Friday, June 21, 2024

Luxury Links: The 6 Most Unique Golf Courses

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Do you know that there is a golf course with an altitude so near the clouds that “celestial” best describes your playing experience? Have you heard there’s a course in Kenya where a golfer can stand on the green next to a trio of giraffes? There’s a buzz regarding a course in the Caribbean that places golfers within an eight-iron of a volcano. What’s the scoop on the golf course in the Midwest that offers front-row seating at concerts featuring headliner musical artists? Get ready to pull back the curtain on seven of the most unique golf courses on the planet. Here’s how playing 18 holes can get you close to nature, deep in history, or fascinated by the most extraordinary golf settings one could ever imagine.


How cool would it be to golf at the base of a volcano? Before you ask if playing next to a 3,200-ft volcano is safe, know that Nevis Peak hasn’t blown in 100,000 years. Did you know that Four Seasons Resort has called the island of Nevis home since 1991? The Four Seasons tabbed designer Robert Trent Jones II to design their golf course, with the volcano as the centerpiece. Not only is this imposing mountain a favorite of hikers, but the Peak makes for a magnificent visual backdrop for many of this serene golf layout’s 18 holes. As a bonus, you may also encounter a friendly exchange with one of the hundreds of vervet monkeys that inhabit Nevis.


Architectural buffs will love Santa Maria Golf Course in Panama City, Panama. Jack Nicklaus found a way to paint a 7,000-yard golf masterpiece into the heart of Panama’s bustling downtown district. A horizon of skyscrapers reaching up to 900 feet serves as real-life targets behind many of the golf holes. What’s great is this course also includes robust birdlife, lush mangroves, and coconuts you can pluck from the palm trees accenting the course, making for a refreshing drink.


For golfers looking to take their game to new heights, the status of La Paz Golf Club as the highest golf club in the world promises an extraordinary and unparalleled golfing journey. Nestled among the foothills of the snow capped Andres Mountains, the Bolivian course is a green oasis of refined luxury – perched at a breathtaking altitude of almost 10,650 feet (over 2 miles) above sea level. The remarkable terrain’s lunar-like landscape’s attention to detail and sweeping sea views offer golfers a one-of-akind experience with unique challenges due to the altitude and reduced oxygen levels. The prestigious golf club is the epitome of refinement and indulgence, presenting the ultimate elevated golf experiences sure to captivate any discerning golfer.


Kenya’s Par 72, 18-hole championship PGA Baobab Golf Course includes inhabitants that would make most zoos drool with envy. Golfers playing Africa’s only PGA course mingle with zebras, impalas, and giraffes. Baobab is perhaps the only course in the world where scoring a birdie or eagle is exceeded by a White-Tailed Mongoose sighting. You can feel the unspoken connection between golfers and the wildlife at this sanctuary, delivering beautiful scenery at every turn. Baobab Golf Course is just one of the bounty of amenities offered for guests staying at Vipingo Ridge Resort.


It seems fitting that in the state where Orville and Wilbur Wright first took flight, there’s also a golf course with its own landing strip. Mountain Air Country Club in Burnsville, NC, is home to a 2,800-foot runway that splits down the middle of its 18-hole golf course. This mountaintop community sits at an elevation of 4,600 feet, and the airstrip is between holes six and eight. With all of Mountain Air’s 360-degree vistas, arriving by private plane is a spectacular visual for the pilot, the passenger, and gawking golfers alike.


Non-swimmers may be taken aback by the 14th hole at Coeur d’Alene Golf Course in Coeur d’Alene, ID. That’s because you’ll be teeing off to a true island green. In this case, your target is a 2,200-ton engineering marvel whose tee to floating green distance changes by the day.

Adding further flavor to this magnificent golf experience, the only way to get to your greenside ball is by riding a mahogany boat dubbed “Putter.” To date, there’s not another Par 3 in the world quite like the Coeur d’Alene 14th.

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