Sitting 6 miles north west of Abu Dhabi International Airport, Yas Links is only a 10 minute drive which is need given the flight time is twice that compared with many popular golfing destinations in Europe from the UK. That said, once you’re here you’ll realise that this isn’t like European golf resorts, and all the wives tales you’ve herd about the UAE, its time to throw them out the window. Yas Island, home to the Links is also home to Yas Marina F1 circuit, Ferrari world with the worlds fastest rollercoaster, Warner Bros World, waterparks, huge shopping malls, bars and clubs, not to mention a host of luxury hotels.
Being in Abu Dhabi makes Yas Links a perfect location for the end of the year when most of Europe is falling into a freeze, Yas will still be seeing heat most Brits would call positively barmy! This makes it not only a superb holiday getaway but due to its local surroundings its a perfect destination for intimate corporate events. From one to one meetings or smaller team sales events, Yas Links has a fine tuned private and personal approach thats symbolised from the first moment when you collect the keys to your personally named changing locker.
Open in 2010 Yas is a first class golf facility boasting a world top 50 course designed by Kyle Philips and a floodlit 9 hole academy course and practice area. With beautiful view of the Arabian Gulf to one side, Yas Marina F1 circuit, Ferrari Wold and probably your hotel to the other, its an amazing setting for an equally amazing golf course. Playing up to almost 7,500 yards its got five tee positions for those looking to adjust the difficulty making it perfect if you’re out on business as you’ll not want to talk a deal if the course is giving you a beating. The front nine plays wider and probably easier to score compare to the back nine which slowly tightens up to offer some real risk and reward golf, particular the final stretch.
With such a quality course there are almost too many standout holes to mention but an early favourite is the dogleg 3rd which hugs the coast-line for 400 yards with your approach shot to the eight bunker guarded green. Bunkers are something that you’ll have to get used to seeing at Yas Links with game management of the upmost importance, particularly if the wind wants to blow, things can get tricky. The 4th is a great long par 3 with an amazingly undulating green making for some testing pin positions. Its the 9th where things start to change, and from the off your first tee shot is a tight one over the water calling for great accuracy otherwise you’ll give yourself a tricky second.
The whole back nine slides down the strip of land besides Ferrari World and the Yas Marina circuit until turning back on its self, tightly hugging the waters edge. The 12th and 15th have a nice links double green touch so if you miss the serious bunkers guarding the green you could still be left with a lengthy put of some distance. It’s the closing holes that you’ll go home remembering, even if its because you left a few balls in the Arabian Gulf due to the typical head on wind. With small greens and thin fairways the 16th is a nervy test. The 17th is a majestic par three and with all the carry and a fair bit of wind it’s a good result to hold the green. Slightly right sided shots will end up in the dip leaving for a tricky piece of short play to get down for par. The the round is then topped off with an epic finish at the lengthy par 5 18th. You’ll be given a few questions on where to play before you even get to the green and will play really long especially if that wind comes in head on which it usually does.
The inside scoop?
Yas Links is defiantly a venue worth traveling to, even if you’re visiting Dubai as its well within a two hour drive. At the end of the game you’ll need to freshen off in the rainfall shower even if you did take the cart guy up on a much need cool lolly and enjoy the Spanish style clubhouse. The food is superb and often supported by events, but if that not your thing then outdoor seating has a beautiful view across the back nine for a perfectly relaxing view with a beer. Just don’t forget your sun cream and plenty of water.
Clubs Away was co-founded by a PGA Golfing Professional, Michael. His passion for golfing started when he was just 4 years old. He is not only an experienced player, but also provides golf coaching at all levels. With 5 PGA competition titles under his belt during his amateur career, Michael graduated from the PGA with distinctions in all Coaching and Business assignments and exams.
It is this determination and dedication that Michael puts into the world of corporate hospitality, and he works with some of the world’s largest organisations. Clubs Away was formed around the idea that sometimes the best way to close a deal is over a round of golf. We take the time to fully understand your business needs and requirements, taking everything out of your hands so you can enjoy the entire experience.
Our mission is simple: to improve your business with corporate golf events and golfing holidays. We help you to get the most out of any event, whatever the objective. Our bespoke, complete service is tailored to your individual needs. Whether you’re putting together a team building day, charity fundraiser or an opportunity to close business leads, our expert team is on hand to help.
We think differently when it comes to creating the perfect corporate hospitality event. By holding an initial consultation to understand your business in its entirety, we help you target the most achievable outcomes with your event. We have named our approach the ‘Power of Play’ – we’re here to help you to bring different ideas into play. Creative thinking developed through play helps create better networking opportunities, build more profitable relationships and enhance team dynamics.
Clubs Away use golf to drive your business performance forward. The main packages we offer are corporate golf events and handpicked holidays. We have a team of in-house designers to cater for your branding needs too, and a golf simulator powered by leading tracking software if you want to stay a little closer to home.
Whether you ‘re hosting a golf event for 2 people or 200, we can cater to your needs. With an experienced team of event planners and PGA professionals, Clubs Away pride ourselves on an innovative approach. Our aim is to create a bespoke event, which not only exceeds all your expectations, but those of your guests too.
Our unique events are created from a selection of handpicked 5* venues, and our event management system takes care of everything so you don’t have to. We are the only travel and events company to provide a PGA professional host to support your event too, allowing extensive business development opportunities.
Our holiday packages are put together by our experienced team, who have spent time at some of the finest golf courses and hotels across the world, bringing you an in-depth insight into the selection. But don’t worry, the world’s best courses don’t always come with the largest price tags. With our well-recognised team of PGA Pros helping you put together your ideal holiday, you can rest assured we’ll bring you the best possible deals.
Once we’ve helped you put together your package, your work is complete. We take care of all the finer details, from arranging flights to booking accommodation, making your golfing holiday as stress-free and relaxing as possible. We don’t just promise 5* golf travel – we deliver it.
The main thing that sets us apart from the competition is the inclusion of a PGA professional within all our corporate golf events and holidays. We are the only golf travel company in the industry to offer this service.
From start to finish, our world-class professional will guide you through the event planning, acting as a local guide, coach and organiser.
How our team can make your event memorable:
The initial meeting you have will be with one of our PGA Pros, to gain an insight into your objectives. With many years of experience under their belt, they are more than happy to provide innovative ideas and recommendations.
Our Pros will use not only their expertise, but their connections in order to get you perks that other companies simply can’t. Whether you want to stay in the best suite in the resort or dine at a private table exclusively for professional golfers, our team will be able to assist.
With all their experience and knowledge, you will have access to the same level of coaching of any PGA great themselves. All our Pros have been on European and US Tours, teaching some of the best players in the world. You really are in the best hands.
We have recently introduced a golf simulator into our array of services, allowing you to play on some of the finest golf courses in the world without the hassle of having to travel there. Combined with innovative, cutting-edge radar software Trackman to analyse your golfing techniques, you can step into the pro world and join leading coaches and players.
Does this all sound like something you’re interested in? If you’re focused on creating a corporate golfing event that will drive your business forward, contact our expert team today for an initial consultation.
In ever changing and growing markets that are filled with fierce competition, businesses need a better and deeper way to develop relationships with their clients.
Ensuring that business partnerships stay positive and productive has become a top priority for many companies, and this is where corporate hospitality comes in.
Corporate hospitality describes private events or travel trips organised by businesses or corporations for their staff, clients and stakeholders.
Historically, it was used as a way to say thank you to clients. It still serves this purpose, but it now features much more strategically to company plans. There is a much clearer objective – and that’s to win or secure further business.
Company golf days are increasingly being utilised as a face-to-face marketing tool to help enhance the relationship between an organisation and its current or potential customers, through interaction in a non-sales environment.
For many, it now plays a significant part in business development – with any budget laid out for a corporate event expected to see a significant ROI in terms of speculating to accumulate.
There are many reasons why corporate hospitality is worth focusing in on.
Saying thank you to your clients and rewarding them is hugely important; if your company isn’t doing it, your competitors might be.
Face-to-face interaction is imperative when maintaining relationships with clients, so corporate events serve as an ideal way to nurture and strengthen existing relationships away from the boardroom.
By putting on an event or trip, you’re taking the time to go the extra mile. Clients who feel inspired and motivated by the prospect of working with your company are more likely to stay in business with you.
It’s also a good way to branch out and meet new contacts by inviting potential clients in the hope of securing new business.
There is no one better than a current client to talk positively about your company – so getting current and prospective clients to circulate can certainly be beneficial.
Behind every corporate event is a good strategy.
Understanding your objectives is key – you may be wanting to strengthen an existing relationship, encourage more business or increase brand awareness.
That in mind, choosing the right type of event is vital to who you are dealing with and what you want to achieve.
It also needs to run smoothly from start to finish, showcase your brand in the best light and ensure your guests enjoy the experience.
Effective hospitality is what sticks in the mind of those who attend – if your biggest clients are present, then you don’t want to disappoint.
There is a lot to bear in mind with golf event management and the organisation of the day. It’s got to be executed properly. This is where Clubs Away can help.
In recent years, there has been a big increase in business being done on the golf course.
Not only is a golfing trip a great leisure activity, but with only a small portion of a four-hour game spent actually hitting the ball, there is plenty of time to talk business.
At Clubs Away, we offer bespoke end-to-end golfing packages that are tailored for business minds.
Our team organise the entire day or travel break, so that business professionals can focus on developing client relationships and forging new business deals, without the hassle of arranging and planning themselves.
We organise every detail of the expedition, from finding the venue or location of the trip through to booking accommodation and flights.
We’re are also the only company to provide a PGA Golf Professional on every trip, allowing guests to receive training tips and improve their golfing skills as part of the corporate package.
So if you need to wow a particular client, seal a business deal or strengthen a new relationship – get in touch with us to see how we can create you the perfect corporate golf event trip!
With a new year coming up quicker than ever its time to think differently about golf event management and try something new, a new kind of new year’s resolution. Historically you’ve probably stomped the fairways up and down the likes of Portugal and Spain, maybe even Bulgaria looking for a bit of sun with a swing. It could be your first winter away but there’s one jewel of a location that probably hasn’t gone unnoticed but doesn’t quite lure you away from the good old faithful Europe. Where is this mysterious golfing paradise we talk about… The Middle East!
Ok I get it, Portugal and Spain are 2 hours on a plane, where as the dessert takes a good 7 hours, but once your there it’s a trip well worth making. You’ve may have thought about going to the Middle East and asked google and thought… ‘this doesn’t sound too inviting’, where’s my brochure to Portugal again. Error 1: You can probably ignore almost all that you’ve heard, I think I probably heard all the same stories. I always started to think about the reasons why I shouldn’t go because of what I heard from friends, “Women are not allowed certain places and they are not allowed to show any skin if outside the resort”, “if you get caught drunk in the street then you’ll be arrested and sent to jail” and lastly “the people are not very welcoming”. Once out of the airport it didn’t take long to realise how wrong I was and how welcoming and safe I felt.
In June this year I was invited along with our Marketing Director, David, to Yas Links in Abu Dhabi by the Director of Golf, James Ibbotson and his team for what is called in the trade a FAM Trip (Familiarisation trip). This is something that Clubs Away insists on doing with all it’s resorts promoted on the website as we only recommend resorts with first hand experience. When James invited us to visit Abu Dhabi we had the exact same reservations and questioned whether Yas felt like a resort we could successfully promote in the UK.
After a slightly more roomy 7-hour flight from Heathrow on the new Dreamliner we finally landed in Abu Dhabi. I have to admit that it was no different to landing in any Western country, people were polite, spoke fluent English, the airport worked in exactly the same way as any other airport… Was my perceptions of the Middle East changing? After we went through baggage claim we were welcomed by James and Charlotte from Yas Links who were hosting us for the entire trip. Then it was out of the ice cool airport air con and outside to be welcomed by a warm gust of dessert air.
Our first night we stayed in the Crowne Plaza on Yas Island. Again the experience was something that I didn’t really expect, checking in was just the same as checking into any western hotel, polite, friendly and spoke amazing English. At reception we were informed about ‘ladies night’ at Stills Bar which is attached to the Crown Plaza. Ladies Night is an initiative by all the resorts on the Island to create a welcoming vibe to all women who are visiting Abu Dhabi, a sign that Abi Dhabi acknowledge there being an issue with how holiday makers that are women perceive the UAE and its treatment of women. Their attitude to women that are holiday makers is far different to that within their own culture, all women on Ladies Night get free drinks, can dress how they wish and most of all are encouraged to have a good time as you should when you are on holiday. The initiative works and this is where I realised that Abu Dhabi was going to be a very different place to my initial perception. It was more like Cancun on spring break!
The following day we were invited to play golf at Yas Links by James and his team. Voted in the Top 50 courses in the world by Golf World the expectations were already very high. Disappointed? NO! Quite the opposite!
From the very moment you drive into the property and are met and seen through by security you already know that you are visiting somewhere quite special, when you arrive at the Clubhouse you are met by the golf operations team who take care of everything, from taking your clubs out of the car, to taking you into the clubhouse and showing you to your own personal locker for the day. Before we teed off we were given a quick tour of the clubhouse and I realised that this was more than just a golf club, this was a place to come for the day, not just to play golf but to eat and drink, relax by the outdoor pool or have a lesson and practice on the driving range no matter what standard you are. This golf club definitely deserves a tagline ‘Don’t just play, stay the day!’
The facilities at the resort are nothing short of fabulous and impeccably presented but this doesn’t really mean much if the delivery within the venue isn’t up too much. Yas Links provides the finishing touches that match this amazing venue. There are some very subtle touches where a lot of resort courses forget about, for example, the sheer heat of the dessert hits you by the 4th hole and you actually can’t believe how hot it is. So Yas Links thought of the perfect touch to provide its guests at this point – an ice lolly! So simple but so welcoming, especially depending on what time part of the day! Later on in the round they also greet you with a keenly welcomed ice cold towel. Another nice touch is that you have water dispensers every few holes that dispenses ice cold water free of charge. I have travelled the world playing at some of the best resorts in the world and there aren’t many that wouldn’t take the opportunity to charge an inflated price for something someone would be desperate for!
After tackling the last few signature holes and hopefully keeping a dry ball your welcomed to get wet yourself and freshen up under the rain shower in the changing rooms. You can even take a dip by the pool and ease down in the steam room before returning to the club house for a bite to eat. At Yas they have both indoor and outdoor dining, overlooking the 18th green with the iconic F1 track and sea view. If your lucky enough to stay around till the evening then you can sit down to a beautiful sunset before heading back to the hotel.
The hotels on Yas Island are intentionally run by Western hotel management groups to provide its guests with a feeling of home, these management groups include; Crown Plaza, Rotana, Radisson and Hilton. One of the great things about Abu Dhabi is that it recognises that tourists feel uneasy about travelling to the middle east because of the hearsay you can read on search engines and review sites. When you start to look deep into what the UAE is trying to achieve to overcome its perception to potential tourists goes far and beyond creating a western feel in the hotels. One thing that really surprised when I arrived at Abu Dhabi was the advertisement of ‘Ladies Night’. The concept is a simple one, it a welcome and not just to women. ‘Ladies Night’ will typically be hosted by different bars at different days of the week, its communicating to the guests of Yas Island that they want you to have a good time, that they want you to have a drink should you wish to and you won’t get arrested if you are found having consumed alcohol. Of course the Middle East have a different set of beliefs to ours in the Western world, they don’t drink, they don’t gamble and yes maybe they have different relationships with their spouses that we don’t necessarily understand however, the key message I have when I write this article is that it isn’t imposed on you as a tourist. Of course you will be expected to have a certain respect for their beliefs, but we should, we are visiting their country after all and I think this is one of the things that should be embraced when we travel.
The evening is when Yas comes alive and you really know this is an island built for entertainment. Maybe you might go for a relaxing cocktail at the Viceroy Skybar overlooking the F1 Marina circuit, watch your favourite band at the Forum or party the night away down at the marina bars and clubs, there really is something for everyone. Literally so much choice, even for some of the more health conscious, you can take an evening jog around the F1 circuit when its opened up to the public.
I think the perception since arriving has totally changed and as Clubs Away, we can’t wait to build packages for our clients so they can enjoy the exquisite experience that Abu Dhabi and Yas Links has to offer. With so much going on in the world of sport with the Rugby Seven’s, Formula 1 and Horse racing happening, combined with the tourist destinations like Ferrari World and Warner Bros (soon to be completed) the options are huge. With all this wrapped up on one island makes this a great alternative to Europe and far more attractive for those looking for a round in the winter months.
We think you might be pleasantly surprised by the packages we can put together so why get in touch about our PGA hosted holidays to Yas Links.
Golf has a unique ability to bring together people from all walks of life.
As a corporate event entertainment activity, it’s something that people of any age and status can play.
With a unique handicap system, golf is a game that anyone in your company can enjoy – men, women, novices and experts.
This means you have a way of connecting with everybody in your business network, if you choose to.
It’s also a way of bonding and building relationships with clients and prospective business partners over a physical activity in a relaxed setting, rather than over a boardroom table.
Plus if you pick your golfing partner wisely, you could easily find yourself going around the golf course with a prospective client for between 4 – 6 hours – what better way to get to know them and subtly spend time showcasing your business?
Golf is a good way to test someone’s character, because of the attributes and traits that make someone good at the sport.
Your attitude towards golf can certainly speak volumes about the way you approach your professional life.
The golfing culture is one of extreme honesty. Whilst it’s easy to shuffle the ball when no one is looking, cheaters are very much shunned in the golfing world.
The professional golfers set prime example here, in championships if they accidentally hit the ball – they call a penalty on themselves.
Therefore it’s a good game to separate the cheaters from the pros. If you have the discipline not to cheat in the game, then that speaks wonders for your character too.
If your client sees you kicking your ball out of the rough for a better lie, opinions and rapport may slowly start to drop.
Golf requires the ability to keep calm under pressure and think strategically.
These qualities are also good business attributes when it comes to working through dilemmas, solving problems and performing in high pressure situations.
You wouldn’t (hopefully) throw your briefcase across the room if a business deal went wrong. So how a person deals with a defeat or a win on the golf course can be an indicator of their temperament.
An employee or prospective client throwing their clubs down in a rage when they lose could suggest a hot temper or inability to accept defeat with humility.
So if you can accept defeat in good humour and victory with modesty, then you may well apply the same attitude to the boardroom.
Golf is a social game and a great way to get interacting with people.
Between the holes and the clubhouse, there is plenty of time to talk business and build lasting relationships with your potential clients.
Strong communication skills are key to business development and business as a whole, so not only but it signals a trait that will be ideal in the boardroom too.
There is also a subtle art to discussing business on the golf course or closing a deal. If it’s a corporate golf event you’ve arranged, then first and foremost you are there to enjoy the game.
Business talk should be subtly woven into your trip around the golf course. They do say not to discuss business before the 5th hole – or after the 15th hole!
If you’re a golfing pro or enjoy the sport in your spare time, then making it part of a business tactic could be well worth your time.
Not only is golf an enjoyable game to be enjoyed by all, but it can also be a fantastic opportunity to wow prospective clients or current ones.
The world is full of stunning, dynamic and impressive golf courses and leisure resorts which can cater for your every need.
From a game in the Scottish home of golf, to golf in the Algarve or a corporate event package to the glittering coastlines of Cyprus or the USA, you can impress and reward clients and colleagues by taking them to some of the world’s most beautiful places, to enjoy one of the world’s most rewarding games.
This is where we at Clubs Away can help, we offer bespoke end-to-end business golf event packages for business minds.
Our team organise the entireevent, so that business professionals can focus on developing client relationships and forging new business deals, without the hassle of arranging and planning themselves.
Every detail of the expedition, from finding the venue or location of the trip through to booking accommodation and flights.
Clubs Away are also the only company to provide a PGA Golf Professional on every trip, allowing guests to receive training tips and improve their golfing skills as part of the corporate event package.
For more information, explore our website further information!