Jack Nicklaus to design championship golf course in Qiddiya, Saudi Arabia

The golf development will include a high-end resort hotel and spa, as well as exclusive residences

Decorated golfer and course designer Jack Nicklaus has confirmed that he is designing his first golf course in Saudi Arabia. The championship course will take shape in Qiddiya, Saudi Arabia’s new capital of entertainments, sports and the arts.

According to a statement, the course is located 40 minutes from the Saudi capital of Riyadh and is under design and awaiting commencement of construction.

Jack and Nicklaus Design is creating the championship course for a private golf and country club, set within an exclusive residential community in the heart of the Qiddiya development, just outside Riyadh, with ground expected to be broken later this year. The golf course will be framed by the majestic Tuwaiq mountain range, a statement said.

“To have the greatest-ever golfer commit to making his mark upon our developing golf landscape in Saudi Arabia and at a project as significant as Qiddiya gives us great pride. To be part of the Nicklaus legacy will be something that we will always cherish, especially knowing the positive impact it will have on growing awareness of the sport at a domestic level, whilst increasing our national visibility as a vibrant new golf destination. We are looking forward to welcoming Mr. Nicklaus for his first visit to Saudi Arabia in the coming months,” said Yasir O Al-Rumayyan, chairman of Golf Saudi and the Saudi Golf Federation.

Construction of Qiddiya began in 2019; the golf development will include a high-end resort hotel and spa, as well as exclusive residences, that once finished will position the development as both the premier Golf and Country Club and number one course in the Kingdom, the statement explained.

It will be constructed to the highest standards, with a view to hosting the most prestigious international championships in future years, challenging elite golfers while providing casual players with an opportunity to enjoy the sport and develop their skills, the statement outlined.

Nicklaus commented, “I am excited by this project and my first golf course design in the Middle East. To be selected as one of the first international designers to work in the Kingdom is a great honour. I’ve already spent time looking at the topography of the land, images of the backdrop and terrain, and discussing with our design team a strategy for the course. The design will fully integrate the natural environment and the beautiful Qiddiya landscape, bringing together green spaces and mountainous terrain to form a picturesque canvas for both a beautiful and challenging golf course.”

The planning of the course has been undertaken by Qiddiya in consultation with Golf Saudi. The Nicklaus-designed course is said to be the centrepiece of what has been positioned as the most exclusive golf residential community in the Kingdom.

“By being involved in this project, we hope to promote the development and enjoyment of the game in the Kingdom. We not only want to entice Saudi residents to take up the great game of golf, but we also hope this presents employment opportunities for citizens of the Kingdom that are within or related to the golf industry. This mirrors the vision of Qiddiya,” Nicklaus noted.

The statement said that Qiddiya will be seeking designers for a second course as well. Together, the two courses will provide top-notch golfing facilities for residents and day visitors to Qiddiya, from elite players to those just learning the sport.

Qiddiya Investment Company (QIC) CEO Philippe Gas concluded, “The underlying philosophy behind this entire development is to introduce a new, active lifestyle to the people of Saudi Arabia. This project has been carefully planned to ensure an unmatched resort experience for both golfers and regular guests. We expect the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course and residential offering to provide the most entertaining challenge for golfers and the most appealing homesteads for residents seeking an extraordinary lifestyle.”


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