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Idyllic escapes: Exotic golf courses

Posted by Melanie Nayer  November 8, 2013 07:47 AM

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For some, Boston in the winter is a special kind of wonderland. For others, it's the perfect opportunity to escape. If you're in the latter camp – or just feel like fleeing for a long weekend this season – and you love to hit the links, this post is for you.

The folks over at Quinn & Co. rounded up some of the most exotic golf courses from their roster of clients – most of which are just a few hours flight from Boston:

Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort, lguana Golf Course: Located alongside a lush rainforest and several micro-climates, golfers at Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort’s La lguana Golf Course can spot monkeys, macaws and iguanas throughout the greens. The 18-hole, par-72 championship La Iguana golf course offers a challenging Ted Robinson-designed layout with panoramic ocean views that was landscaped to include banana trees, orchids and other exotic native plants.

Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort - lguana Golf Course.jpg

Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa, Ocean Course and River Course: Neighboring Puerto Rico’s El Yunque Rainforest, the River Course and Ocean Course are sure to leave players breathless. The more popular of the two greens is the Ocean Course, designed by Tom and George Fazio. It features 6,782 yards of Atlantic panoramas, ocean breezes and sand iguanas that keep an eye on golfers during play. Just as mesmerizing, Greg Norman’s course preserves native foliage and lets the natural terrain determine placement of all holes. The River Course rolls along 6,945 yards of the Mameyes River, framed by vistas of mountains and sea.

Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa  - Ocean Course and River Course.jpg

The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico, Bahia Beach Golf Club: Located on a former coconut plantation at the foot of El Yunque rainforest, the Bahia Beach Golf Club boasts a scenic 7,014-yard layout that includes 80 acres of saltwater lagoons with the mountainous El Yunque National Rainforest in the background. Fifteen of the 18 holes are framed by water, and the course weaves around the lagoons before emerging onto the Atlantic coast for the final three holes. The course is recognized as a certified Silver Signature Sanctuary by Audubon International, and The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico is a luxurious nature-filled retreat at the foot of El Yunque National Rainforest.


The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa, Port Royal Golf Club: The resort’s Port Royal Golf Club has been named one of the "Top 75 U.S. Golf Resorts" by Golf Digest Magazine and offers three 18-hole golf courses. Rich in history, the Robber's Row course is set atop former Civil War grounds on the marsh side of the plantation. Players can enjoy a dose of history with historical markers at tee boxes. For example, the embankment between holes No. 2 and No. 3 and No. 13 were hand-dug by Southern soldiers to ward off Union troops, which didn’t prove effective as the Union army captured Hilton Head Island in only a few hours.


Vista Vallarta Golf Club, Nicklaus and Weiskopf courses: Guests staying at the CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa can enjoy access to two of Puerto Vallarta’s most breathtaking and challenging courses at the Vista Vallarta Golf Club. The Jack Nicklaus designed course, located on Vista Vallarta’s highest elevation, treats golfers to breathtaking views of Puerto Vallarta, the Marina and Banderas Bay as well. Grassy hillsides, dense forest of Palm and giant Ficas trees, natural creeks and arroyos provide the perfect setting for this world class course. With a dramatic contrast, the Tom Weiskopf designed course at Vista Vallarta is built on the property’s lower west end, where the terrain is extreme with dense jungles, deep ravines and swift creeks. The elevations and natural features are a masterful blend that offer an incredibly playable experience.

Vista Vallarta Golf Club.jpg

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Melanie Nayer is a travel writer who spent many years in the newsroom before jetting off to see the world. Her goal is to bring readers the best insider information More »

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