Published on Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Teeing off from the top golf resorts

A random selection of luxury golf courses from around the world which are recognized as premier golfing destinations.  Apart from their  golfing facilities they also score top marks for their luxury accommodation and facilities.

St Andrews Bay Golf Resort & Spa, Scotland

St Andrews Bay Golf Resort & Spa in Scotland has two championship golf courses with views of the River Tay estuary, the North Sea and the medieval skyline of St Andrews. St Andrews, the legendary "Home of Golf" has combined the skills, expertise and personalities of Gene Sarazen, Bruce Devlin and Sam Torrance to create a golf resort boasting two cliff top courses, The Torrance and The Devlin. The taste of Scotland pervades throughout St Andrews Bay Golf Resort & Spa. Experience Finnan Haddock for breakfast, homemade Dundee cake for traditional afternoon tea and signature dishes, such as locally caught lobsters from the East Neuk of Fife for a gourmet dinner.

Druids Glen Golf Resort, Ireland

Druids Glen Golf Resort consists of Druids Glen Golf Course, Druids Heath Golf Course, Woodstock House and the Druids Glen Marriott Hotel & Country Club. The Resort is ideally located just 30 minutes south of Dublin in County Wicklow, known as the Garden of Ireland. Known as "the Augusta of Europe," the parkland Druids Glen golf course, designed by Pat Ruddy & Tom Craddock, opened in 1995 and was the home of the Irish Open from 1996-99. The opening of the Druids Glen Marriott Hotel & Country Club in 2002 enables visitors from all over the world to play and stay. The hotel features 148 guestrooms complete with swimming pool, leisure and spa facilities, Druids Restaurant, Flynn's Steakhouse & Fairways Grill and state of the art Business and Conference Facilities. The creation of the Druids Heath championship course, which opened for play in September 2003, has achieved the objective of Druids Glen becoming one of the World's Finest Golf Resorts. Druids Glen Golf Resort  won the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) award of "European Golf Resort of the Year" in 2005.

Courses on site: Druids Glen & Druids Heath

The flora and fauna of the Glen provide a colourful backdrop to the golf course. Design duo Pat Ruddy and Tom Craddock were given the brief to create the best inland course in Ireland. The classic parkland course features many signature holes against a beautifully manicured landscape. In 2000/'01 Druids Glen was honoured to receive the award of European Golf Course of the Year, from the International Association of Golf Tour Operators.

Evian Resort, France

The Evian Resort is set in a 47 acre park on the southern bank of Lake Geneva, at the foot of the French Alps. With five restaurants onsite, satisfying any culinary craving is easy. Zen, offers pan-Asian dishes, a quaint sake bar and delectable cuisine from an innovative sushi bar. Trevi’s, features Mediterranean-style dishes in an Italian garden atmosphere. David’s Club, an upscale but casual sports bar and grill serves mouth-watering steaks. Broadway Deli, offers a wide array of snacks and refreshments. Croc’s, is the poolside bar and grill offering delicious menu items. ChampionsGate Clubhouse Grille, features a unique menu of healthy salads and hearty sandwiches for breakfast and lunch.

For wellness seekers there is the European Spa and for golfers, 36 holes of championship golf on 2 distinctive courses, both designed by Greg Norman.

Fancourt Resort , South Africa

Fancourt is South Africa’s premier golfing leisure resort, situated at the foot of the majestic Outenique Mountains, at the heart of the Garden Route. Five restaurants offer a variety of dining experiences from La Cantina’s authentic Italian fare to the freshly prepared seafood dishes of Le Pecheur. Relax and rejuvenate at Fancourt’s Health & Beauty Spa in the most tranquil of settings, or enjoy its four world class Gary Player designed golf courses offering a array of experiences.

Fancourt has three highly rated Championship golf courses; Links, Montague, and Outeniqua, as well as the Western Cape’s premier 18-hole public course, Bramble Hill. Since opening in the early 90's with just 27 Gary Player-designed holes, Fancourt’s Outeniqua and Montagu golf courses have matured and developed into two of the finest 18-hole parkland layouts in South Africa. A round on either is a special experience, sculpted and finished as they are with rare attention to detail and designed with the coastal George winds in mind.

In addition to four golf courses suited to every type of golfer, Fancourt boasts one of the finest golf academies in the world, with state-of-the-art practice and teaching facilities, backed up by the expertise of PGA professionals, as well as several well-stocked on-course pro shops offering all types of golf merchandise.

Kiawah Island Golf Resort, United States

Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina was selected as the Best Golf Resort in the U.S. according to Travel + Leisure Golf's World's Best Golf Resorts reader survey, announced in August this year.

Kiawah Island Golf Resort is a family-friendly luxury golf resort located along the shores of Kiawah Island, South Carolina. It offers hotel accommodation at The Sanctuary, beachfront vacation rental homes, family luxury villas for rent and recreation for all ages.

The Sanctuary Hotel is just thirty minutes from downtown Charleston and captures the spirit, history, and charm of southern hospitality. It has 255 guestrooms and suites, two elegant restaurants with ocean views, a lobby bar, a martini bar, and an oceanfront poolside grill. It hosts business meetings, conferences and retreats with 18,000 square feet of meeting and conference space. It also has a nature-based luxury spa with 12 treatment rooms, fitness room, indoor pool and Jacuzzi. It has ten miles of beach and 30 miles of paved, biking trails as well as kayaking, canoeing, alligator and birding walks, oceanfront fine dining and riverside oyster roasts.

Kiawah Island Golf Course was designed by Pete Dye and opened in 1991 before the Ryder Cup. It has five championship courses, including the world-famous Ocean Course, host of the 1991 Ryder Cup Matches and the 1997 & 2003 World Cup of Golf. The Ocean Course is also host to the Senior PGA in 2007 and the PGA Championship in 2012.

Ritz-Carlton Golf and Spa Resort, Jamaica

Located on 5,000 picture-perfect acres in Jamaica's exclusive Rose Hall, the 427-room hotel offers the seclusion of a beachfront hideaway, complete with an 18 hole championship golf course and full service spa. The hotel offers a variety of water sports and recreational activities as well as five dinning outlets. Conveniently located just 15 minutes from the Sangster International Airport, The Ritz-Carlton Golf and Spa Resort brings a new level of luxury to the island nation of Jamaica.

Courses on site: The White Witch

An 18-hole championship golf course designed by Robert van hagge and Rick Baril with clubhouse has a golf shop and locker rooms. One mile away are Cinnamon Hill Ocean Course, an 18-hole course with mountain, island and ocean views and Half Moon Golf Club, an award-winning 18-hole course.

Hyatt Regency Coolum Resort, Australia

Named after a warrior of Aboriginal legend, the Hyatt Regency Coolum Resort Hotel  spans 150 hectares of bushland, rainforest and natural woodlands. Set at the base of Mount Coolum on the Sunshine Coast, it sits across the Pacific Ocean, with two kilometers of beaches in between. There are 324 rooms in all, including low-rise resort suites in the Coolum rainforest as well as exclusive hotel villas on the Ambassadors Club that provide top-flight services and amenities. There are three in-house restaurants: the McKenzie Grill, Fish Tales and Village Square.

The golf course of the Hyatt Regency Coolum is rated among the best golf courses in all of Australia and is the home of  the Australian PGA Championship. Designed by renowned golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr, the 6,263-meter, par-72 course is quite a challenge and features such diverse landscapes as coastal holes close to the Pacific Ocean to fairways that traverse through local bushlands. The climate is near-perfect. In addition, there is a well-stocked Pro Shop, training center, floodlit driving range and chipping greens. The Spa offers as many as 140 beauty and health treatments. It restaurants serve up a variety of cuisines from Vietnamese to Australian that are served in the lively Village Square.

Banyan Tree Resort, Thailand

Bordered by the golden sands and gentle waves of the Andaman Sea, Banyan Tree Phuket is an oasis of peace and tranquillity. Banyan Tree Phuket is set between the saltwater lagoons and its landscaped gardens leading down to the white powdery beach and seafront at Bang Tao Bay. A beautiful retreat tucked in a tranquil corner of Laguna Phuket an integrated resort of hotels, shops and golf. The accommodation comprises of a variety of villas sumptuously furnished with Thai silks, low raised beds an open-air sunken baths. It offers a choice of 5 restaurants serving specialities from Thai and Southeast Asian to Mediterranean and seafood dishes. Adjacent to the property is the world-class Banyan Tree Spa offering a variety of rejuvenating body and beauty treatments. For golfers the Laguna Phuket Golf Club is a mere step away and one of the finest in the area.

Laguna Phuket Golf Club is an 18-hole, par-71 resort course, designed by Max Wexler and David Abell, which challenges golfing enthusiasts of all abilities. The course features a wealth of scenic lagoons, coconut groves and undulating fairways, set against the dramatic backdrop of the surrounding mountains and nearby sea.

Meandering through a labyrinth of lagoons, the course requires golfers to play with great accuracy, and to select clubs carefully. Water looms on 13 of the 18 holes and threatens to swallow any shot veering too far to the side. On several holes, adventurous long hitters will certainly enjoy taking a rewarding gamble by cutting corners, while on others holes, strategic iron play is a must!

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