Golf – simply put, is my passion. While I have never played the legendary Maui courses, I would welcome the opportunity to experience them personally and to convey this experience to my readers in the form of articles and blogs.
Two course on my “wish list”: the Wailea Golf Club and the Plantation at Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii.
I am wondering if this is true: Ko’Olau, on Oahu: One of the toughest golf courses in the world and arguably the most beautiful. The course is located at the base of the Ko’Olau Ridge mountain range and is carved out of a tropical rain forest. There are several spectacular waterfalls and the cart path winds through a river bottom where the canopy is so dense it blocks out virtually all light. Each hole has breathtaking views and on the championship tee on No. 15 you can see Kailua beach and Chinaman’s Hat. “The course will beat you up spit you out but the beauty will touch your soul and you walk away wanting more…if you only had 20 more golf balls!” says Rhett Long, president of Hawaii.com and an avid golfer.
Florida links – a few of my favorites:
Doral Golf Resort and Spa (Miami): Four championship courses make the Doral one of Miami’s premier golf destinations. The legendary Blue Monster course was a personal favorite.
Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club (Aventura, North Miami Beach): These two 18-hole courses will not disappoint – both challenging and scenic.
Tiburón Golf Club (Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples): Everything about this course says “class act” – to be expected, as the same can be said about overall the Ritz-Carlton experience.
Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club (Naples): This relatively flat can deceive – it is not as easy as it first appears. The small greens and plentiful bunkers certainly tested my skills.
Michigan courses – a few personal favorites:
R&S Sharf, Oakland University, Rochester: I consider it my “home course” and I have played it countless times. It would be a favorite even if located further away – it is nestled in a scenic, woodsy setting that offers a mix of scenic beauty and ample wildlife. How many world-caliber courses in Florida or Hawaii can you find with deer on the greens, or turkeys trotting across the tee boxes?
Treetops Resort (Robert T. Jones), Gaylord: one of my very favorites, the course is a Rick Smith and the views are fabulous. Resort is also pretty nice winter and summer.
Lakewood Shores Resort (The Gailes), Oscoda: Golf Digest rated The Gailes, ‘The Best New Resort Course in the United States’ in 1993, and in 1996 rated it ‘The Number One Public and Resort Course in the State of Michigan.’ Designed to recreate the actual look of the famed seaside courses of Scotland, you’ll encounter large double greens, meandering burns and long fescue grasses. So if you have never had the opportunity to play golf in Scotland, but have always dreamed of doing so, you need only to head to Lakewood Shores Resort.