Category: Caribbean


February 04, 2014

Four Season Nevis makes cold-weather golfers offer they can't refuse: Shaun Micheel golf clinic in paradise

Posted at 9:24 AM by Mike Walker

Fourseasons_course_600

The 13th hole at the Robert Trent Jones II Course with the island of St. Kitts in the distance at the Four Seasons Nevis.

Golfers take two kinds of vacations: golf vacations and vacations where they play golf. A golf vacation is a trip to Myrtle Beach, Pinehurst, Monterey, Scotland or Ireland, where you bring you clubs and your best pals, book two tees times a day and try to find out if it’s possible to ever get tired of golf. (It isn’t.) The second kind of vacation is one you take with your husband, your wife, your significant other or your entire family, and golf isn’t the primary activity but you get out for a couple rounds, and if you’re lucky, encounter a special golf course.

The Four Seasons resort in Nevis, a cozy Caribbean island accessible via ferry from nearby St. Kitts, is ideal for that second kind of vacation, and later this month, the Four Season Nevis will make cold-weather golfers an offer they can’t refuse: a vacation on a beautiful Caribbean island with golf lessons from a PGA Champion.

Shaun_micheelFrom Feb. 23 to Feb. 27, Shaun Micheel, winner of the 2003 PGA Championship [right], will lead clinics at the resort’s Robert Trent Jones II Championship course alongside the resort’s head PGA professional Bruce Wilson. The clinics will focus on a specific area of the game each day -- fundamentals, driver and long irons, short game and trouble shots, and putting -- followed by golf and then dinner with Micheel. The five-day package costs $2,750 or $625 per day. (Greens fees are included in package; the regular greens fee is $225 with $75 for club rentals. Club rentals are $55 for nine-hole play and twilight golf.)

But even when a PGA Champion isn’t on the driving range, the Four Seasons Nevis is the perfect destination for golfers who don’t want to choose between great golf and great beaches. For golf, the RTJ II course is a fun but challenging test that winds up Nevis Peak with crafty greens that require careful handling, the requisite stunning views of the coastline and nearby St. Kitts, and frequent monkey sightings. But what’s really special about the golf at the Four Seasons Nevis is how the resort embraces the spirit of the game. Every Friday afternoon, resort guests, residents and resort staffers get together and play a nine-hole scramble, followed by drinks and awards at Mango, an on-resort restaurant and bar with 101 different kinds of rum. Yes, it’s as fun as it sounds. If you’re staying at this resort and you play golf, don’t miss the Friday scramble. If you don’t play golf, learn how.

Then there are the beaches. In a word, they’re perfect. For a real treat, the resort rents beachside cabanas, where you can watch SportsCenter on the couch in the cabana, enjoying a fish sandwich and a local Carib beer with nothing but deep soft sand and that dazzling Caribbean turquoise water in front of you. Plus the resort faces due west so guests get a cinematic view of sun the dropping over the horizon every evening.

The best activity there is simply being in Nevis. I've been lucky enough to visit several Caribbean islands and I've never been anywhere as charming and welcoming as Nevis. With just 12,000 year-round residents, the island has a relaxed, small-town feel, and the service at the resort is outstanding. The Four Seasons Nevis has several excellent restaurants as well as the golf course and that spectacular beach, so guests can happily spend the whole week here without leaving the property, but Nevis has other charms worth exploring. In the evening, resort guests can find Caribbean music, drinks and dancing just a short walk down the beach at Lime Beach Bar and Sunshine’s Beach Bar & Grill. Nevis Peak is an active volcano -- don’t worry, there hasn’t been an eruption in recorded history -- and adventurous visitors can arrange a hike to the top through the resort. The island gets its name from the clouds that cover the top of Nevis Peak; “Nevis” comes from the Spanish “Nuestra Señora de las Nieves” (“Our Lady of the Snows”) because the first European settlers mistook those clouds for snow. Golfers tired of seeing their favorite courses covered in snow might mistake it for paradise.

Rooms start at $745 per night, with the fourth night free. Contact the Four Seasons Nevis website for details.

Photos: Course photo courtesy of Four Seasons Nevis; Micheel photo by Robert Beck/SI.

December 28, 2011

Beat the winter blues with a golf jaunt to the Caribbean

Posted at 6:18 PM by Joe Passov

WitchThe Caribbean conjures thoughts of sugar-white beaches, seaside breezes, and warm temperatures. But it's only in recent years that the islands have become a tropical tour de force in terms of golf. Here are five destinations to get you planning your escape.

ARUBA
Tierra del Sol ($99-$159; 866-978-5158, tierradelsol.com) is the championship track here. Designed in 1995 by Robert Trent Jones Jr. with Kyle Phillips, the 6,811-yard Tierra del Sol embraces four distinct natural environments—dunes, cacti, stone and beach—on the breezy northwestern tip of the island. With seaviews aplenty, the more dramatic back nine has a number of risk/reward beauties (like the par-5 14th), not to mention goats that roam the rocky terrain.

JAMAICA
Seasoned golf lovers will recall that a few decades back the storied Tryall Club ($100-$175; 800-238-5290, tryallclub.com) hosted the Johnnie Walker World Championship, where the caddies carried golf bags on their heads. But this mountainous island's one can't-miss course is the White Witch ($99-$185; 876-684-0174, ritzcarlton.com), an 11-year-old Robert Von Hagge design affiliated with the Ritz-Carlton Golf and Spa Resort, Rose Hall, a 10-minute shuttle ride away. Par is a tricky task given the 6,859-yard ravine-filled layout's formidable challenges. But sea views from 16 holes ease the pain.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Golf has exploded in the Dominican, thanks to new stunners such as Cap Cana's Punta Espada course ($135-$375; 809-227-2262, capcana.com), a 2006 Jack Nicklaus design, and the Corales Golf Course at Punta Cana Resort & Club ($195-$300; 888-442-2262, puntacana.com), a clifftop Tom Fazio creation.

But all golf talk in the D.R. begins with Casa de Campo and its Pete Dye–designed Teeth of the Dog course ($110-$230; 800-877-3643, casadecampo.com.do). Ranked No. 47 in our 2011 Top 100 in the World, the Dog celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. The Links, Dye's second course at the property, is a worthy if less spectacular alternative. The resort's newest layout, Dye Fore, opened in 2003 with camera-worthy vistas for much of its journey.

CURAÇAO
Curaçao, located off the northeast coast of Venezuela, was long forsaken by visitors for better diving and beaches on other islands. The Pete Dye-designed Old Quarry ($125-$150; 011-599-9-840-5550, santabarbaraplantation.com), which opened last year as part of the island's first full-fledged resort within the Santa Barbara Plantation, is changing that. Less penal than most Dye offerings (steady winds take their toll, however), the 6,920-yard layout serves up spectacular views at many turns, which help distract you from the long drives between some holes.

ST. KITTS & NEVIS
The head turners at Marriott Royal St. Kitts Golf Club ($125-$145; 866-785-4653; royalstkittsgolfclub.com) are the par-3 15th (where bunkers are shaped to emulate ocean waves), the 383-yard par-4 16th, and the 404-yard par-4 17th; the latter pair bring the Atlantic into play.

For a completely different golf experience, take the ferry over to Nevis for a Robert Trent Jones Jr. design at the Four Seasons Nevis (869-469-1111; $195-$205; fourseasons.com/nevis). The lush layout, which is set in a rainforest, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

(Photo: Ritz Carlton Golf and Spa Resort)

Ask Travelin' Joe

Our traveling correspondent has been where you're going. Heading out of town on vacation? Business trip? Travelin' Joe can suggest the best places for you to tee it up. If you want to ask Travelin' Joe a question, e-mail him at askjoe@golf.com.


 

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