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Bradley S. Klein
The new green at the Blue Monster's par-3 15th hole, with the redesigned short par-4 16th in the background
The new green at the Blue Monster's par-3 15th hole, with the redesigned short par-4 16th in the background

Act II of Kaskel’s Folly turns out to be a whole lot better than the original ever was.

Just over a half-century ago, aspiring hoteliers Doris and Al Kaskel hired architect Dick Wilson, brought him 13 miles northwest of downtown Miami, and asked him to turn a field of muck into paradise.

When he was sober, Wilson was among the country’s finest golf course designers – a master of diagonal greens, placing hazards close to the ideal line, and building fairways with the dirt scooped out of what would become lakes. There was a lot of strategic ingenuity in ...

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Bradley S. Klein
La Costa Resort and Spa
La Costa Resort and Spa

Somewhere along the line, golf stopped being designed around fun. Perhaps more down-to-earth renovations such as the one done at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa’s Legends Course will get golf back to what it’s supposed to be: interesting and enjoyable, rather than a chore.

Steve Pate calls it the difference between recreational golf and competitive golf. Back in the late 1980s, when he was beginning a successful PGA Tour career (six victories, a member of winning Ryder Cup teams in 1991 and '99), Pate noticed a big gap between how his peers played and how everyday golfers fared ...

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Julie Williams
The 15th hole at La Quinta Resort's Mountain course in Palm Springs, Calif.
The 15th hole at La Quinta Resort's Mountain course in Palm Springs, Calif.

INDIO, Calif. – There are 22 people standing on the first tee with me, pegging their golf balls in rapid-fire succession. I’m about to play 18 holes of night golf in less than four hours in a twenty-three-some.

Aside from the size of the crowd, I am most intrigued by the attire. It’s a comical array of golf shoes, cross-trainers and Chuck Taylors. One player goes barefoot. There are board shorts, plaid shorts, polos and T-shirts. This is the traditional Tuesday night skins game at Indio Municipal Golf Club, an 18-hole par-3 layout, and the attire sums up the ...

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Martin Kaufmann
Ambiente's 13th hole at Camelback Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Ambiente's 13th hole at Camelback Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Seven years ago I visited Camelback Golf Club with a colleague and played what was then known as the Indian Bend course. Given the club’s affiliation with the J.W. Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa, a Four Diamond property that has one of the strongest reputations in resort-rich Scottsdale, the round on Indian Bend was a deflating experience. I don’t remember much about that course, other than this: It was flat, featureless and needed a serious tree-management program.

A couple of weeks ago I returned to Camelback GC for the first time since 2006. I was ...

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June 13, 2013 | 11:53 p.m.

Minn. resort's initiative promotes walking

Martin Kaufmann
The Classic at Madden’s on Gull Lake, a 63-hole resort in the vacation destination of Brainerd, Minn.
The Classic at Madden’s on Gull Lake, a 63-hole resort in the vacation destination of Brainerd, Minn.

Golfers, along with the people who run the courses where we play, often rhapsodize about the joys of walking 18 holes. Walking, it is said, is more than just good exercise; it will help players gain a greater appreciation of a course's architecture and, anecdotally, seems to promote better play.

And yet virtually every time golfers get to the golf course, they pile their bags on the back of a motorized cart and drive to the first tee.

Meanwhile, course operators, who used to have a ready-made means of player development in their caddie programs, now have an addiction ...

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Bradley S. Klein
Donald Trump on a recent visit to the Doral Golf Resort and Spa, which he recently purchased.
Donald Trump on a recent visit to the Doral Golf Resort and Spa, which he recently purchased.

There’s a second course coming to Trump International Golf Links in Scotland.

After the successful opening last summer of the Martin Hawtree-designed Championship Course along four miles of coastline north of Aberdeen, American entrepreneur Donald Trump has revealed plans for another layout.

This one, also to be designed by Hawtree, will start and end on an inland stretch but include a seven-hole loop (Nos. 6-12) on the far south side through dunes equally dramatic as on the first course and also overlooking the North Sea.

The par-72 layout, with five sets of tees ranging from 7,540 yards to ...

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Categories: Top Stories, Travel, Resorts
Martin Kaufmann
The 17th hole on the Ocean North Course at Pelican Hill GC.
The 17th hole on the Ocean North Course at Pelican Hill GC.

During his career, Steve Friedlander has run some of the largest golf resort operations in the country – Ventana Canyon, Doral and Herb Kohler’s courses at Whistling Straits, Blackwolf Run and in Scotland. Since 2008, he has been the VP at Pelican Hill Golf Club, part of The Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Coast, Calif.

Neither the industry’s chronic problems nor the high cost of doing business in California have dimmed Friedlander’s outlook. He said 2012 was a record year, thanks largely to strong group sales, and he projects continued growth this year. Friedlander recently talked with ...

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Categories: Travel, Resorts
Martin Kaufmann
An aerial photo of Royal Isabela
An aerial photo of Royal Isabela

ISABELA, Puerto Rico – Royal Isabela, a 426-acre property perched more than 150 feet above the Caribbean Sea in northwest Puerto Rico, now has 20 casitas available for guests. 

Each casita is 1,500 square feet, with a private terrace, plunge pool, and indoor/outdoor space with ocean views. The casitas have one bedroom, two LCD televisions, a wet bar and complimentary Internet access.

Overnight rates are $799, and rise to $999-$1,199 on Dec. 16.

The club also recently opened Restaurant at La Casa, with farm-to-table dining using ingredients grown locally.

Visit royalisabela.com.

• • •

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Old ...

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Categories: Resorts
October 31, 2012 | 2:51 p.m.

Golfweek's Best Resort Courses 2013

Golfweek Staff
Pine Needles Golf Course in Southern Pines, N.C.
Pine Needles Golf Course in Southern Pines, N.C.


1. Pacific Dunes

Bandon, Ore., 2001

Tom Doak

Avg. rating: 9.10


2. Pebble Beach Golf Links

Pebble Beach, Calif., 1999

D. Grant, Jack Neville

Avg. rating: 8.89


3. Pinehurst (No. 2)

Pinehurst, N.C., 1903-1946

Donald Ross

Avg. rating: 8.70


4. Old Macdonald

Bandon, Ore., 2010

Tom Doak, Jim Urbina

Avg. rating: 8.67


5. Whistling Straits (Straits)

Kohler, Wis., 1997

Pete Dye

Avg. rating: 8.58


6. Bandon Dunes

Bandon, Ore., 1999

David McLay Kidd

Avg. rating: 8.30


7. Shadow Creek

North Las Vegas, Nev., 1990

Tom Fazio

Avg. rating: 8.12


8. Spyglass Hill ...

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Martin Kaufmann
No. 15 at Pronghorn's Nicklaus course
No. 15 at Pronghorn's Nicklaus course

Boutique operator Auberge Resorts added its first Northwest property, taking over management of the 48-room lodge at Pronghorn Golf Club & Resort near Bend, Ore.

Pronghorn, a 640-acre property, was acquired earlier this year by The Resort Group, based in Honolulu. Troon Golf continues to manage Pronghorn’s two golf courses.

“Over the last 90 days, we looked at how to relaunch the property back into the market,” said Spencer Schaub, general manager of Pronghorn. “It made sense to have a very strong boutique brand like Auberge and continue to have a strong golf brand like Troon and a strong real-estate ...

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Categories: Martin Kaufmann, Resorts
April 13, 2012 | 9:50 a.m.

New partnership

Martin Kaufmann
Boyne, the northern Michigan resort operator, will be booking rounds at Forest Dunes Golf Club through its golf packages as part of a partnership with the Roscommon, Mich., course.
Boyne, the northern Michigan resort operator, will be booking rounds at Forest Dunes Golf Club through its golf packages as part of a partnership with the Roscommon, Mich., course.

BOYNE FALLS, Mich. – Boyne, the northern Michigan resort operator, will be booking rounds at Forest Dunes Golf Club through its golf packages as part of a partnership with the Roscommon, Mich., course.

Rounds at Forest Dunes start at $59, including cart, when booked through Boyne. The addition of Forest Dunes brings the Boyne portfolio to 11 courses.

Forest Dunes is a Tom Weiskopf design that is ranked No. 3 on the list of Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play in Michigan. Forest Dunes’ location in Roscommon probably will make it most appealing to golfers driving up to Boyne’s ...

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Categories: Travel, Resorts
March 22, 2012 | 6:56 p.m.

Prince Course reopens following renovations

Martin Kaufmann
The Prince Course has reopened following a year-long renovation overseen by Robert Trent Jones Jr.
The Prince Course has reopened following a year-long renovation overseen by Robert Trent Jones Jr.

Kauai, Hawaii – The Prince Course has reopened following a year-long renovation overseen by Robert Trent Jones Jr.

The greens were rebuilt with SeaDwarf Seashore Paspalum turf, new tees were added, bunkers were remodeled and fairways were widened. The 13,000-acre practice area and 60,000-square-foot clubhouse also were upgraded.

Visit www.princeville.com.

• • •

Spring Island, S.C. – Old Tabby Links closed March 12 to undergo a restoration by Arnold Palmer Design Co., which did the original design.

Plans call for a new irrigation system, regrassed greens, and restoration of the course’s natural character. Some greens will be moved away ...

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Categories: Travel, Resorts
March 2, 2012 | 11:31 a.m.

Ugadale Hotel reopens at Machrihanish

Martin Kaufmann
Machrihanish Golf Club is still difficult to reach, but a big step recently was made to solve the accommodations problem. Southworth Development last week opened the renovated Ugadale Hotel.
Machrihanish Golf Club is still difficult to reach, but a big step recently was made to solve the accommodations problem. Southworth Development last week opened the renovated Ugadale Hotel.

Machrihanish Golf Club always has been a somewhat underappreciated treasure of Scottish golf. There are two obvious reasons why that would be the case: Machrihanish, on the Mull of Kintyre in southwest Scotland, is remote and difficult to reach; and when you finally arrive, there historically has been a shortage of good lodging at the course or in nearby Campbeltown.

Machrihanish is still difficult to reach, but a big step recently was made to solve the accommodations problem. Southworth Development last week opened the renovated Ugadale Hotel, which sits across the road from the Machrihanish clubhouse. The Ugadale has 22 ...

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Categories: Travel, Resorts
Martin Kaufmann
Fairmont Southampton
Fairmont Southampton

Southampton, Bermuda: The third annual Bacardi National Par-3 Championship will be held March 23-25 at the Fairmont Southampton Golf Course.

The tournament is a two-day, 36-hole event played over an 18-hole par-3 course designed by Ted Robinson. The tournament will have professional and amateur divisions for men and women, and also a new open division for senior men and women. 

The tournament has attracted some top talent. Defending champion Nick Taylor, the former Canadian Amateur champion and Ben Hogan Award winner, is scheduled to compete, as is former PGA Tour player Ian Leggatt.

Entry fees are $250 for professionals and ...

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Categories: Travel, Resorts
January 25, 2012 | 9:36 p.m.

Resort briefs: Turtle Dunes opens in Acapulco

Martin Kaufmann
Turtle Dunes CC recently opened in Acapulco. (Courtesy Turtle Dunes CC)
Turtle Dunes CC recently opened in Acapulco. (Courtesy Turtle Dunes CC)

Acapulco, Mexico – Turtle Dunes Country Club, a Tripp Davis design, has opened on the grounds of the Fairmont Acapulco Princess and the Fairmont Pierre Marques.

The 7,250-yard layout is located within the master-planned community of Princess Diamante and will be accessible only to members and guests of the two Fairmont hotels. Turtle Dunes is home to the only Lorena Ochoa Golf Academy, and Ochoa’s coach, Rafael Alarcon, directs the teaching program.

Troon Golf, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., manages Turtle Dunes.

The golf course’s name is derived from the fact that Revolcadero Beach is an annual nesting ground ...

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Categories: Travel, Resorts

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