Oregon's Bandon Trails
As the weather heats up, along with the buzz from Tiger Woods’ return to golf, you may find yourself aching to get out on a course.
We asked Chris Santella, author of the recently released “Fifty MORE Places To Play Golf Before You Die,” to recommend some special golf getaways around the world.
Fairmont Jasper Park Golf Club
Golfers at the Fairmont Jasper Park Golf Club are treated to the scenic beauty of its surrounding mountains, as well as occasional sightings of elk, moose, wolves and even grizzly bears . The course, nestled in a Canadian Rockies valley and designed by legendary architect Stanley Thompson, includes “Cleopatra,” a downhill par-3 with bunkers that hint at the female form.
Barnbougle brings a wee bit of Ireland to Tasmania’s northern coast. This course, located on an island south of Australia, is situated amid marram grass, rolling dunes and captivating seascapes.
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, China
At a whopping 8,548-yards, Jade Dragon is the world’s longest golf course. Tucked in China’s Yunnan province, it stands at an altitude of 10,000 feet on a glacier at the foot of the Himalayas.
Nirwana Bali, Indonesia
Honeymooners have another reason to visit Bali. This course meanders past rice paddies (proceeds from its cultivation are shared among local farmers), temples and a jungle. A number of holes cling to the coastline and the seventh hole provides a view of the Tanah Lot temple.
Old Head, Ireland
Found on a headland off County Cork, Old Head is one of the most expensive courses in the world. “Old Head is without a doubt one of the most exhilarating sites in the world where golf is played,” British golf writer Keith Baxter has said. “You feel as though you are on the edge of the world out there. If you have any vertigo, you could be in trouble.”
El Camaleon at Mayakoba, Mexico
Aside from being a popular warm-weather destination, Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is also home to this impressive course. El Camaleon, which hosts the Mayakoba Golf Classic (the only PGA event in Mexico), encompasses a jungle, beaches and mangrove swamps. An added bonus: limestone canals, which golfers encounter on 15 holes.
Bandon Trails, Oregon
Looking for a U.S. course with a variety of terrains? Bandon Trails combines sand dunes, endless meadows and forests of Douglas fir and spruce trees. The contrast of gaping waste bunkers and soaring conifers is the work of golf architects Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw.
Oitavos Dunes, Portugal
With its panoramic view of the Sintra-Cascais National Park and the Atlantic Ocean, Oitavos Dunes provides golfers with a British-style golf experience in a warmer climate. The terrains include sand dunes, umbrella pines, and rugged rock outcroppings.