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DP World Tour: Five toughest courses in 2023

The final DP World Tour event of the year is taking place this week in Mauritius - a low-key gathering at Mont Choisy Le Golf on the paradise island.

With generous fairways, five par-fives and two driveable par-fours, Mont Choisy is an easy layout for professionals to tackle, but here we take a look at the toughest venues facing the DP World Tour stars outside of Major competition next year.

Green Eagle Golf Course, Hamburg (European Open, June)

The European Open is not the most glamorous event on the DP World Tour schedule, but the players that turn up know that they will not be able to compete unless they are able to produce booming drives.

This 7,475-yard beast has five par-fives, but none of them are simple birdie chances.

The first of them measures 647 yards and the penultimate a staggering 663 yards and, unlike some of the enormous venues found in South Africa, there is no altitude to help the ball travel.

Green Eagle is just east of Bremen, in the northern heartlands of Germany, so no mercy is shown. Kalle Samooja won the title this year with a 72-hole total of just six-under par.

DLF Golf and Country Club, New Delhi (Indian Open, February)

The battle can start for some players in the Indian Open long before the course beats them up - seven players retired during the last edition, 14 in the year before that, and 14 in 2017, with several likely succumbing to the so-called Delhi belly.

The main reason for withdrawals, though, is a dirty scorecard, with so many holes at DLF G&CC full of danger. Triple-bogeys can arrive in a flash on a quirky course with water hazards and rocky outcrops.

As at Green Eagle, the par-fives are no picnic, with the final two measuring 631 and 624 yards apiece. In 2017, local hero SSP Chawrasia won at 10-under, but the man in second (Gavin Green) was seven shots behind. Only seven players finished under par.

The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield (British Masters, June)

The Belfry is one of the most famous tracks in Britain, having hosted the Ryder Cup in 1985, 1989, 1993 and 2002, and it is deceivingly difficult.

The 7,328-yard, par 72, does not look particularly daunting on the scorecard, but it can become a relentless grind, with a succession of long par-fours.

No less than 12 of the 18 holes are par-fours - and a four is a good score on most of them. There is more water at The Belfry than pretty much any other inland course in the British Isles, so scorecards can be rapidly destroyed.

The front nine is a particularly severe test of accuracy, so British Masters competitors need to be on their game from the off.

Le Golf National, Paris, France (French Open, September)

With Valderrama falling off the DP World Tour schedule - and into the clutches of LIV Golf - it could be argued that Le Golf National is the last great test of precision left on the European calendar.

Le Golf National is renowned as a course where watery graves are lurking around every corner, particularly down the closing stretch, and loose-hitting is severely punished.

This year's French Open may prove an anomaly - sunny skies and light breezes took the sting out of things and an inspired Guido Migliozzi reached 16-under par. Typically, birdies are difficult to come by at Le Golf National, and five-under par was the winning total in 2014.

Yas Links, Abu Dhabi (Abu Dhabi Championship, January)

The Abu Dhabi Championship has traditionally been a gentle starter for those on the European circuit, with plenty of birdies on offer at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, host for 16 years.

This year, though, a new track took over - Yas Links - which gave the players a much sterner examination.

With eight holes running directly along the coastline of the Arabian Gulf, this 'desert links' can get extremely breezy, and Thomas Pieters had to battle his way to victory in January with a 10-under-par total.

Yas Links is long - 7,425 yards - and the closing hole is a 646-yard par-five which had Tyrrell Hatton throwing his toys out of the pram in frustration during the last Abu Dhabi Championship.

Viktor Hovland had problems around the undulating greens and the pampered princes of the DP World Tour were generally tearing their hair out on this previously uncharted terrain.

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