By Mike Dojc
Bring your bump and run game and make a beeline to this sun-dappled Bahamian masterpiece that tantalized pros during the Web.com TOUR’s Great Abaco Classic. British Open winner, Darren Clarke, is often found working on his short game at the adjacent practice facility and he uses this tropical links course to fine-tune his game.
The front nine of the 7,123-yard Abaco Club unfolds along the waters of Winding Bay. Midway through the back nine, the course cozies up to a rocky quarry for a pair of solid par 4 tests before setting up for a truly dazzling finish. The final pair of holes are played right alongside the majesty of the roaring Atlantic Ocean. The finishing hole is a pure jaw-dropper, set along a 60-foot ridge with the swells of the ocean blowing onto the fairways. It is hard to resist snapping souvenir-selfies right behind the 15th tee box, the resort’s highest point, where you’ll want to take in the panoramic view of the property.
Depending on the wind direction, the Abaco Club’s immaculately groomed seashore fairways, white sand bunkers and waste areas play like a completely different course. The Donald Steel and Tom Mackenzie design requires multiple plays for golfers to get their bearings and gain a familiarity with the course’s undulations and ocean-hugging curves. There are multiple ridges that at first glance don’t seem to come into play but are necessary to carry to score well. There are also quite a few punitive greens that yield treacherous results if you miss sticking them by even a couple of feet.
Getting There: The Abaco Club is located in The Bahamas at Winding Bay, a 40-minute drive from Marsh Harbour’s Leonard M. Thompson International Airport. There are direct flights from Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Nassau, West Palm Beach and Miami.