4 Great Spots Where You Can Play Golf in Riyadh
On those days when the sun is shining, and there’s a gentle breeze in the air, there is no better activity to do in Riyadh than golf. We are lucky to have some very well maintained courses in the area that offer something for all kinds of golfers with plenty of tough holes providing a real challenge.
For anyone visiting Riyadh, you won’t want to waste time that could be spent golfing by having to research all the different websites to find one that suits. We get asked a lot by guests where they should play when staying in Riyadh; that’s why we thought it would be a good idea to compile a shortlist of the best in the area, as well as some practical information about golfing in Riyadh
What are the golf courses in the area like?
Many people assume that Riyadh would be a difficult place to maintain a golf course, and yes while the temperature means it takes a higher level of care to have these courses, our landscape isn’t what you’d think.
The topography of the area means we have a lot of naturally occurring hills and slopes. This lends itself to us having areas we can grow and maintain green courses. Now there are only a handful of green courses in the area, and we do have some sand based layouts with browns instead of green, but there are some fantastic areas to play golf in.
What are the best golf courses in Riyadh?
The best golf courses in Riyadh include:
An hour’s drive from the hotel, Dirab Golf & Country Club is 40 miles south of the city. It was known for years as the leading sand course until it became the first course in Saudi Arabia to go green for 18 holes. With the level of work put into creating the course, all of the holes hug one another, so expect plenty of tight fairways that reward accuracy when teeing off.
It is a par 72 course open all year round and has hosted several championships. Some people like to go in the evening for the unique experience of playing golf at night, although you won’t be in the dark; nine holes are entirely lit up by floodlights.
And you wouldn’t expect as such from a desert course, but there are a lot of trees planted which could see your par shoot right up from a botched swing.
With it being a member’s club, pay to play is usually done in a seasonal pass basis and it is recommended that anyone looking to play single sessions contact the club directly.
Not too far from King Khalid International Airport, you’ll usually be able to spot the course on arrival to the airport. Riyadh Greens is seen as the most well-known in the area; a par 72 championship course with well looked after greens and plenty of sand bunkers.
Since opening in 2005, it’s become a great place to go and see if you handle wide fairways in a setting like this. Guests like going here as the course has several lakes and small rivers winding throughout.
Unlike most other courses, you can book a tee time directly on their site here, with weekday rates starting at 200 SAR and weekend rates at 300 SAR for 18 holes.
Arizona Golf Resort
The closest of the courses to Fraser Suites Riyadh, Arizona Golf Resort, is only nine holes but it is a beauty of a course.
The course is tucked away behind a quiet residential area and was designed to be a bit of a challenge given the limited space. Expect bunkered holes, palm trees and a 4th hole that says par 5 on the scoreboard but could quickly descend into a right troublemaker.
There’s also something of an American flair throughout (if you couldn’t tell by the name) with a western-themed restaurant indoors, basketball court, bowling alley, Ok Corral farm and baseball field.
Nofa Golf Resort
Roughly an 80-minute drive from Fraser Suites Riyadh along route 80, Nofa Golf Resort has an 18-hole course developed by none other than Barrie Gregson. The green course is a par 73 which uses the natural layout of the desert it was built upon to create a challenging course.
Most of the holes have bunkers of water features in place and with five par 5 holes to play on, you don’t want to see yourself getting stuck, especially around holes 7 and 14.
The course also has one of the most unique sights you’ll come across when golfing. In between hole 8 and 9 there is a mini safari park with antelopes, ostriches and Arabian oryxes.
Fees average around 250 SAR to 350 SAR depending on the time of day.
Where to stay when in Riyadh
Fancy trying out all the golf spots in Riyadh and looking for a good place to stay? Let Fraser Suites Riyadh look after everything with our one-bedroom apartments in the heart of the city.
Our one-bedroom apartments with integrated living, dining, kitchen and bedroom areas have everything you’d need from a hotel and so much more.