— By Doug Hollandsworth
Among the finest in all of Hawaii, the two championship courses at Turtle Bay have achieved legendary status. Such is the quality of the golfing experience that the PGA and LPGA have chosen the courses for prestigious tournaments. The natural topography of the resort’s 880 acres creates a breathtaking variety of vistas for each course. From fairways in dense ironwood forests to greens on the edge of the ocean, golf achieves its purest expression at Turtle Bay Resort. The Arnold Palmer Course
• Five Tees per hole
• Course Rating: 64.1 – 74.4
• Length: 4,851 – 7,199 yards
• USGA Slope Rating: 116 – 143
The Palmer Course was host for years to the PGA Champion’s Tour, the Turtle Bay Championship, and the LPGA Tour, the SBS Op e n. A master piece designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay features rolling terrain, sand, and water give the front nine the character of a Scottish links course. The back nine offers a dramatic departure as it meanders through a jungle forest of ironwood pine and a wetlands bird sanctuary. The George Fazio Course
• Three Tees per hole
• Course Rating: 65.5 – 71.2
• Length: 5,355 – 6,535 yards
• USGA Slope Rating: 112 – 131
The design features broad fairways, deep bunkers and large, gently rolling greens. Designed by George Fazio, it is his only course in Hawai‘i. Like a fine wine, it has improved over time, with fairways framed by palm trees and ironwood pines. The Golf Academy features a variety of learning experiences that are the cornerstone of the Academy, from individual to group lessons. There sort is also ideal for hosting corporate tournaments. Golf at Turtle Bay Resort
• Only Oahu resort with 36 holes of golf
• 18-hole Arnold Palmer course
• 18-hole George Fazio course
• Turtle Bay Championship
• Turtle Bay Golf Academy
• Golf Pro Shop
• Driving rang e and practice putting green
• Lei Lei’s Bar & Grill
• Golf Pros are available to organize Group Tournaments
• Meetings & Conventions 2010 – Gold Tee Award
• Golf Digest 2009 – Top 75 Golf Resorts in North America
• Honolulu Magazine March 2009 – Best Signature Hole: 17th hole, Arnold Palmer Course
• Travel + Leisure Golf 2008 – Most Underrated Golf Resort in Hawaii
by Ben Hale…
I have been in the golf resort and community marketing business for over 20 years and during that time; I have had the opportunity to visit some of the most incredible golf communities in the country. One of the nicest communities I have ever had the privilege of visiting is right here in my home town of Charleston SC and that is Daniel Island.
One of my best friends is a member at Daniel Island so I have had the pleasure of not only playing both the Rees Jones and Tom Fazio championship courses on numerous occasions, I have also had the pleasure of experiencing everything else the community has to offer, and believe me, they have a great deal to offer.
This 4,000 acre sea island in known as Charleston’s “island town” and is located just ten minutes from historic downtown Charleston. If you are seeking that upscale private club experience, The Daniel Island Club offers world class golf on their two championship courses that are two of the best courses you will ever play. The rest of the club facilities are incredible with a pool complex that is one of the nicest I have ever visited and a golf clubhouse that is second to none.
The most attractive thing for me when I visit “the island” is the incredible sense of community I feel when I’m there. Even though the property was developed just over a decade ago, you get the feeling that is has been there forever and that everyone has know each other their entire lives. Whether you’re attending a concert, the Family Circle Cup pro tennis tournament, or any of the other events that regularly occur on the island, everyone seems to know everyone giving the feel of a true small town community.
If you are considering relocating your family to the Charleston area, look no further than Daniel Island. This “Low Country “masterpiece is one of the most well planned developments in the country. From championship golf and fine dining, to great schools, shopping, and live entertainment, Daniel Island has it all going on and I would highly recommend you take the time to check it out. If you do, chances are that you will be calling Daniel Island home before long.
By Ben Hale…
Have you ever visited a Golf Property where your experience is so rewarding that you say “wow, this is really a feel good place”? That was my experience last week when I had the fortune of playing the Arthur Hills Course at Dunes West, a semi private Golf Course Community in Mt. Pleasant, SC.
Granted the weather that day was perfect and the course impeccable, but the experience went well beyond that. From the warm welcoming I received when I drove through the gate, to the friendly pro shop staff, I knew right away that this was going to be one of those great days and I wasn’t disappointed. When you step to the first tee already feeling good about the place, you can’t help but have a great day.
The course itself was in fantastic condition and offered a phenomenal test of golf that if truth be told; beat me up pretty badly that day. Arthur Hills did a great job designing this masterpiece as every hole is clearly visible from the tee boxes so there wasn’t that annoying “trickery” you often sees at some Golf Community / Resort Courses. The greens reminded me of New England greens as they were rather small in comparison to other Low Country Courses, and demanded accurate approach shots on every hole. The best part of the course layout was the fact that the houses were all set way back from the fairways giving you the feeling of playing a Golf Club and not a Golf Community.
The community itself is regarded as one of the top golf communities in the Charleston area and is famous for its Low Country charm and eloquence. The houses are stunning and the location couldn’t be better as it’s close to the best area schools and only 20 minutes to Historic downtown Charleston and the numerous area beaches.
At the end of the round, as is often the case, we strolled into the clubhouse to quench our thirst and get a more in-depth feel for the place and once again we were not disappointed. The Clubhouse staff was very friendly and the hospitality refreshing. I sat next to a club member and proceeded to strike up a conversation in hopes of getting a firsthand opinion of the club and his opinion wasn’t any different than the one that I had formed during my short time on property. He said it was a great club with great members and everyone couldn’t be nicer which confirmed my initial impression.
I am fortunate to visit and experience some incredible properties and on rare occasions, I leave with the feeling that I just had a truly special day, that was the case with my experience at Dunes West. Dunes West is a “True Feel Good Club” that I would highly recommend for either a round of golf while you’re in the Charleston area or better yet, make it your home. You will not be disappointed.
For more information on Dunes West, visit their site at duneswestgolfclub.com.
by STEVE WINSTON
The first thing we felt, after arriving at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, was that we had our own “private” island. When you drive up to it, the cares and frantic pace of the outside world seem to slip off your shoulders.
For some years, in fact, it pretty much was a private island. The first inhabitants were the Kiawah tribe, who lived here in the 1600’s. Later on came wealthy planters. The island was owned by the same family from 1802 to 1951. And these early residents must have been on to something.
Situated in a beautiful slice of the South Carolina Low Country, Kiawah Island Golf Resort exudes a distinct Old South charm…and the unhurried pace of a gentler time. But there’s nothing un-hurried about the pace with which it picks up awards. It’s an AAA Five-Diamond Award winner, a “Forbes” Five-Star Award winner, and it was named by “Conde Nast Traveler” as both the No. 1 island and the No. 1 resort in America.
The main building is The Sanctuary, constructed in the style of an old plantation home. There are 255 guestrooms here…and almost every one of them faces the ocean. We stayed there…but you don’t have to. There are also 450 villas (1-4 bedrooms) and 90 luxurious private homes, ranging up to eight bedrooms. And everywhere we strolled, there were beautiful outdoor terraces and lawns.
Dining? Well, even the pickiest eater can find something here – because there are 10 restaurants, ranging from Italian (Tomasso) to Low Country seafood (Jasmine Porch), and from signature steaks (The Ocean Room) to great ice cream (the wonderfully-named Beaches and Cream). And, yes, we pretty much tried them all.
Here, you can seclude yourself in the lap of luxury, at the Sanctuary Spa. Unless you’d rather be out on one of the five championship golf courses, designed by luminaries such as Tom Fazio, Pete Dye, and Jack Nicklaus. “Golf World” called this the top golf resort in America. And the legendary Ocean Course will host the PGA Championship next year.
If you prefer to hit a ball over a net rather than down a fairway, though, Kiawah Island was named the No. 1 tennis resort in the world by tennisresortsonline.com, and No. 2 in America by “Tennis” magazine. What does that mean for you? Not just one tennis complex, but two, each with its own pro shop. And, between the Roy Barth Tennis Center and the West Beach Tennis Club, 28 courts.
Bonnie Collins, a meetings manager at a large corporation, chooses Kiawah Island for her company’s events, because of the golf and the accommodations.
“The golf at Kiawah Island is acknowledged to be excellent,” she says. “The courses take advantage of the island’s natural beauty. And each of them has its own special flavor and its own special challenges. And the accommodations – and the choice of accommodations – are excellent, as well. I usually know within fifteen minutes of walking into a property whether or not it will work for us. But it didn’t even take me that long with Kiawah. I knew as soon as I walked in that this was the place for us.”
Kiawah Island’s Old South ambience and its laid-back lifestyle can be addicting; many of the island’s current homeowners first came here on vacation, and fell in love with the place.
We walked every day on the ten miles of wide beach, and it often seemed like no one else was around. The island is dissected by a river, and fringed with hidden lagoons and coves perfect for a sunset picnic. As the sun goes down, it dapples the surrounding marshlands with a hundred reflecting colors. And because there are no city lights here, you’ll be amazed at what you can see in the sky after the sun goes down.
Even with all this, you’re only 20 miles from the red-brick sidewalks and colonial homes of Charleston. But – like us – once you get here, you may not want to leave!
by STEVE WINSTON
Waking up in the morning, opening your curtains…and looking out at Paradise.
There aren’t many places which afford us that privilege. But the Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa is one of them. Tucked alongside a thousand feet of private beach, in the picturesque town of Jupiter, FL, the resort’s only 80 miles north of Miami. But it may as well be a million.
One of the most beautiful beaches in South Florida lies behind the resort, splendidly unoccupied during the day, and occupied mostly by giant nesting sea turtles (which can weigh over a hundred pounds) at night. In fact, sea turtles return to this beach every year to hatch their eggs. During nesting season (April through October), the hotel actually leads tours at night to the nesting grounds. From a short distance away (shhhh!), you can watch this natural miracle taking place. There are no lights allowed on the beach at night; even the guides don’t carry them. And, during nesting season, the hotel recommends that guests avoid lighting up their rooms unnecessarily. Too many bright lights can drive the turtles away…and destroy their chances of giving birth.
The signature restaurant at the Jupiter Beach Resort is Sinclair’s Ocean Grill. Here, you can feast on fish and seafood so fresh it was in the ocean just a few hours ago. It’s an upscale, but relaxed, atmosphere (after all, this is Florida!). If your dining preference runs more to the casual, on the other hand, the poolside Sandbar Restaurant is a nice place for old favorites and light snacks – which taste even better if you’re having them while looking out at the ocean. And later on, you can sip a tropical tall one at Sinclair’s Lounge, which draws a well-dressed local crowd.
The Spa at the Jupiter Beach Resort has a Waterfall Room and a Tea Bar, where you can relax with specialty teas from all over the world, either before or after treatments such as the Tropical Sugar Rub, SweThai Massage, or De-Stress Massage. There are modern touches that integrate perfectly with the tranquil atmosphere, such as state-of-the-art music systems (soooothing). And there’s always an aroma of a natural floral or forest or sea scent in the air. It’s a small, intimate spa. And – take it from one who knows – after getting a massage there, you’ll really believe you’re in Paradise.
The Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa has been around since the 70’s, under various names. It was converted from a Hilton in 2006, after suffering damage from Hurricane Wilma the previous October, and then renovated top-to-bottom. In addition to the beachfront, there’s a heated pool, fitness center, and lighted tennis courts. The ambiance is Florida/Caribbean…soft colors and pastels, local artists on the walls, and comfortable, light-wood tables and chairs. The 159 rooms include 34 suites, as well as ocean-side penthouses from which you can see forever.
Jupiter has long been symbolized by its famous lighthouse. Although Native Americans were here as long as 10,000 years ago, the area’s first “Anglo” settlers were the U.S. Army, and later the Navy, in the mid-1800’s. They built the lighthouse at the start of the Civil War. Then came settlers, who helped maintain the structure in an effort to stem the number of shipwrecks off this coast…and, when they weren’t successful, to help guide shipwrecked sailors trying to swim for shore. (This area isn’t called “The Treasure Coast” for nothing!) This was also a Coast Guard base in recent times, and there’s a good little museum on the grounds that documents the colorful history of the place. And if you can negotiate the 105 steep steps up the narrow winding staircase of the lighthouse, you’ll get the same view as the early lighthouse-keepers got.
There’s actually a surprising amount to do in the Jupiter area. There are boat cruises up the Intracoastal Waterway (past one of Tiger Woods’ homes). Golf at the nearby headquarters of the Professional Golfers Association. Major League spring training – both the Florida Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals train at nearby Roger Dean Stadium. Minor League baseball all summer long (both the Marlins and the Cardinals have Minor League teams here). And shopping and dining at the high-end Gardens of the Palm Beaches.
After enjoying it all, you can return to the Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa, and that white-sand beach kissed by a warming surf in the daytime, and filled with nesting turtles at night.
And, of course, that view of Paradise when you open the shades the next morning.
The Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa
Steve Winston (www.stevewinston.com) has written/contributed to 17 books, and his articles have appeared in major media all over the world. In pursuit of “The Story,” he’s been shot at in Northern Ireland, been a cowboy in Arizona, jumped into an alligator pit in the Everglades, trained with a rebel militia in the jungle, climbed 15,000-foot mountains, trekked glaciers in Alaska, and explored ice caves at 11,000 feet in Switzerland.