The Islands Of The Bahamas are very fortunate to have an almost perfect year-round climate in which to play golf, one of the many gifts from Mother Nature which visitors to the islands enjoy and one which has been fully taken advantage of by the creators of the fine golf courses found throughout the islands.
World class golf facilities have never been so easy to find as in The Bahamas, a facet of these islands which has this year been acknowledged in the IAGTO Awards, the annual golf tourism industry accolades held by global golf tourism industry organisation IAGTO (International Association of Golf Tour Operators). IAGTO’s 670 golf tour operators from 64 countries have nominated the best performing golf destinations enjoyed by their travelling golf clients and the 2018 Golf Destination of The Year for the Latin America & Caribbean region has been awarded to The Bahamas.
The winners of the 2018 IAGTO Awards were announced on 12 December, 2017, at the International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) in the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes, France, in front of an audience of 1,300 international golf tourism delegates.
Anthony Stuart, Director UK & Europe, The Bahamas Tourist Office said: “I would like to express the gratitude of The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism & Aviation to the IAGTO members for awarding The Islands of The Bahamas the greatest accolade of being the best golf destination in the region.
“It is an award made possible by the hard work and dedication of all our resort owners, golf managers and staff who make our beautiful islands such a glorious place to golf and enjoy visiting.”
The Islands of The Bahamas have a lot more to offer than golf and all the resorts and boutique hotels offer a huge scope of leisure facilities for non-golfing partners and families. One can find just about every water-based activity imaginable – the oceans around The Bahamas are crystal clear and perfect for diving the third largest barrier reef in the world, snorkelling, swimming with dolphins, visiting the famous swimming pigs of The Exumas, sailing or kayaking through the mangroves and, of course relaxing, on the world’s most beautiful beaches.
It is these attractions which complement the high quality golf available in The Bahamas and make it a must-see destination for so many golfers. Nassau and Paradise Island feature three of the seven most exquisite courses, and so easily accessed by direct flights from Europe, the USA and Canada, while increased air, seaplane and ferry access makes reaching the courses in The Abacos, The Exumas and Grand Bahama Island part of the excitement of a golfing holiday, whether for seasoned veterans of the game or the occasional player.
The newest course, balancing classic golf style with advanced golf course design, is the Royal Blue at Baha Mar, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course with rolling fairways, moonscapes, native landscapes, and striking views from every green and fairway. The par-72, 18-hole golf course features dramatic vistas of the turquoise ocean on the front nine and forested panoramas on the second half. Players have access to the full-service locker rooms with showers to refresh after an invigorating round. Opened just this month the SLS at Baha Mar, a 299-room, five star property, joins the luxurious Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar in providing excellent facilities to accommodate guests playing the Royal Blue course.
The portfolio of golf courses in The Bahamas includes:
Ocean Club Golf Course, the Tom Weiskopf-designed course on Paradise Island.
Royal Blue Golf Course, the new Jack Nicklaus Signature Course on Nassau.
Albany, an 18-hole Ernie Els-designed championship course on Nassau, and home to the Hero World Challenge hosted by Tiger Woods.
The Reef at Grand Lucayan, Grand Bahama Island, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr.
Sandals Emerald Bay on Great Exuma in The Exumas, designed Greg Norman.
The Abaco Club on Winding Bay created by Scottish architects Donald Steel and Tom Mackenzie.
Treasure Cay Beach Marina and Golf Resort in The Abacos designed by Dick Wilson.
In addition are the private resident-owners-only courses of:
Bakers Bay in The Abacos
The Lyford Cay Club in Nassau
For IAGTO Awards information and images, visit www.iagto.com/awards