buildings are locked down as well.

What a surprise - Covid 19 Gaming Permitted:

Having identified that the whole Covid 19 will be hopeless and actually last until the very end of the year, or even into 2021, I just carried my bag around the apartment, starring at it right before brushing my teeth in the morning / before going to bed. Out of a sudden, an email appeared in my inbox, saying that I could play on 3rd May 2020, 0800am, 18 holes at Arabian Ranches.

It zoomed into my box so quickly that I have decided to accept the booking at all the same speed and simply "went for it" without hesitation at all. As soon as the booking has been confirmed, I realized that all the training facilities have been closed, which includes the chipping area. Great, the night before I had a sleepless night, drinking Good Night Teas, pumping myself full of vitamins, hoping to wake up in " a couple of hours", less than 3 to be exact!

It really happened, Tee 1, Par 4:

Like I was literally having night-mares about, I was teeing off on the 1st hole, realizing that I did not play for weeks, and before those weeks even started, it was over a decade since I held a club in my hands. Everyone starring at each other, analyzing the front-man, of how his drive was, quite an audience. My hands were shacking, the audience did that - apparently- too, and buuuummm, the first one was a long hitter and made it to over 200 meters in fact.

Cancellation Fees / no other way out:

That night, I was playing with the thought to simply cancel the game and to go for another one, however, I am not willing to pay a cancellation fee, just for not having the balls to go out and play. The very worst thing that can ever happen is simply, I could lose the same amount that would have been the cancellation fee in an equal amount to golf balls lost during the game.

In the end, the game went so well that I did find a partner to play with and had the most unique chance to find 8 golf balls during the game and returned home with more than I have arrived with.

The game was good, the weather was just great, sunny as usual, what else to expect, would have never entered without a bottle of water, did regret that I did not carry my own cool-box, which I forgot at home while being only half-awake even during the first 9 holes. Not being able to practice at all, and going out there to play is something that calls for a lot of courage and enthusiasm, especially when considering that I was just approved for another round on May 10th, again, not being allowed to hit the range at least for a few minutes before heading out to the "real thing".

Frankly speaking, life seems to be all the same, being spontaneous is - most of the time- absolutely necessary, otherwise we may be a lost cause in a dead-end.

Just to conclude, about complimentary golfing in the UAE:

That's what the reader of this article may have already figured out. Being on the "for free" list won't be all the same as actually paying for the whole thing. For those who are employed with a binding 9 to 5 schedule, it may be unlikely to just take a day off to play a round with friends, unless it is with business partners that would like to join. Even than, all those folks playing, no matter it is just yourself, friends, or family, clients, all of them would have to be extremely flexible and spontaneous. If you are in the position to create your own daily-routine, based on your own expectation, you are definitely enjoying to be pushed around by days and hours to play, otherwise, just see by yourself, seeing is believing, and see how it goes. Golf is a great game, believe it or not, the average golfer burns over 1400 calories over a round of golf, which is equivalent to hitting the gym or riding a bicycle for pretty much the same amount of hours spent.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

If there are any questions that may arise in the meantime, please feel so free to contact me directly at (86-21) 6157 4954 or drop me an email to max (at) prscenterprises (dot) com.

Kind regards from the very city centre of Shanghai, The Peoples Republic of China,

Max Alex Agostini<