|Teeth of the Dog in the Dominican Republic|
Are you in search of new golf getaway frontiers in 2013?
Here are ten hot golf travel destinations where adventurous golfers will congregate this year:
1. Puerto Rico–-This picturesque island with its great beaches, tropical rain forest, excellent rum and well designed golf courses has always been a bit underrated as a vacation destination. With the opening of the new Ritz-Carlton Reserve Hotel in Dorado Beach and Royal Isabella golf course, Puerto Rico will become even more attractive to visitors. Stretching along rugged cliffs in the northwest region of the island, Royal Isabella, located about 75 miles from San Juan International Airport, will immediately take its place as one of the Caribbean’s best layouts. Other popular places to play include Bahia Beach Resort & Club, Dorado Beach Resort & Club, Wyndham Rio Mar Beach Resort and Trump International Golf Club.
2. Biarritz, France–“Tre bien” messieur, the golf in France is indeed, very good. The unofficial French golf capital is Biarritz, on the Atlantic coast in the southwestern corner of the country, which has 10 golf courses. Among the top layouts are Biarritz Le Phare, the second oldest course in France (1888) and Seignosse, a Robert von Hagge design with wildly undulating terrain.
3. Kauai, Hawaii–It’s the road less traveled in Hawaii. While tourist throngs gravitate to Oahu and Maui, Kauai offers a more sedate environment with stunning scenery and an impressive menu of golf courses. You run out of adjectives describing the island’s garden-like beauty and course designers have taken full advantage of the exceptional terrain on the island to build picturesque and challenging layouts. Top places to play, include Kauai Lagoons, Poipu Bay, Pukea, Princeville and Wailua Municipal.
4. Ireland–-A year-long celebration called “The Gathering” is designed to entice an estimated 70 million people who claim Irish ancestry to the Emerald Isle. The recent decrease in the Value-Added Tax from 13.5% to 9% is added motivation for tourists and American, Aer Lingus and United are gearing up more service to Ireland. Flying to Dublin and Shannon is convenient and a good value. For golfers, the emergence of Irish golfers Rory McIlroy– the number one player in the world– and Graeme McDowell has given Ireland lots of notoriety in the golf world. Among the courses on most must-play lists are Ballybunion, Lahinch, Portmarnock, Waterville, Royal County Down, Royal Portrush, Doonbeg and European Club.
5. Belek, Turkey— On Turkey’s southern coast, the beach destination of Belek has 14 golf courses with designer tags like Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie, David Feherty and Irish golf designer David Jones. There are more than 30 four-star and five-star hotels in Belek. In 2012, the region took center stage in the golf world when it hosted the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final at Antalya Golf Club (Sultan Course).
|Turning Stone Ayunote Course|
6. Finger Lakes Region, New York–Encompassing towns like Utica and Rome in the central part of the state, this region, known for its wineries and craft breweries, has more than 30 golf courses. The golf season runs from April to November. The focal point for golf in the region is Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, which has five championship golf courses highlighted by the Atunyote Golf Club course, a Tom Fazio design.
|Corales at Puntacana|
7. Dominican Republic— The “D.R.” is on a roll and has taken its place as one of the Caribbean’s best places to tee up. Selected as the Golf Destination of the Year 2013 for Latin America/Caribbean by the International Association of Golf Travel Operators (IAGTO). Spectacular expansive, luxury resort complexes like Casa de Campo, Puntacana and Cap Cana feature courses by the biggest names in design, Pete Dye, Tom Fazio and Jack Nicklaus. Besides the adroitly designed layouts, stunning picturesque golf course views and fantastic weather, an added bonus is you can enjoy a fine Dominican cigar during or after a round.
8. Nova Scotia, Canada–Dubbed Canada’s answer to Pebble Beach, Cabot Links is one of the most exciting new golf courses to be introduced in North America in recent years. This phenomenal links layout on the western side of Cape Breton Island in the town of Inverness in Nova Scotia is a wonderland of stunning ocean views, deep pot bunkers and swales. Opened in June, Cabot Links was developed by Mike Keiser, who created Bandon Dunes in Oregon. A second course, Cabot Cliffs, designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, is scheduled to open in mid-2014.
9. Polk County, Florida–With the January opening of the fabulous Streamsong Resort, this county, about 45 minutes west of Orlando, will take center stage in 2013. The two 18-hole championship golf courses at Streamsong are collaborative designs by highly respected golf architecture firms, Coore & Crenshaw (Bill Coore and Masters Champion Ben Crenshaw) and Renaissance Golf Design (Tom Doak). The Coore-Crenshaw and Doak teams have been awarded six of the Top 20 Best Modern Golf Courses by Golfweek Magazine. Set on formerly mined land, the courses incorporate hills, dramatic landforms, sweeping sand dunes, ridges and vistas. Other courses to play while in-county, include Diamondback, Southern Dunes, Providence and Mountain Lake.
10. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania–Site of the deadliest and most influential battle of the Civil War, Gettysburg is one of our nation’s most important historical sites. In 2013, it will commemorate the 150th anniversaries of the Gettysburg Address and the bloody Civil War battle. Key events will take place in June and July. The undulating terrain, dense woodlands and winding streams that made Gettysburg such a torturous place for advancing armies to attack, have provided an excellent topographical pallette for innovative golf course designers. Some of the more popular courses in the area are the Links at Gettysburg, Bridges Golf Club, Penn National Golf Club and Carroll Valley Resort.