Wednesday, April 18, 2012

5 Golf Resorts With Sizzle in 2012

New La Cana course at Punta Cana Resort
Got the golf travel doldrums?
Do you have those “been there, done that” blues?
Are you looking for an exciting place to play?
Number 15 hole at Machrihanish Dunes
Want something with a little sizzle?
Here are five suggestions by The Golf Travel Guru.
Clubhouse at Albatross Golf Resort
These five golf resorts have been grabbing lots of headlines lately:
(Listed alphabetically)
Albatross Golf Resort (Prague, Czech Republic)—This three-year old course was recently voted No. 1 in the Czech Republic by Golf Digest USA. About a 20-minute drive from downtown Prague, it’s a superb layout maintained to American-style standards set on slightly hilly terrain. If you’re in Prague for business or leisure, play the Albatross, it’ll definitely enhance your stay. Other amenities include a professional training center, David Carter Albatross Golf Academy, a sleek modern clubhouse brimming with amenities and an exceptional restaurant.
Bandon Dunes Resort (Coastal Oregon)—This nirvana of coastal courses is quickly becoming one of America’s must visit golf destinations along with Pinehurst and Pebble Beach.  Not content with four phenomenal layouts set on rugged and wild cliffs high above a stretch of the Pacific Ocean, developer Mike Keiser is debuting Bandon Preserve, a unique 13-hole, par 3 course, next month (May 1st). Designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, Bandon Preserve offers spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean from every hole.
Machrihanish Dunes (Western Scotland)—One of Scotland’s great modern courses, Machrihanish Dunes, a David McLay Kidd design, is a must play for any Scotland visit. The course, set on the Atlantic Ocean, is an environmental wonder as only seven of its 259 acres were altered to create the layout. Enhancing the experience is the Village at Machrihanish Dunes, a seaside golf resort with hotel and cottage accommodations.
Mission Hills-Hainan Island (China)—Selected as “Golf Resort of the Year 2012-Rest of the World Category” by the International Association of Golf Tourism Operators (IAGTO), this sprawling resort has 10 golf courses, all designed by Brian Curley. Among the best are Lava Fields and Blackstone. Hainan Island, often described as China’s Hawaii, has lush foliage and a volcanic region where the resort is situated.
Punta Cana Resort and Club (Dominican Republic)—The latest addition to its superb golf course menu (45 holes) is La Cana, a P.B. Dye design with magnificent oceanfront panoramas. There are fourteen ocean-view holes with four playing right on the water’s edge. Two years ago, Punta Cana grabbed the spotlight with the opening of Corales, a Tom Fazio design the Golf Travel Guru refers to as “The Caribbean Answer to Pebble Beach.” Six oceanfront holes, rocky cliffs, coral reefs and picturesque canyons dominate the experience.

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