Nestled at the crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe, Jordan offers travellers a magnificent blend of culture, history, and dramatic natural landscapes. From trekking fantastical shifting dunes to diving kaleidoscopic coral reefs, there’s a range of enthralling things to do in Jordan to satisfy anyone’s soul. Now, thanks to luxury development Ayla, world-class golfing in Jordan is possible too.
The Ayla Golf Club opened in 2016, featuring Jordan’s first 18-hole championship golf course, and has fast earned a glowing reputation as one of the finest golf courses in the Middle East. The magnificent centrepiece of a stunning luxury destination, its 800,000 square metres of rolling green fairways, dotted with crystalline lagoons, forms a lush oasis rising out of the arid desert, fringed by impressive mountains on all sides. Here’s what you can expect from your golfing experience at Ayla Oasis.
Greg Norman heads up what is internationally recognised as the premier signature golf course design firms in the world. Having built premium golf courses in Dubai, Oman and Egypt, Norman is no stranger to the Middle East, but to take on the challenge of designing the first championship course of its kind in Jordan fuelled his desire to create something special. The result is a fantastic, eco-friendly green that evolves out of the desert with wide fairways offering a user-friendly experience in the face of those arid desert winds. However, professionals and amateurs seeking a challenge won’t be disappointed – due to the unique contouring of the green, a strategic tee shot is essential to open up access to the holes. You wouldn’t want it to be too easy, would you?
The impressive architecture of the Ayla Golf Club is a thing of beauty, designed by the elite Oppenheim architecture. Paying homage to the ancient architectural heritage of the Bedouins and the undulating dunescape of the surrounding desert, the club house is made up of waves of concrete, rising and falling in an organic yet contemporary style. The intense sunlight of Jordan is tempered by a latticework of steel screens in a modern take on the traditional mashrabiya, making the most of the natural light while maintaining privacy. Rustic treatments mimic the hues of the desert landscape and towering mountains, connecting the golf club to the vibrant beauty and wild nature of wild Jordan at its most powerful.
Built from scratch and in line with Greg Norman’s environmental philosophies, the golf course at Ayla has been painstakingly designed with Jordan’s unique ecology in mind. By creating a series of man-made lagoons and utilising 235 metres of Jordan’s shoreline, Ayla has added an incredible 17km to the coast, attracting a huge variety of marine life such as sea horses and spotted eagle rays while providing a stopover for migrating birds. All trees and shrubs are local indigenous species to ensure irrigation requirements are kept to a minimum while a subsurface irrigation system has been installed to further reduce evaporation and water waste. By making water conservation a priority and creating power via solar panels on the roof of the golf club, Ayla now plays host to one of the most eco-friendly golf courses in the world.
It’s all very well reading about it, but you can’t truly understand the charms of Ayla Golf Club until you hit the fairway for the ultimate golfing in Jordan experience.