Abaco Club Golf Course

Where the Ba­hamas Meet Scot­land

Golf Vacations - - Contents - by Tim Cotro­neo

Scot­land’s Old Tom Mor­ris would love the ocean views, the plung­ing pot bunkers, and the balmy weather at The Abaco Club at Wind­ing Bay. Old Tom would be proud to see how his rolling Scot­tish links thumbprint found its way to a Ba­hamian set­ting of palm trees, par­rots, and pris­tine pas­palum fair­ways.

Scot­land’s Old Tom Mor­ris would love the ocean views, the plung­ing pot bunkers, and the balmy weather at The Abaco Club at Wind­ing Bay. Old Tom would be proud to see how his rolling Scot­tish links thumbprint found its way to a Ba­hamian set­ting of palm trees, par­rots, and pris­tine pas­palum fair­ways. In 2004, Golf Ar­chi­tect Tom MacKen­zie brought Old Tom’s coastal sand dune legacy to the 90-mile long Great Abaco Is­land. When most golfers think links, thoughts rev­ert to gray skies, brown-hued fair­ways, and don­ning lay­ers to com­bat the el­e­ments. At the Abaco Club, links-style un­du­la­tions en­ter a whole new world. Golfers thrive amidst ex­quis­ite fair­ways, per­fect is­land tem­per­a­tures, and ocean views wor­thy of a swim­suit mag­a­zine cover. If that’s not enough, recharg­ing your spirit between rounds is spent in beach­front and golf course ac­com­mo­da­tions that house a wealth of is­land ameni­ties. The Abaco Club would have Old Tom be­liev­ing he was born 150 years too soon.

Prac­tice, Par­rots, and Par­adise

Why is the Abaco Club reg­u­larly rec­og­nized as one of the best cour­ses in the Caribbean? For starters, the course is home to a mas­sive world-class prac­tice area. Tour pro­fes­sion­als like Clarke, Westwood, and Fowler find the Abaco Club to be the per­fect re­treat for get­ting away from it all while still hon­ing their game. If you’re some­one who grav­i­tates to­ward an is­land va­ca­tion be­cause of the potential for an “only in the Caribbean” sur­prise, then you’ll love the Abaco Club. Each af­ter­noon the golf course re­ceives a multi-col­ored group of vis­i­tors with a strange sense of hu­mor. Around the 13th hole you’ll hear a clat­ter­ing of laugh­ter atop the palm trees flank­ing the fair­ways and greens. On Abaco, the say­ing goes that you’ll “hear them, be­fore you see them” when talk­ing about an species of par­rots who’ve cho­sen golf as their fa­vorite spec­ta­tor sport. The Abaco par­rots are so beloved that you’ll see their mas­cot image on each flag­stick.

18 Holes- Two Per­son­al­i­ties

Ul­ti­mately, the Abaco Golf Course’s rep­u­ta­tion is earned from the qual­ity of golf ex­pe­ri­ence. In two words, Abaco Golf Course de­liv­ers “per­son­al­ity plus.” Then again, the dif­fer­ence between Abaco’s two nines can be as con­trast­ing in per­son­al­ity as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This per­son­al­ity shift can be tested by hold­ing your fin­ger to the sky and feel­ing if the tradewinds are present. The front nine is typ­i­cally li­brary calm with barely a breeze com­ing from the tran­quil Sea of Abaco. The front side also fea­tures Blue La­goon mo­ments that will have you digging for your cam­era as much as your sand wedge.

The back side is where ex­tra­or­di­nary sounds are ex­ceeded only by dra­matic is­land views. Once you get past the jovial chat­ter of the par­rots, there’s a more fore­bod­ing sound that makes golfers pause. De­spite Abaco’s peren­nial sun­shine, when you reach the 16th hole it’s pos­si­ble you’ll fear thun­der is on the hori­zon. The source of this pound­ing is present at the tee box of the Par 3, 17th hole. It’s from this van­tage point you’ll ex­pe­ri­ence a crescendo of ocean waves on the At­lantic side of the course. It’s like na­ture’s drum pre­par­ing you for an Abaco fi­nale that height­ens to a Caribbean Man­heim Steam­roller en­core. Add this re­ver­ber­a­tion to fin­ish­ing holes that are straight out of ar­chi­tec­tural di­gest, and it’s likely you’ll re­mem­ber Abaco Club as a visual and au­di­tory sym­phony at sea. 26 Golf Va­ca­tions • De­cem­ber 2016

Let’s Do It Again

Af­ter turn­ing in your golf clubs at the Pro Shop, you flash back to what just tran­spired. Abaco Club at Wind­ing Bay just de­liv­ered epic ocean holes, canyon-like pot bunkers, artis­tic pas­palum fair­ways, par­rots that dou­ble as co­me­di­ans, roller coaster greens, and a trio of fin­ish­ing holes that in­vig­o­rated your senses. Your play­ing part­ners aren’t quite ready to call it a day, so you head over to Buster’s Beach Bar for a cold one. As you gaze out on the Sea of Abaco, your group raises a glass to good friends, great golf, and a man born 150 years too soon.

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