This weekend spring was in the air, but so was snow. I glanced at my clubs, sitting forlornly in the corner of my office, all polished up, with no place to go. I closed my eyes, and suddenly I could feel the salty breezes and hear the waves crashing against the rocky, ironstone shores. This was not a dream but an unforgettable memory, as I conjured up my first impressions of Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic. Unfortunately, some of the initial beauty of this place escaped me at the time, as I was steeling myself to come face-to-face with a legend. You see, I had heard the stories, read the accolades and was about to play the Teeth of the Dog.
Four Seasons Nevis Golf Course
Memories of a Volcano, the Caribbean Sea, and Robert Trent Jones by Tim Cotroneo
Nevis Caribbean – When was the last time your retelling of a round of golf included the words volcano, vervet monkeys, and Robert Trent Jones? Those once-in-a-lifetime utterances will all come spilling out after playing 18 holes at the Four Seasons Nevis Golf Course. The thumbprint-shaped island of Nevis is just 36 square miles and is home to 11,000 people. By comparison, there are an estimated 12,000 vervet monkeys that inhabit Nevis. Many of these green-tinted climbers take up residence in the mango, banana, and palm trees woven throughout the Four Seasons 6,800-yard golf wonderland. The golf course is wonderfully positioned at the rising base of a cloud-topped volcano known as Nevis Peak.
Turks and Caicos Golf – Sounds Good to Me – by Tim Cotroneo
“Silence is golden.” There should be a sign on the first hole at Provo Golf Club in the Turks and Caicos Islands, alerting golfers to the sensation that tees off with every new group. When one is so used to the background noise that accompanies life back home, island quiet will become a golfer’s new best friend.
Silence is more a feeling than it is a sound at this 6,700-yard golf masterpiece of swaying palm trees and lush Bermuda grass. The sounds of Provo grow on first-time golfers like the reggae tune that unconsciously makes your body move. Newcomers to this course that Golf Magazine called “one of the 10 best in the Caribbean” will reflect: Island golf sounds good to me.
Spectacular Golf Views at Grand Isle Resort – Bahamas by Tim Cotroneo
You love to golf and your spouse loves the beach. Where can you go to experience the best of both worlds? Welcome to Grand Isle Resort in Great Exuma.
Great Exuma is the largest of the Bahamas’ 365 Out Islands and cays. On Great Exuma’s northeastern edge, you’ll find the luxurious Grand Isle Resort. The Greg Norman-designed Emerald Reef Golf Course wraps seven of its 18 holes directly under Grand Isle’s balconies.
Punta Cana’s Golf Nirvana La Cana Golf Course
By Tim Cotroneo
“Punta Cana is the nearest point to paradise in the middle of nowhere.” That’s how Olivier Brizon describes his home of the past eight years, located on the southeastern tip of the Dominican Republic.
Brizon, the Director of Golf at Punta Cana’s La Cana Golf Course, noted that last year “nowhere” had two million tourists hit its shores seeking sun, surf, and increasingly, golf. A major factor in the area’s growing popularity is a surge in the building of world-class golf courses designed by some of the biggest names in the industry.
Los Cabos lies at the tip of the Baja California Sur peninsula also affectionately referred to as Land’s End. It’s here where the desert merges with the sea and its here where legendary golf course architects including the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones and Tom Fazio were wise enough to allow the natural landscape to dictate their designs.
It’s just after eight on Saturday morning. The hotel is quiet at this time of day with only a few people on the beach catching some early rays. With cafe in hand I thought this would be a great spot to sit and quietly make notes but I no sooner got settled into my lounger when I spotted a whale spout and then another and another.
It was game on as they arched and breached and cavorted along the ocean’s surface before making a deep dive that signalled they were moving on to entertain another group of onlookers. What an awesome way to start my morning! I figure it was nature’s way of reminding me that you’ve got to do more than just sip the coffee, you’ve also got to savour the moment, wherever you are.
Yesterday I had the distinct pleasure of spending time with one of the most gracious chefs I have ever met and a man with a vision. Eighteen years ago Enrique Silva decided to move from “the front of the house” to the kitchen when he opened “The Tequila” http://www.tequilarestaurant.com/home.htm in the historical district of San José del Cabo and despite the challenges, he’s never looked back.
Hola Lorena Ochoa! by Dave Finn
Riviera Maya Mexico – How often do you get the chance to play golf with a former number #1 golfer in the world? No, not Rory, Lorena Ochoa – the #1 female golfer in world for 157 weeks in a row and Mexico’s national icon.
That was my great fortune when I was invited to participate in the Annual Aero México Golf Tournament at the El Camaleon Mayakoba Golf Course in the Riviera Maya, Mexico. While it was only a single hole and a single shot, I understand how Lorena has managed to win the hearts of not only her fellow Mexicans but fans around the world.
Lorena did more than simply lend her ‘Celebrity’ name to the event. From the Opening Celebration Dinner to the charity auction held to raise funds for her foundation and throughout the entire event, Lorena was engaged and involved creating magic ‘Mexican moments’ not only for the tournament participants but for others who did not have the same opportunity that I had to meet her personally. More on that later…
As the days grow shorter and the nights grow colder, most seasoned travelers have at one time or another, considered or have escaped to Mexico for a winter getaway – myself included, on more than one occasion. With so many direct flights from major North American cities, not to mention an amazing array of quality accommodations and things to do, the Riviera Maya has become a favorite destination for those of us seeking warmer climes.
Over the last decade I have watched as this area transform itself from ‘simply’ another tropical paradise renowned for its turquoise waters and white sandy beaches into a vacation destination that boasts a huge variety of outdoor activities that begs for your participation. The Riviera Maya stretches over 140kms of shoreline along the eastern Yucatan Peninsula from Tulum to just south of Cancun so naturally what first comes to mind is snorkeling or diving on the largest coral reef in North America or exploring ancient Mayan ruins but many golfers have no idea that the Riviera Maya is also home to a number of world-class golf courses just waiting to be played.
by Dave Finn
Rich with history and architecture, blessed with safe friendly people, Bermuda offers world-class golf, pink sandy beaches, crystal clear water and magnificent restaurants all within an easy 2 ½ direct flight from most major cities on the eastern seaboard of North America. The weather is perfect year round and the scenery is second to none.
For us golfers there are five 18-hole championship courses, one 9-hole and an 18-hole par-3 to test your skills. In fact Bermuda boasts as having the highest concentration of golf courses per square mile in the world that takes up almost 17% of the country’s 21.6 square miles of real estate.
For the seventh consecutive year, Bermuda has proudly hosted the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in mid-October pairing the winners of all four majors vying for a $1.2 million prize purse. In 2011 I had the pleasure to witness part of this two-day event won dramatically on the last hole by “Rookie of the Year” Keegan Bradley. How cool is that!
What an ultimate golf experience! You can play some of the more scenic and picturesque courses in the world as well as follow alongside the most decorated professional golfers of the year testing their skills on a course that you too can play. 2010 participant Martin Kaymer reportedly said “It’s like a paradise, playing golf in paradise” and I could not agree any more.