How & when did your relationship begin with Dubai Sports City?
Iíve been coming to Dubai since 1994. Iíve always had a special affinity with the city as it has grown and Iíve also been pretty successful in the Dubai Desert Classic. When I saw the plans for Dubai Sports City, I knew that this was going to be a great project. Being able to design a golf course in Dubai Ė thatís pretty special. And obviously this whole project at Dubai Sports City is incredibly exciting Ė I think itís fair to say there is nothing else like it in the world.
Why ďThe Els ClubĒ?
It is the first of a select number of projects that will bear my name. They will comprise an 18-hole signature Els Design course plus a unique hospitality offer in the club house - good food, great bars, a relaxed, welcoming atmosphere with great service from the moment you arrive. Basically, everything you want in a great dayís golf. Weíll also definitely serve my wine! Hopefully, the formula will be the best of all the clubs where I have played over the last 20 years.
Which is the best hole in your view?
There are several holes which spring to mind. The 9th is a long par 4 which plays downwind in the morning and upwind in the afternoon. The twelfth is inspired by Muirfield in Scotland. The 16th is great risk/reward short par 4. It is drivable...The 17th is the best par 3 whilst the 18th is great par 5 finishing hole.
What is your favourite Hotel?
I really like the Madinat Jumierah. The layout is great with the waterways so you have small water taxis that take you around the resort and restaurants. It is relaxing and fun for the kids too.
Have you visited other Emirates?
Abu Dhabi. It was a nice place with tree lined avenues and parks. Not at all what I expected
Do you have any favourite restaurants in Dubai?
I always like eating at Meat Co at the Madinat. They do great food, have very good service and a great wine list.
What are your goals in golf?
To win Majors. Thatís what we all want to do. This year Iíve geared my schedule around the majors, so thatís obviously my main focus.
Will you be likely to commit to play the Race to Dubai in 2009?
Iíll make a decision on that at the end of this year. Itís great for the European Tour and itís great for Dubai.
A Final word on Dubai
Man, itís a great place. I am always telling people who are looking to take a holiday and play some golf that they should go to Dubai Ė theyíll love it.