By Alex Smith

Nicklaus Design to create new course for Qiddiya

“I am excited by this project and my first golf course design in the Middle East,” said Jack Nicklaus.

Nicklaus Design will create a new golf course in Saudi Arabia, as part of the Qiddiya development already in construction southwest of Riyadh.

“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.”

Yasir Al-Rumayyan, chairman of Golf Saudi and the Saudi Golf Federation 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.”

The Nicklaus course will be framed by the Tuwaiq mountain range and the developers are seeking a designer for a second course at the development, which is being positioned as Saudi Arabia’s capital for entertainment, sport and the arts.

“The underlying philosophy behind this entire development is to introduce a new, active lifestyle to the people of Saudi Arabia,” said Phillipe Gas, CEO of QIC. “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.”

Golf Saudi expects more than a dozen new courses to be built in the country before 2030. The Nicklaus course at Qiddiya follows last year’s announcement of Greg Norman’s firm having been appointed for a course at the Diriyah Gate development northwest of the city.