Red Sea Global reveals designs for Shura Links golf course

Red Sea Global reveals designs for Shura Links golf course

Red Sea Global (RSG), the multi-project developer behind regenerative tourism destinations The Red Sea and AMAALA, has officially revealed the name and designs of its golf course and clubhouse on Shura Island at The Red Sea set to complete and open in full in 2025.

Shura Links promises a one-of-a-kind golf experience, offering Saudi Arabia’s first 18-hole island golf course with holes on the water, marina views and spectacular fairways framed by the Red Sea.

Aerial (1)Developed in partnership with world-leading environmental consultants, Shura Links is guided by the highest sustainability standards, addressing a number of areas in tandem such as water-use reduction and innovative re-use of irrigation for habitat development.

“Shura Links will provide an unparalleled golfing experience, offering a visually stunning, natural course right here on the Red Sea. As ever, it’s not enough for us to provide spectacular experiences and world class playing conditions. We are committed to ensuring Shura Links aligns with our ambition to set new sustainability standards. From innovative turf management and careful foliar feeding, we’re putting respect for nature above everything else,” said John Pagano, Group CEO of RSG.

“We’ve already commenced with turfing the fairways and look forward to welcoming first players to this unique course.” he added.

World class designs

The iconic Clubhouse is designed by Foster + Partners. It follows the overall Coral Bloom design concept on Shura Island, also created by Foster + Partners, which takes inspiration from the incredible flora and fauna found uniquely in Saudi Arabia.

Shura Links clubhouse (1)The course has been designed in partnership with world-renowned golf architect Brian Curley, the designer behind the world’s largest golf facility, Mission Hills Golf Club.

Brian Curley, Principal of Wagner-Curley Design, said: “There are very few places in the world that can offer year-round sunshine, stunning vermilion sunsets and a wonderfully natural design. Shura has it all. We expect everyone from professionals to beginners to be drawn to this unique course and have designed it accordingly. There’s plenty to challenge the world’s best, while stirring the senses of amateurs looking for the greatest playing experience”.

Shura Links gymThe par 72 Shura Links course tops out at a championship length of 7,500 yards, but offers multiple tees and experiences at each hole. Every hole has been designed to provide maximum variety, playability and memorability. Holes four to seven hug the coastline, while holes 14 to 18 provide a crescendo finish with each enjoying a backdrop of open sea or channel views. The 18th hole finishes below the iconic Clubhouse.

The designers incorporated width off the tee making the course suitable for beginners. It also includes challenging features that ensures the course is tournament quality, opening the possibility for staging major events in the future. There is also a two-acre putting course that the designers expect to rival the best in the world.

Fully integrating sustainability

RSG is working with the OnCourse® platform to ensure sustainability is at the heart of Shura Links. Water consumption is reduced through the careful selection of turf grass and soil sensors to understand moisture levels and minimize water use. It is also using the innovative POGO turf management system to measure key variables that influence growth and performance, including salinity, temperature and weather, helping to inform decision making and irrigation efficiency.

The course also uses foliar feeding incorporating natural nutrients like seaweed to ensure a precision approach that maximizes nutrient uptake while mitigating against nutrient run off, and maintains the quality of turfgrass and golf playing surfaces.

Of the 140-hectare site, just 20 percent is maintained turf. The designers purposely developed a natural golf course, using irregular turf lines and transitional bunkering with outside edges that blend into the natural dunescapes.

On top of this, RSG is developing a Habitat Development and Protection Plan that will explore ways to encourage the island’s wildlife to thrive. This includes research into whether the course’s irrigation system can be used to accelerate mangrove growth around the course.

Golf Saudi partnership

Golf Saudi has been awarded a contract to manage the golf course and operations. The 18-hole championship course will be accessible to all 11 hotels on Shura Island, as well as guests staying at other resorts at The Red Sea. A second course is in the works as part of subsequent phases of the destination’s development and is part of Saudi’s ambition to become the world’s next golf destination.

In 2023, The Red Sea welcomed its first guests, with three of its hotels now open. The Red Sea International Airport (RSI) has been receiving a regular schedule of domestic flights since September 2023 and international flights began in April 2024, marking the start of a new twice-weekly route between The Red Sea and Dubai International. Desert Rock and Shebara will welcome first guests later this year, while Shura Island is on track to welcome guests in 2025.

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