In Egypt there are courses for every level of skill and wallet thickness. Whether you are a 24-handicap duffer who likes to play a round every now and then or a three-handicap fanatic that takes every opportunity to tweak up his game, there is a course for you.
Egypt has three historic courses designed in the 19th century by the British who invented the game, these have been joined by new world-class desert, links, Florida-style and seaside courses.
The Alexandria Sporting Club, Alexandria
18-hole championship golf course, par 70, 5,960 yards, rating 69, two tees, built in 1898. It is one of the oldies but still a great course littered with mature tree and some tough bunkers and still the only opportunity to play on the North Coast.
Golf Course 18 HOLES
5,960 YARDS / 5,450 METRES
DATE OF OPENING: 1889
Who can play?
Members, daily fee golfers, tourist groups.
Tuition & practice facilities: Golf pro, golf lessons, driving range.
The Clubhouse: Restaurant, pro shop.
Services: Caddies, trolleys, club rental.
Other facilities: The Alexandria Sporting Club also has two swimming pools, horse riding, polo, tennis, squash, basketball, football, billiards and a children’s area.
A splash of green encircled by the city
Little more than a pitching wedge from the Mediterranean and close to Alexandria’s ancient harbour lies one of Egypt’s most venerable golf clubs. Built by the British in the latter years of the 19th century as part of a recreational retreat, its 18 holes are today encircled by Egypt’s second city, a tranquil splash of green amidst the vitality and energy of a city in perpetual motion.
Traditional English-style layout
The Alexandria Sporting Club course is very much a traditional English-style layout, albeit with palm trees and year-round sunshine – luxuries its builders would not have been used to back home. At less than 6,000 yards, it may lack distance, but the mature trees, small greens and gaping bunkers guarding greens ensure golfers don’t get off too lightly. Get too close to one of the large trees and you will find your way to the green totally blocked. The trees also provide welcome shade from the sun. The course has four par-3 holes, ranging from 175 to 210 yards, and four par-4s. There are two par-5s, the 13th and 14th, the club’s longest at 580 yards.
Each hole has two tee positions. Pick of the holes is the 5th, a 205-yard par-3 which leaves little room to go left or right and leaves you with a difficult return shot for your second if you go beyond the green and find the lurking bunker.
Visiting golfers welcome
Although one of Egypt’s most exclusive institutions, the Alexandria Sporting Club welcomes visiting golfers. For anyone spending time in Alexandria, the chance to play golf on a historic track in a city founded by Alexander the Great and ruled over by the Ptolemies until Cleopatra took her own life after her lover, Mark Anthony, was defeated by Roman emperor Octavian would be too good to pass up. It may be a pleasant walk in the park, but it will not be a walkover.