“Summer afternoon, summer afternoon,” observed esteemed writer Henry James, “to me, those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” All about lazy summer afternoons, the Caribbean is also a mecca for couples who flock to the many green courses for a sunny afternoon of play that morphs a great vacation into a grand vacation.
Even if you can’t tell a 9-iron from a waffle iron or a birdie from a bogey, teeing up with your sweetie and sinking a putt from twenty-five feet is what vacation bragging rights are made of.
No Holes Barred
The Bermuda Department of Tourism has partnered with Bermuda Premier Golf to launch an online system that makes it easy to select a course, book tee times and pay on-line with a credit card. Each participant receives a tee time voucher by email which is encoded with a barcode to eliminate fraud. “We feel this new system will help further cement an already outstanding reputation as one of the world’s most desirable golf destinations,” said Patrice Minors, minister of tourism. Courses participating include Belmont Hills, Fairmont Southampton Golf Club, Ocean View Golf Course, Port Royal Golf Course, Riddell’s Bay Golf & Country Club and Tucker’s Point Golf Club. Visit BermudaPremierGolf.com. The luxurious Fairmont Southampton resort with the iconic pink exterior is offering golf-themed packages for twosomes attending the PGA Grand Slam in October. Packages include rounds on the island’s finest courses and admission and transfers to the big event. Visit Fairmont Resorts
Inviting with a trio of meticulous courses, GPS-equipped golf carts and a 450-yard driving range, Sandy Lane in Barbados is golfing par excellence. With five lakes, flawlessly cut fairways and a Tom Fazio design, The Country Club is a demanding 72 par, 7,060-yard course with postcard-perfect views of the Caribbean Sea. Also Fazio-designed, The Green Monkey is an ultra-exclusive 72 par; 7,343-yard course carved from an old limestone quarry and the legendary Old Nine meanders through the Sandy Lane estate with 3,345 yards, par 36 and snug fairways. The Golf and Spa Escape package includes two rounds at The Country Club and one Sandy Lane Body Massage. Visit Sandy Lane.
Leaders of the Tee World
Barcelo Bavaro in Punta Cana re-opened the P.B. Dye course that sits pretty in the middle of a rainforest. For the shopper in the family, the Golf Store is a gigantic emporium of all things golf. Visit Barcelo Bavaro.
Also in Punta Cana, Cap Cana Las Iguanas is an 18 hole, par 72 on one of the most luxurious resorts in the Dominican Republic. Managed by Troon Golf and designed by Jack Nicklaus, the course offers undulating fairways with a mix of ocean, inland and natural-wetland holes. Three back-nine holes along the windswept coastline provide plenty of photo ops. The Golden Bear Lodge – the world’s first Nicklaus-designed luxury condominium village –sits between Las Iguanas and Punta Espada, Cap Cana’s first Nicklaus course in the D.R. Visit Cap Cana.
In St. Kitts, tourism minister Richard (Ricky) Skerritt knows a good course when he sees one. A member of the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club, the Senator is also an avid golfer. “I like peace and quiet but I also like competitive and outdoor activities so my ideal vacation has to have a golf course, the sea and plenty of sunshine.” The St. Kitts Marriott Resort has rolled out the Super Escape package–through December 18 – with rates starting at $329.00 per night including dining at the on-property restaurants, playtime at the Royal St. Kitts and an après play rubdown at the Emerald Mist Spa. Check out Royal St. Kitts Golf Club and St. Kitts Marriott.
Across the channel in Nevis and surrounded on three sides by the golf course, Four Seasons is steps from the shore and canopied by coconut palms. Coveted by golfers who come to play the Robert Trent Jones II course, the swishy property offers gratis weekly clinics and a 9-hole guest vs. manager scramble each week. For travel through October 31, the “Grip It and Rip It’’ package includes three rounds of golf and a fifty percent discount on club rentals for each paid 18-hole round. Visit Four Seasons.
Mark Your Calendar
October 18 – 19: Bermuda hosts the PGA Grand Slam at the Port Royal Golf Course. www.pga.com.
December 1 – 8: Sandals is playing with Greg Norman at the week-long Champions Golf Academy at Sandals Emerald Reef Golf Club in Exuma, Bahamas. Four PGA pros will be on hand to teach three, two and single day programs including full-swing analysis on a V-1 computer and one round on the 18-hole, 7000-yard, par-72 course. www.sandals.com.
- Address: Not where golfers live but rather the stance they take over the ball when they are ready to hit it.
- Birdie: A score of 1 under par.
- Bogey: A score of 2 over par.
- Draw: A shot in which the golfer purposely hits the ball so it curves from the right to the left.
- Eagle: A score of 2 under par.
- Fade: Opposite of a draw. Overdo it and you’ve got a slice.
- Flop shot: A short high-lofted pitch usually used to get over a sand trap.
- Par: The number of strokes it should take to get the ball into a particular hole.
- The Rough: The longer au natural grass on each side of the manicured fairways.
- Tee Time: The time at which a player starts a round of golf.