Global Development

With golf course building at a standstill around most of the globe, it's the emerging nations that are fueling the growth of the game. From Dubai to Dubrovnik to Da Nang, regions that once were looked on as barren deserts, Iron Curtain gulags or impenetrable jungles are embracing golf as a key to economic development.

When the winner of the inaugural Race to Dubai raises his trophy at a lush new golf course in the United Arab Emirates on Nov. 22, 2009, it will offer a perfect illustration of how the geographic center of the global golf industry has shifted over the past five years.

Scotland may claim it gave birth to the game, but today some of the biggest names in the industry are involved in building courses in places that 10 years ago no one could have expected would emerge as golf development hot spots.

It's a sign that the golf development industry truly has become a global phenomenon.

"There's still a [course construction] boom worldwide, even though the UK and United States have seen a slowdown," said Andrea Sartori, managing partner of the KPMG Golf Advisory Practice in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

"Elsewhere, there continues to be a significant number of new developments."

As golf expands around the world, there are very few standalone golf courses. Almost all developments are done by master planners and involve real estate and resort components. Often the golf is not the main attraction for guests and residents, but is one of several amenities and attractions.

Here is a roundup of some of the most active development spots around the world, based on input from golf industry professionals working around the globe.

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