Karl Litten was no stranger to golf design in Egypt – having already laid out the 27-hole Dreamland golf complex a decade earlier – when he set out the course at Stella Di Mare in 2006.
Indeed, ten years before Dreamland opened, the architect had supervised the construction of the Emirates (Majlis) course in Dubai so he was well versed in the art of desert golf design when he took on this Red Sea project.
Considering the experience that Litten had gained during his previous ventures in North Africa and the Middle East, it’s easy to see that he was the ideal person to lead the “New Wave” of Egyptian golf course development in the 21st century.
Stella Di Mare is far from a typical holiday resort course – it can be stretched to 7,150 yards from the back markers – and it’s capable of testing the very best of players so visiting golfers are advised to be very careful in their choice of tees.
After an easy introduction to the round on the opening two par fours, the toughest hole on the front nine arrives at the 592-yard par five 3rd, where the hole doglegs from tee to green with sand to the left and water to the right of the fairway. On the back nine, the slightly uphill, long par three 12th can be a real beast when the prevailing wind is up but the most challenging holes are kept until the 16th, where the closing trio of water-threatened holes – a par three sandwiched between two doglegged par fours – can spoil a good score in the blink of an eye.