Island Gems in Curaçao
By : Scott Kramer
Curaçao is an ideal place to tee it up. Its warm Caribbean breezes, endless sunshine and ocean backdrop are a recipe for great golf. The island’s three courses will sate your appetite (and your budget).
World-renowned golf course architect Pete Dye jumped at the opportunity to build a course here. His highly acclaimed Old Quarry Golf Course—the signature course at Hyatt Regency Curaçao Golf Resort, Spa and Marina—is a must-play experience. Its name comes from the island’s historic quarries, where marble is mined. The course plays to 6,970 yards from the tips, and is described as “visually stunning” by locals. No matter your skill level, you will find it both playable and challenging. It’s one of Dye’s more golfer-friendly courses, in terms of toughness—perfect for vacationers. curacao.hyatt.com
The 6,735-yard Blue Bay Golf Course opened in 1999. William Roquemore, an acclaimed course designer in Portugal, sculpted this treasure, which has similar terrain and topography to that of Portugal. The seaside course is the centerpiece of the Blue Bay Curaçao Golf and Beach Resort. Golfers will experience unmatched water views and a plethora of tropical vegetation along the fairways. The layout is also a nice challenge for all handicap levels, incorporating its natural surroundings into elevation changes, and bringing rocks, sand and water into play, especially on the fifth hole where golfers must negotiate a long shot over the Caribbean Sea. golf.bluebay-curacao.com
The island’s third course is the unique Curaçao Golf & Squash Club, a small semi-private club that’s also open to the public. The par-70 course has 18 holes with 10 greens that are set in a tranquil oasis, amid rare trees, cacti and magnificent scenery. Don’t be surprised if you encounter wild doves, parrots and iguanas during your round. It was originally built as a course for Shell Oil employees, which had a large island presence until 1985. Due to a shortage of water, the original greens were actually brownies (sand mixed with oil and white spirit), but were replaced with true greens during a 2003 facelift. curacaogolf.com
Book your trip today! Visit www.aa.com, call American/American Eagle reservations at 1-800-433-7300, or call your travel agent for more information.