As fans of Mr. Grey the world over eagerly await the arrival of Fifty Shades of Grey to the big screen on Valentine’s Day in the U.S., The Bahamas has been tempting a different kind of thrill-seeker, but one who is no less passionate: the golf enthusiast.
The diversity of play golf lovers will be able to experience in just Nassau and nearby Paradise Island alone is set to rise this year, when a total of four 18-hole golf courses – central features of the exclusive residential communities of Ocean Club Estates, Albany and Lyford Cay, and the soon-to-open Baha Mar mega resort in Cable Beach – will be available to those on the island.
Located along the coast almost exactly in the midpoint of New Providence, the championship course at the $3.5 billion Baha Mar resort, designed by 18 time major championship winner, Jack Nicklaus, is scheduled to go live in late March, when the hotly-anticipated destination launches. According to Baha Mar, the course will play 7,189 yards and is designed to offer a “two-for-one” experience, with the first nine holes providing “dramatic play” while those remaining weave through inland forest and native habitat. If you can tear yourself away from the green, there will be plenty to explore across the 1,000 acre resort. The complex – which prefers to be described as “the New Riviera” – will feature four new hotels, 2,900 rooms, the region’s largest casino, a stunning beach, eclectic art collection, and a lot more.
But while enthusiasts await Baha Mar’s opening, there’s been plenty of golfing action already underway on the island this month to distract visitors and residents alike. For the third year running, the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic was held on Paradise Island, home to the tourist playground of Atlantis and the elegant One & Only Ocean Club. Besides the challenge of the course itself, the 120 top female golfers competing had to keep their eyes on the prize even as the shimmering, turquoise waters of the Atlantic ocean lapped all up on beaches that border it – no easy task.
On February 8, South Korean rookie Sei Young Kim pulled it off, winning the $1.3 million tournament – a pot she might want to put towards one of the stunning, luxury homes that abut the course within the famed Ocean Club Estates.
It’s not just the Ocean Club that’s getting in on the international golf championship action. It was revealed in December of last year that the Tiger Woods Foundation’s Hero World Challenge will come to the Albany course in 2015, bringing with it dozens of the PGA tour’s best players to compete for a multi-million dollar purse. The luxury resort community at the western end of the island has already become synonymous with golfing greats, as it is co-owned by golf champions Tiger Woods and Ernie Els.
Several notable golfers will not have to come far if they want to take part, as they are reported to have established homes at Albany, the exclusive 600-acre property which has styled itself as a one-of-a-kind fitness-focused community that combines the best of beachfront living, a world-class golf course, 71-slip marina, and has plans to establish a diverse list of additional amenities including a sports academy and wellness centre.
Whether you’re a pro or just like to play to relax, The Bahamas will offer something for golf lovers of all levels in 2015.
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