Five Courses for Your Retirement
Your retirement has come, and finally, you have the time to explore all the beautiful destinations that you have read or heard about. Here are our suggestions for the five golf courses that you need to play now!
1. Dornoch, Sutherland, Scotland
Dornoch, located in northeastern Scotland, is arguably the best destination in the country for golf enthusiasts. Herbert Warren Wind referred to it the most natural course in the world, and Tom Watson said that the place gave him the most fun he had had playing golf. Another figure, Donald Ross, was born right in Dornoch and for his first job, worked as a greenskeeper for the links. Hugging the North Sea and having fantastic domed greens, Ross’ trademark in his designs, Dornoch is both beauty and beast incarnate.
2. Cabot Cliffs, Iverness, Canada
Despite being only three years old, this Canadian course shares an uncanny resemblance with Cypress Point. Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore’s minimalist approach in shaping the links, keeping the characteristics of the natural, different landscapes, while creating a unique playing experience makes it work. The inland holes are as memorable as the shoreline vistas. Nonetheless, it is not an easy course to win. In fact, many players come out on the business end of its “risk-reward” set-up and it has gained a reputation for being demanding and unforgiving towards approach shots. Nonetheless, the views are so breathtaking that your score may not matter that much. Although its sister course, Cabot Links, is wonderful in its own right, Cliffs’ closing four-hole stretch is unmatched in the game.
3. Royal Melbourne G.C. West, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
This golf course is often regarded as Dr. Alister MacKenzie’s best design. With its seamless sandbelt topography, not an inch of the property is out of place. The crisp bunkering serves as a framing device and foe to every wayward shot. Despite its relatively short length (6,642 yards), it is outstanding in doglegs, with accuracy and finesse weighted over power. With its rolling mounds and friendly, albeit formidable, green complexes, Royal Melbourne is an enjoyable fusion of nature and play.
4. Casa de Campo, La Romana, Dominican Republic
Casa de Campo is in its 45th year and has gone through multiple renovations because of periodic hurricane damage. Teeth of the Dog has always remained its bite regardless. With its seven holes next to the ocean and clockwise routing on the front and back, players always feel close to the ocean when playing on this golf course. Nonetheless, the constant coastal breezes can negatively affect your game. After all, there is a reason why Pete Dye calls it his best design. Despite its promise of a butt-whooping, it is one of the few resort courses that offers a unique, memorable experience on every hole and you will be inclined to come back to this destination as soon as possible.
5. Bandon Dunes Resort, Bandon, Oregon, USA
With four championship tracks and a par-3 course, this resort course has become the new mecca of American golf. The opposing sentiments of rough terrain and pristine condition are symbiotic here. Many visitors have commented that Bandon is USA’s closest replicate of Scottish links, regarding feel and essence. Its only downside is the anti-climactic finish across the board. However, perhaps that comes from the notion that the round is finished.