Golf Vacations (Malaysia)
Crossing out lists
Bucket list or not, these are the ones that keep me awake at night.
Well, apart from Kimberly’s occasional waking up and walking into our bedroom, or chilling under a blanket with my wife over reruns of ‘Gossip Girl’ on Netflix, (ok, did I say that?), I think about the ones that got away, the golf courses I haven’t played.
As lists go, I pretty much get asked all the time - what’s your favourite course, where’s your favourite destination - now, how about a list of courses I haven’t played?
With a bit of imagination and 20 years travelling around the world playing some of the most fabulous golf courses imaginable, there are five that stands out.
PEBBLE BEACH GOLF LINKS
My very first impression of Pebble Beach was when Tiger thrashed a high cut 7-iron over an enormous dogleg at the Par 5, 6th hole and made the green in two. The imperious manner is which he dominated the field made that US Open, and Pebble Beach Golf Links, unforgettable for me. In my early days, I was going through slide after slide of golf courses until I came across this magnificent vista of a 60-metre elevated Par 3 in Bulgaria. It was called Thracian Cliffs, designed by Gary Player and was the most photographed golf course in the world with views over the Black Sea. Dreamy.
Once, I met a South African on my travels who wasn’t named Els or Goose. I asked him about Fancourt and he turned my sights to Leopard Creek. Without even seeing pictures, he described a course set within a safari, where giraffes roam and a hippo named Harry made his home at a Par 3. I still have very vague ideas of how Leopard Creek looks like but it is definitely a place I want to be.
Or Machrie to be honest. One is a worldwide top 40 golf course while the other is sited right within the Isle of Islay - I mean Port Ellen, Lagavullin, Arbeg, Ardmore - Really? And these are just the ones nearby. I dream of going with my buddies, drink whisky and then trip into bunkers, laughing. Go to sleep, wake up, repeat.
SANDY LANE RESORT
It wasn’t just because Tiger first got married to Elin that I wanted to plan my wedding at Sandy Lane Resort. Its Green Monkey Golf Course, designed by Tom Fazio, is a horticultural delight to play at and at the top of my mind ever since I ran a cover of it in the mid-2000s. And also because Tiger married Elin here.
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