The Dubai Desert Classic is an annual golf tournament organised by the European Tour and, as of 2022, has been upgraded to the Rolex series. It is staged early each year and held on the Majlis course at Emirates Golf Club in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Like the vast majority of golf tournaments, the Dubai Desert Classic takes place over four days and boasts a staggering prize fund of $9,000,000. Read on for more on Dubai Desert Classic betting.

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The Dubai Desert Golf Classic, once known as the Karl Litten Desert Classic, is one of the six European Tour events which take place in the Arabian Peninsula. Officially the Hero Dubai Desert Classic for sponsorship reasons, thanks to Hero MotoCorp becoming the new sponsors just weeks before the tournament is set to begin.

The tournament is held on the Majlis course at the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and is the longest serving golf course and tournament in the Arabian gulf.

The tournament, like many others within the pro golfing circuit, pits a total of 144 players against each other, over four days of competition. The added title of Rolex Series has guaranteed that the very best in golf will be descending to the United Arab Emirates. This year’s Dubai Desert Classic leader board should be no different.

The four-day tournament will begin with each player playing the entire course on both the first and second days. Over the course of the two days a total of 36 holes are played per player with scores being tallied up.

At the end of the second day, a ‘cut-off’ is implemented. The cut-off removes the players with the worst scores, effectively halving the pool of players. This kicks off the most intense part of the event and the final two days of the tournament.

The remaining golfers will complete the same course for a third time on the third day, and then a fourth time on the final day. The total par score across the four days will be tallied and the player with the lowest overall score is crowned the winner. If there is a tie for top spot, a three-hole playoff will occur to decide the undisputed champion.

Part of the prestigious Rolex Series as of 2022, the Desert Classic has seen it’s popularity and importance soar in the past two years. The prize pot has more than doubled since the $3.25 million (£2.68 million) purse in 2021, to a staggering $9 million (£7.43 million) for this year’s tournament.

The 2023 Hero Dubai Classic will open its doors from Monday 23rd January up until the final day on Sunday 29th January. The first three days, i.e. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are reserved for Pro-Ams and official practice rounds.

The tournament proper begins on Thursday 26th with the first round. The cut-off occurs at the end of the second day. Saturday and Sunday are reserved for the third and final rounds respectively, with the prize presentation happening on Sunday 29th as well.

Dubai Desert Classic Betting Odds 2023

As with every elite golfing tournament in the calendar year, the players are given until a certain time to give in their names and commit to participating in the tournament.

The Desert Classic is no different and many golfers haven’t put their names on the leader board yet. This makes it virtually impossible for bookies to create any accurate betting odds.

However, there are already a few players who’ve confirmed their attendance for the events. We’ll be updating this list as we go along, until the player list is confirmed. Once players are confirmed we’ll update you with a comprehensive list of outright betting odds.

Confirmed PlayersNationalityCurrent World Ranking
Rory McIlroyNorthern IrelandNo.1
Shane LowryIrelandNo.20
Tommy FleetwoodEnglandNo.23
Tyrrell HattonEnglandNo.26
Ryan FoxNew ZealandNo.28

Dubai Desert Classic Betting Tips & Predictions 2023

As mentioned previously, without the full list of players its basically impossible to come give you any accurate Desert Classic tips on who will be crowned champion at the Emirates Golf Club. That being said, we can mention a few predictions on the players who’ve confirmed their participation.

Rory McIlroy

The Northern Irishman is at the top of the world right now. Currently ranking first in both the DP World Tour Ranking and the OWGR, McIlroy will undoubtably be one of the favourites to win the competition. Rory is one of only four players to win the competition more than once, and if he does win the tournament, he’ll match Ernie Els’ record tally of three. The man from Ulster will be looking to get his first win of 2023 in the bag, and this is the perfect opportunity.

Shane lowry

Shane Lowry is the latest player to be confirmed for the tournament, and is a great addition to the Dubai desert Classic leader board. Winner of the 2019 Open Championship in the PGA Tour, Lowry has been a big name in the golfing world winning 2 PGA Tour events as well as six in the European Tour. Last year Shane beat Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm by one stroke to become the BMW PGA Championship champion.

Tommy Fleetwood

Another great inclusion, Fleetwood has won 9 professional golf tournaments, six of which were part of the European Tour. The scouser has even found success in Abu Dhabi, winning the 2017 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, before retaining the crown in 2018. Fleetwood also won his second Nedbank Golf Challenge last November and could take that form to this tournament.

Dubai Desert Classic Betting Promotions 2023

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    This event is now part of the Rolex Series.

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    It provides a good form guide for the new season.

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    The tournament gives us an idea of what the season will bring.

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    There is an $9 million prize fund on the line.

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    The European Tour’s finest players will be there.

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    Unibet

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    bet365

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    Betfair

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    Paddy Power

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    Coral

As a sport, golf makes for quite a decent array of betting options – plenty for the hungry punter to get their teeth into. Below is just a small taster.

Tournament Outright Winner Betting

Outright betting in golf works in exactly the same way as it does in other sports, in that you are wagering on a player to be the outright tournament winner. Golf tournaments typically have a lot of entrants, so there should always be a large field to select from.

Each-Way Betting

Again, each-way betting in golf is the same as any other sports market. Just like as when selecting your outright winner, make your pick from a list of participants and add their name to your betting slip. Enter your stake and tick the each-way button, at which point your stake will double, as an each-way bet consists of two parts.

One half of your stake goes towards an outright victory, while the other goes towards a place – which, in golf, typically means a top-four finish at 1/5 of the odds. Remember, though, many bookmakers run specials on each-way places, either increasing the paid number of finishers or paying at ¼ of the odds.

Two- and Three-Ball Betting

The two-ball and/or three-ball market varies in size depending on the size of the player groupings in a round of a tournament. Here, instead of betting on a player to win the competition, you are backing a player to win his two-man or three-man group, which lasts for one round of golf. This is popular because the chances of picking winners are increased, while the odds of an outsider doing well in the group are also appealing due to the few players contesting with them.

1st Round Leader Betting

First round leader bets allow you to back a player to be top of the leaderboard after day one has finished. It isn’t important if that player goes on to win the tournament or even misses the cut two days later (unlikely, we know) – so long as they are in the leader’s position after the first round, you’ll be quids in. Of course, it’s better to put your money behind a player known to come out of the blocks strong and who is not a slow burner.

To Make/Miss the Cut

A betting market with huge potential, betting on a golfer to miss or make the cut is as simple as it sounds. There’s multiple ways to go about this bet. The safest option is to back the favourites to make the cut, you can make a decent sized bet builder with this. You can also back some rank outsiders to make the cut at higher odds.

Missing the cut could be just as interesting, betting on a big name player who hasn’t been at their best could get you some great odds, although its risky business. Finally, you can vote out the stragglers who are unlikely to produce anything at the tournament.

Country Betting

Another versatile form of Golf betting, betting on the winner of the tournament’s nationality can be a great option, especially in a European Tour Rolex series event such as this one. With so many different players from different countries it may be trickier than expected. Why not try betting on the winning continent for a better chance at winning.

Out of the 34 Tournaments played players from 14 different countries have won the grand prize. In addition there has been at least one winner from every continent on earth, making it a truly international event. In the past five years, every winner was from a different country and they were from three different continents.

The European Tour, who would normally open their season in Spain or Italy in April after the Masters had finished at Augusta in Georgia (US), had been looking to expand beyond its borders for some time due to the European winter climate.

Running from 1982 through 1986, the Tunisian Open was the first trialled tourney outside Europe which was followed in 1987 by a Moroccan tournament which lasted one year. Despite enjoying little success in North Africa, the tour wouldn’t give up and soon turned to the Arab Gulf.

When this tournament was first staged in 1989, Dubai looked very different to the sky-scraping neon desert metropolis that it is today. Back then it was just a relatively small fishing port, just beginning to introduce itself as a tourist destination with miles and miles of nothing but sand all the way to Abu Dhabi.

The Emirates Golf Club, host venue for the inaugural Dubai Desert Classic and first grass turfed golf course in the Middle East, was almost about 15 miles from Dubai’s outer limits with nothing between the course and the city.

In 1989, the tee for the 8th hole was played towards an empty horizon, save for sand-covered views of the Persian Gulf. In contrast, today the fairways are played towards Dubai’s famous skyline dominated by high rise buildings and hotels. At this point, the only amenities included one hospitality tent, two small grandstands and a scoreboard.

That first year was won by Mark James from England when he beat Australian Peter O’Malley in a playoff. Thanks to Dubai Sheikh money, James has since been followed by the likes of Seve Ballesteros, Greg Norman, Nick Faldo, Tiger Woods, Sergio Garcia, and a host of other names.

Four players have won the trophy more than once, Ernie Els who has won it three times, and Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Stephen Gallacher, who have all won it twice. The youngest-ever winner of the Dubai Classic was Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, who was only 19 years old when he won in 2009.

With the exception of the 1999 and 2000 events when it was hosted by the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, it has always been played at the Majlis course at the Emirates Golf Club; however, the 1991 edition was cancelled due the Persian Gulf war. Unlike many sporting events in 2020 which were cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic, the Dubai Desert Classic was staged as normal.

In 2010, the then Dubai Desert Classic, partnered with Omega, a partnership which lasted 11 years up until 2021. For a single 2022 edition Slync.io were chief sponsors. The partnership was ended late 2022. This January, just weeks before the tournament started, Hero MotoCorp has been announced as events sponsors. The Indian giants are one of the largest 2-wheeler manufacturers in the world.

The tournament can boast a stellar amount of representation from countries all over the world with 28 different winners from 12 countries. There’s also been at least one winner from every continent on the globe. In 2018 Li Haotong from China became the first Asian champion but there still hasn’t been a winner from the Arabian gulf.

In 2022 the event was finally elevated to become part of the Rolex Series. The list of events which form part of the Rolex Series have changed massively over the years, only three of the original eight remaining. The inclusion of the Dubai Desert Classic meant that three of the five events are located within the United Arab Emirates.

YearWinnerNationScore (Below Par)Winning Margin
2022Viktor HovlandNorway276 (-12)Playoff
2021Paul CaseyEngland271 (-17)4 Strokes
2020Lucas HerbertAustralia279 (-9)Playoff
2019Bryson DeChambeauUnited States264 (-24)7 strokes
2018Li HaotongChina265 (-23)1 Stroke
2017Sergio GarcíaSpain269 (-19)3 Strokes
2016Danny WillettEngland269 (-19)1 Stroke
2015Rory McIlroy (2)Northern Ireland266 (-22)3 Strokes
2014Stephen Gallacher (2)Scotland272 (-16)1 Stroke
2013Stephen GallacherScotland266 (-22)3 Strokes
2012Rafael Cabrera-BelloSpain270 (-18)1 Stroke
2011Álvaro QuirósSpain277 (-11)1 Stroke
2010Miguel Ángel JiménezSpain277 (-11)Playoff
2009Rory McIlroyNorthern Ireland269 (-19)1 Stroke
2008Tiger Woods (2)United States274 (-14)1 Stroke
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    Having won the event three times, South African Ernie Els has won the Dubai Desert Classic more than anyone else.

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    Ernie also shot a tournament record 61 in 1994 finishing 20 under par.

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    This was Ernie’s first European Tour event win. He’s gone on to win 28 titles.

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    The best ever score here was set by Bryson DeChambeau in 2019, who scored a record 264.

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    American Mark O’Meara became the tournament’s oldest winner in 2000, when he won the title aged 47.

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    While Rory McIlroy is the youngest-ever winner, scooping the title aged 19 in 2009.

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    Martin Kaymer has played in each staging of the tournament.

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    The tournament has had 28 different winners from 14 different countries.

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    There have been six different Spanish winners, three coming on the bounce (2010, 2011, 2012)

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    In 2022 Viktor Hovland became the first Norwegian golfer to win a Rolex Series event.

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    12th – 15th January 2023, Sony Open: Early season event on the PGA Tour which takes place in Hawaii each January.

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    17th – 20th February 2023, Genesis Open: A PGA Tour event that is held in California each February.

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    24th – 27th February 2023, Honda Classic: Taking place each February in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida this is another early season PGA Tour event.

Over more than 30 years, the Dubai Desert Classic has established itself as a staple of the European Tour, inspiring five extra Middle-Eastern events and even more in Africa and Asia. Thanks to its new status as part of the Rolex series and with a prize fund of £9 million, along with the warmer climate, the competition attracts some of the biggest names in golf. The tournament boasts some amazing champions including names like Seve Ballesteros, Ernie Els, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy. Of course, with such an array of golfing talent comes great betting opportunities, meaning the wily punter can do very well betting on this golfing Gulf feast.

According to our research, the best betting sites for the Dubai Desert Classic are Ladbrokes, Unibet and bet365.

The Norwegian golfer Viktor Hovland is reigning champion with a score of 276, finishing 12 below par. Hovland then beat Richard Bland in a playoff final.

The event is set to tart on Thursday 26th January till the final day on Sunday 29th January 2023.

Thanks to its new status as part of the Rolex Series, the total purse is $9,000,000 (£7,400,000).

The Desert Classic has kept the same venue since its inception, at the Emirates golf Club on the Majlis course, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Sky Sports will broadcast the event live in the UK.

Because of the European climate. Back in the late eighties, the European Tour’s chief executive Ken Schofield was looking to take the tour to warmer climes. Around the same time, the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, saw golf as a way to attract visitors to his burgeoning emirate, and so the pair agreed to set up a Middle East golf tournament. Today, there are six events held in the region, which make up 12% of the entire European Tour schedule.

WRITTEN BY Jeremy Sant Fournier View all posts by Jeremy Sant Fournier

If there’s one thing Jeremy loves, it’s sports. A football fanatic at heart, Jeremy can always been found watching, playing or talking about sports. It’s in his blood, and with a keen interest in sports betting, sports writing is a match made in heaven.

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