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Golfing Destinations

Continuing our series on winter golf destinations, this week we present an overview of the Caribbean, written by Dale Leatherman, Associate Editor of TravelGolf.com.

All-Year Sunshine Golf in the Caribbean

The Caribbean serves up year-round golf with generous helpings of sun, sand, wind and water, plus the skills of the world’s top architects.

Sand, sea, wind, and a ragged stretch of no man’s land. That’s where golf began and still exists in its purest form. It began with a few rules. Today it’s loaded with rules. But there is no rule saying golf must be played in cold, rain and fog.

With no disrespect (or apologies) to the many hallowed tracks across the Pond, the Caribbean offers golf sunny-side up, year-round, with generous helpings of sand, sea and wind. First-rate golf thrives here, bearing the stamps of noted architects such as Jones, Dye, von Hagge, Nicklaus, Norman, Weiskopf, Fazio, Hills, Roquemore, Trevino and Wilson. And it fits seamlessly into the ultimate beach vacation lifestyle – luxury resorts, romantic sunsets, great fresh fruits and seafood, and limitless watersports.

Today, you can find good golf on nearly 20 islands that are a short hop from Miami. No two islands are alike, and neither are the golf courses. The variables? Mountains, volcanoes, rainforests, coral cliffs, sandy beaches, marshland and even desert-like terrain. The turf is usually Bermuda grass, but finer-bladed, salt-resistant seashore paspallum is probably the grass of the future on water-poor islands.

The season in the islands is 12 months long, and there are usually cooling ocean breezes, even in summer. Language is seldom an obstacle, because English is spoken everywhere. However, the natives converse among themselves in patois, a local slang which combines several languages and varies from island to island. This makes it possible for caddies to discuss your swing without your being aware of it, but it’s all in good fun.

Most of the islands changed hands many times in a tug-of-war among nineteenth century European superpowers who imported African slaves to tend the islands’ vast sugar and banana plantations. Such a mix of cultures and races gives the Caribbean a unique style in cuisine, music, architecture, language, dress, religion and mannerisms.

You can almost choose a golfing destination by your cultural preferences, and with nearly 50 good courses waiting, the Caribbean presents a delightful dilemma. Almost without exception,golf courses are couched in good- to-excellent resorts where you’re guaranteed a vacation experience ranging from acceptable to outstanding. Keep in mind that islanders function on “island time,” which means a languid pace in which punctuality seldom exists.

 TravelGolf.comThe Caribbean is one of the safest places you can travel these days, as long as you use the same common sense you’d practice in any foreign country – or American city. Many islands have a large poverty-level population, and there are sometimes insistent street vendors and beggars. A firm “no” sends them away. Any resort good enough to have a championship-caliber golf course will also have a good security force, so you will not be bothered on resort grounds.

The above is an excerpt from Dale Leatherman's article "Golf Sunnyside Up on the Caribbean Islands". Click here for the full article.

If you are considering a golfing holiday in the Caribbean, call (US toll-free) 888-383-3633 or visit www.caribbeangolf.com for a FREE Caribbean package quote.



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