Golf Betting Tips: Dubai Desert Classic Predictions, Preview and Best Bets

As the Dubai Desert Classic 2024 approaches, the golfing world turns its gaze to the Emirates Golf Club. With last week’s Dubai Invitational showcasing some stunning performances, anticipation is high for this renowned event. John Pentin, our golf betting expert, has previewed this event and provided three best bets: a main bet and two each-way selections to make the most of the opportunities. While checking the tips, don’t forget to take advantage of the selected bookmaker offers listed below to maximise your value.

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The Dubai Desert Classic Betting

The Dubai Desert Classic Betting Tips | Thursday 18th January to Sunday 21st January 2024

BetVictor

18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £10 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days, no cashout. Get 6x £5 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. 7 day bonus expiry. Debit Card / Apple Pay payments only. #AD T&C’s Apply. 18+ | BeGambleAware | #Ad | #Ad. 18+Only, begambleaware.org


£10 Returns £460

Reason for tip: Pablo Larrazabal, with strong form and success in desert golf, including a top-20 in Dubai and third at Al Hamra, is a serious contender for the Ras Al Khaimah Championship.

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£10 Returns £770 (If placed £160)

Reason for tip: Daniel Hillier, with a strong rookie season and victory at The Belfry, shows potential for success at Al Hamra, excelling in desert conditions and driving, making him a promising dark horse.

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£20 Returns £770 (if placed £160)

Reason for tip: Callum Shinkwin, known for powerful driving and strong performances at Al Hamra, enters the tournament in good form, making him a potential dark horse to outperform expectations.

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Odds corrects at time of posting and subject to change; Stake Limits Might Apply; T&C's Apply; #Ad

Analysis and Predictions for Dubai Desert Classic 2024

Overview of the Tournament

The Dubai Desert Classic, a beacon in the world of golf, is more than just a competition; it’s a showcase of the sport’s elite. As part of the European Tour, this tournament attracts the world’s top golfers, each vying for supremacy in a setting that blends the traditional with the opulent. The Dubai Desert Classic, known for its prestige and the quality of its participants, has become a pivotal event in the golfing calendar.

The Emirates Golf Club: A Desert Jewel

The Emirates Golf Club, hosting the Dubai Desert Classic, is a course that epitomises the beauty and challenge of desert golf. Designed by Karl Litten and opened in 1988, it was the first grass course in the Middle East, setting a benchmark for golf in the region. The Majlis course, with its lush fairways and undulating greens, offers a stark contrast to the arid desert surroundings.

Key Characteristics of the Course

The course, par 72 stretching over 7,428 yards, is known for its generous fairways, which can be deceptive as strategic play is still required. The rough isn’t usually punishing, allowing for some leeway on errant shots. The layout includes a mix of challenging and score-able holes, with the front nine being notably tougher. The back nine, containing three par-fives, provides opportunities for scoring.

Essential Skills for Success

Driving Accuracy and Distance

While the fairways are relatively forgiving, driving accuracy is still crucial. Golfers must navigate their way strategically to set up the best angles for approach shots. Driving distance is also a significant factor, with longer hitters having an advantage, especially on the par-fives and the driveable par-fours.

Iron Play and Greens in Regulation

Accurate iron play and a high rate of greens in regulation are crucial. Golfers must be adept at controlling their ball flight and distance, as the greens can be tricky with subtle undulations. Players who excel in approach shots tend to perform well here.

Putting Proficiency

The greens at Emirates are typically set at around 11.5 on the stimpmeter, demanding skill and finesse in putting. A proficient putter can gain significant ground, especially in clutch moments. The renovated Bermuda TifEagle greens require players to adapt quickly to their pace and texture.

Adaptability to Wind Conditions

The course’s exposure to the wind is a crucial factor. The conditions can change rapidly, turning a seemingly benign course into a challenging test of skill. Golfers need to be adaptable, able to adjust their shot-making to cope with the varying wind conditions.

Challenges of the Course

Mental and Physical Stamina

The tournament tests a golfer’s endurance, both mentally and physically. The changing conditions, coupled with the need for strategic play, demand constant focus and adaptability.

Navigating Key Holes

The stretch of tough holes towards the end of the front nine, specifically the fifth, sixth, eighth, and ninth, can be particularly challenging. Success here requires a blend of accuracy and bold play.

Managing the Par-Fives

The par-fives on the back nine are opportunities but also potential pitfalls. Golfers must balance the desire to score with the risk of aggressive play, particularly when the wind is a factor. These holes often become pivotal to a player’s round, where strategic decisions can significantly impact their score.

Coping with Wind Variability

The open nature of the Emirates Golf Club means that wind can play a major role in how the course plays. Golfers need to be prepared for sudden gusts or shifts in wind direction, which can dramatically alter the course’s difficulty. Players adept at controlling their ball flight and making quick adjustments often fare better in these conditions.

Pressure of the Big Stage

The Dubai Desert Classic is not just another tournament; it’s a stage where the stakes are high, and the spotlight is bright. The pressure of performing in such a prestigious event can affect even the most experienced golfers. Handling this pressure, maintaining composure, and staying focused on each shot are as important as the physical aspects of the game.

Player Analysis

Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy

Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy, friends and Ryder Cup teammates, recently dazzled spectators in Dubai, with Fleetwood emerging victorious. Despite his recent success, Fleetwood’s track record in the Emirates isn’t as strong as expected. The mental toll of back-to-back tournaments could affect his performance at the Desert Classic.

McIlroy, a three-time winner in the Emirates, adores this venue. The layout this week is more in his favour compared to last week’s. His consistent performance and affinity for the course make him a formidable contender, though his recent mental lapses in crucial moments are a concern.

Nicolai Hojgaard

Nicolai Hojgaard, the 22-year-old sensation, recently triumphed in the DP World Tour Championship. Despite previous lacklustre performances in the Emirates, his powerful driving game seems well-suited for the course. Hojgaard’s PGA Tour card and recent form indicate he could be a significant contender.

Laurie Canter

Laurie Canter, a masterful driver, has shown a particular affinity for the Emirates course, highlighted by a fourth-place finish in 2021. His recent form, coupled with his comfort in Dubai, positions him as a potential dark horse in the tournament.

Richard Mansell

Englishman Richard Mansell, another player seeking his first DPWT victory, boasts solid ball-striking skills. His recent performances, including a respectable 14th at the Dubai Invitational, suggest he could make a strong showing at the Desert Classic.

Predictions for the Dubai Desert Classic

BetVictor

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Main Bet: Rory McIlroy – The Favourite with a Proven Track Record

Rory McIlroy enters the Dubai Desert Classic as the prime candidate for victory, a position underpinned by his exceptional history at the Emirates Golf Club. His affinity for this course is not just about his three previous wins, but also the consistency with which he has delivered top-10 finishes. McIlroy’s game seems to align perfectly with the challenges posed by the Emirates layout, a factor that cannot be overlooked.

McIlroy’s recent form, despite some setbacks, has been impressive. His ability to recover from challenging situations and still finish strong showcases the resilience and skill that make him a top golfer. McIlroy’s game is well-rounded, with his driving, iron play, and putting all coming together to make him a formidable force on any course, but particularly so in Dubai.

Another aspect playing into McIlroy’s favour is his psychological edge at the Emirates. His victories here have built a level of comfort and confidence that can be a decisive factor in high-pressure situations typical of such prestigious tournaments. His familiarity with the course layout, the weather conditions, and the greens give him an added advantage over his competitors.

Dark Horse Pick 1: Laurie Canter – A Potential Surprise Package

Laurie Canter emerges as a fascinating each-way bet for the Dubai Desert Classic. His recent form and proficiency in driving are key elements that make him a dark horse in this tournament. Canter’s driving ability is not just about distance, but also accuracy and control, crucial on a course like the Emirates which rewards strategic and powerful driving.

Canter’s recent performances, particularly in Dubai, have been noteworthy. His adaptation to the conditions in the UAE is evident from his past successes, including a commendable fourth-place finish at the Emirates and a strong showing in the DP World Tour Championship. This form suggests he is comfortable and confident playing in Dubai, an essential factor in his potential success.

Moreover, Canter’s recent financial successes, including his substantial earnings from the LIV Golf tour, may play a psychological role. The reduced financial pressure could allow him to play more freely and take calculated risks, essential in making a breakthrough in such a high-calibre field.

Dark Horse Pick 2: Richard Mansell – The Emerging Contender

Richard Mansell’s potential as a dark horse in the Dubai Desert Classic is underscored by his solid ball striking and recent form. Mansell’s strength lies in his consistent and powerful ball striking, a skill that will serve him well on the Emirates course, known for its demanding fairways and greens.

His recent performances, both in Australia and Dubai, indicate a golfer who is finding his rhythm and confidence at the right time. Mansell’s understanding of the Emirates course, gleaned from his previous appearances, gives him valuable insight into how to approach the tournament strategically.

Mansell’s recent upswing in form is indicative of a golfer on the cusp of a significant breakthrough. His ability to card under-par rounds consistently, as seen in his recent tournaments, positions him as a player who could unexpectedly rise to the top of the leaderboard.

£10 Returns £460

Reason for tip: Pablo Larrazabal, with strong form and success in desert golf, including a top-20 in Dubai and third at Al Hamra, is a serious contender for the Ras Al Khaimah Championship.

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£10 Returns £770 (If placed £160)

Reason for tip: Daniel Hillier, with a strong rookie season and victory at The Belfry, shows potential for success at Al Hamra, excelling in desert conditions and driving, making him a promising dark horse.

-----

£20 Returns £770 (if placed £160)

Reason for tip: Callum Shinkwin, known for powerful driving and strong performances at Al Hamra, enters the tournament in good form, making him a potential dark horse to outperform expectations.

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Odds corrects at time of posting and subject to change; Stake Limits Might Apply; T&C's Apply; #Ad

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John Pentin
Born and raised in London, John has always been in love with sport. He started successfully his own blog back in 2006, while writing for football in several newspaper. John has also worked with several betting operators as sports trader and has joined BettingTips4You.com since the start in 2013. John is now head of the content team at BettingTips4You.com.