Eight courses in Seven Days, three Royals; Dublin, County Down, Portrush, two in the same day, it was quite a visit to the scenic and ever challaging Links of Ireland. There are way too many good courses in the golf-heavy Island to make into one trip, So we started on the East Coast, playing the hugely overlooked European Club just South of Dublin, then playing the three Royals, capped by the site of the 2019 British Open, the Open Championship as its known over the pond, Portrush, in the small town of the same name. Then is was down to Doonbeg with perhaps the best opening hole in all of Ireland. Plus Tralee, Waterville and Adare Manor. Grand Time in a Great Golf Island.
Why Cabo Golf is Ever Popular
You can hamper it with hurricanes, scare it with gangs, slow it with bad enconomy, but Cabo, Mexico golf will never die. Too many great courses, too many pretty views, too much fun and challenge, on and off the course. Chileno Bay Resort and Golf Course are only the latest examples. Classics like Cabo del Sol and Querencia always endure, they're just joined by a new crop in a true embarrassment of golfing riches. www.chilenobay.aubergeresorts.com
The Streamsong Golf Resort, located on thousands of acres of an old Mosaic Phosphate Mining facility, in desolate central Florida between Tampa and Orlando, has been a hit with links loving golfers ever since it first opened in 2013. But the most recent Gil Hanse designed Black course, which opened in late 2017, has taken the resort to another level. It's a big, bold golfing canvas making the Black course a true delight and challenge where golfers can make a 3 or an 8 on almost every hole there. Go bet on the Black as soon as possible. It's the East Coast's most interesting and intriguing course, www.streamsongresort.com
The world's best golfers will show up at Innisbrook Resort, just outside Tampa, in a few weeks for the PGA Tour's Valspar Championship, but the professional golfing millionares will quickly find out what thousands of amateur vacationers already know. Innisbrook is a fun and sometimes mean championship stayover with four top flight courses and the Tour site Coperhead layout with the back nine Snake Pit which can derail anybody's round, pro or amateur. There is a great steakhouse named after course designer Lawrence Packard and old school wooden luxury lodging right on the golf course. Everything an amateur or pro superstar would ever need, www.innisbrookgolfresort.com
Golf's Northern California landscape, specifically the Pebble Beach-Carmel area, has long overflowed with top notch courses, including Cypress Point Golf Course, known as the Sistine Chapel of Golf. But more recent changes at nearby Poppy Hills, which removed dozens of trees to expose distant ocean views and the existing landscape, has made golf's most target rich environment even better. Pebble Beach and Spyglass are as good as ever, The Gallery Cafe is the perfect start to the day located behind the first hole at Pebble, even the Peter Hay Par 3 is a blast to play with even more oceanside views. Best hidden gem of this year or many others is the rennovated Cal Club in San Francisco. It's an outstanding Kyle Phillips redesign with great SF views. Private, but has some outside play, so pull whatever strings it takes to play here. It's Olympic Club without the US Opens.
There are more than 700 Bahamas Islands, laid out in a scenic string South and Southeast of Florida, but only a fraction are inhabited. Thankfully, The Abaco Club at Winding Bay is one of those. From its awesome two mile crescent shaped beach to a unique oceanside links style golf course, The Abaco Club, site of a Nationwide Tour event, is one scenic pleasant resort surprise. Add a mountainside clubhouse, direct commerical flights to the capital of Marsh Harbour and a full harbour and it's one (slightly) inhabited island to seek out.