By Dr. Maged El-bialy
You might be surprised when you hear that you can play a round of golf in Egypt. Golfing in Egypt was not so popular a few years ago. There was a limited amount of golf courses, such as the Mena House Oberoi Hotel golf course, which is a small nine-hole course. The Gezira Club golf course was one of the first golf courses in Egypt, but it is strictly for members only. With the development of new suburban residential areas, golfing has become more and more popular. Now there are a wide variety of golf courses, not only in Cairo, but all over Egypt. (Please refer to Tour Egypts Golfing section.)
Let us take a much closer look at one of the golf courses in Egypt. I visited the Dream Golf Course in 6th of October City, where I met Mr. Ayman El Faransawy, who manages the course. Mr. Ayman won the Egyptian Golf Tournament seven times and he has played golf since 1964. Dream Golf is located near Dream Park, which was previously reviewed in this column. In fact the same Company, "Bahgat Group," owns it. Dream Golf lies in front of Dream City, which is a luxurious residential city still under construction. To go to Dream Golf you have to drive about 40 km from downtown.
The course in Dream Golf, is very winding, so it is perfect if you like to walk to the holes. The 7200-yard course is lusciously planted with fine grass. The Dream Golf Course is one of the biggest golf courses in Egypt. There are seven lakes, and the sandpits are very challenging. The range, which is 350 yards long, is beautifully set at the start point, with palm trees at the end of it. Hole 1 is close to hole 9 so you end where you started. A third, 9-hole course is under construction. This course would act as a substitute course to make sure that all golfers get the maximum benefit of Dream Golf.
Dream Golf is not a "plain" golf course. There is the pro-shop at the entrance of the course, so you can buy whatever you forgot to bring with you concerning golf. There is a swimming pool, along with 8 tennis courts. So can enjoy a nice game of gold and then cool off with a dip in the swimming pool. The package is complete with a Jacuzzi, sauna and gym, so besides golf, you can enjoy a well-equipped health club. If you are hungry, you can try eating at the restaurant in Dream Golf. At the moment, there is a clubhouse under construction, but there are luxurious ladies and mens changing rooms. The rooms have many lockers and a shower place. The clubhouse is expected to open soon.
The climate is considered stable all year round. There are a lot of sunny days and occasionally, a heat wave. There is very little humidity, so you will not probably feel the heat of the sun, on the contrary, you will enjoy it. The only weather that might stop you from golfing is when a sandstorm hits the desert area surrounding the course but that is very infrequent and happens once or twice in a whole year. It is breezy over the plateau so again humidity will be unfelt.
Over looking the golf courses is a Hilton Hotel and the main aim of the hotel is to serve golfers The distance from Europe to Egypt is almost a two to three hour trip by plane. So if you are in Europe, you can plan a weekend of golfing in Egypt. You can stay at the Hilton and play your games in Dream Golf. You will not encounter the busy city roads as you can take the new ring road from the airport to 6th of October City.
There are memberships available at Dream Golf. Mr. Ayman stated that there is a gold membership and where you do not pay any greens fees to play and a silver membership with reduced green fees. To get more details on membership, you want to contact Mr. Ayman by sending him an email.
The fees for visitors differ according to the days of the week. From Saturday to Wednesday you pay L.E. 150 (almost US $ 40) for greens fees per 18 holes. On weekends Thursdays and Fridays you pay L.E. 200 (almost US$ 50) for greens fees. Golf cart rental is L.E. 60 (US$ 15) for the whole day. A day use at the health club would cost you L.E. 50 (US$13) and one hour on the tennis court is for L.E. 40 (US$ 10).
Finally, Mr. Ayman hopes for more golfers to come to Egypt and more golf courses to be built. He hopes to one day see Egypt hosting international tournaments. Egypt is a desert country but the River Nile also runs through it. Green patches are growing every where in the desert, so it is guaranteed that you will play on nice green grass when you come to play golf in Egypt.