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December 31, 2009 | 10:22 a.m.

Mighty Ritzy

Martin Kaufmann
Sunset at Dove Mountain.
Sunset at Dove Mountain.

The new host hotel for the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, the 250-room Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, opened Dec. 18.

The 850-acre resort – the largest Ritz property in the continental United States – is anchored by 27 holes of golf designed by Jack Nicklaus. After the 2009 Match Play, Nicklaus softened some of the greens.

Other amenities include three pools, a 235-foot water slide and a 17,000-square-foot spa with 14 treatment rooms.

Categories: Resorts
December 29, 2009 | 12:35 p.m.

Hyatt opens South African resort

Golfweek Staff

GEORGE, South Africa – The Hyatt Regency Oubaai Golf Resort and Spa, home to an Ernie Els-designed course, opened earlier this month.

The 100-room hotel is part of a 316-acre development that sits on Herolds Bay and overlooks the Indian Ocean. It is Hyatt’s second hotel in South Africa.

The project also will include residential villas, apartments and a shopping center.

Aside from the golf course, which actually was built four years ago, other amenities include the Freesia Spa, a fitness center and nearly 13,000 square feet of conference and banquet space.

Visit www.oubaai.regency.hyatt.com.

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Categories: Resorts
December 20, 2009 | 11:33 a.m.

Spiritual conversion

Martin Kaufmann
Esperanza Resort at night.
Esperanza Resort at night.

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico – Christian Moya had a sober, almost professorial air, so it was easy to overlook the fact that he was about to get me a bit tipsy. Moya was my teacher, I was his student, and the subject was tequila.

Moya’s classroom is El Restaurante at Esperanza Resort, where he serves as master tequilero. In his weekly tequila classes, he takes it upon himself to help guests embrace Mexico’s iconic drink.

It’s hard to imagine a better setting for Moya’s class than Esperanza, which has been open just seven years but already has ...

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Categories: Resorts
December 18, 2009 | 11:51 a.m.

PGA National reopens Honda host course

Martin Kaufmann

Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. – The Champion Course at PGA National Resort & Spa, which hosts the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic, will reopen from overseeding Dec. 19.

To mark the occasion, the resort is marketing a short-term package called the PGA Honda Classic Tour Experience.

For $267 per person per night, based on double occupancy, guests will receive the following: two nights of lodging; one round per person on The Champion; complimentary same-day replay booked at the course following the first round; breakfast; complimentary practice balls; and complimentary mandatory forecaddie. (There is a $25 per person forecaddie fee on replay rounds.)

The deal is available at this rate from Dec. 19 to Jan. 7. The price of this package rises to $337 through April 14, and then drops to $315 through May 19.

Visit www.pgaresort.com.

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Categories: Travel, Deals, Resorts
December 14, 2009 | 4:17 p.m.

Kauai resorts upgrading facilities

Martin Kaufmann

KAUAI, Hawaii – The Makai Golf Club, part of the St. Regis Princeville Resort, is scheduled to open in January following a major renovation overseen by Robert Trent Jones Jr.

The resort’s Lakes and Ocean nines were overhauled and renamed the Makai Golf Club. The new course was outfitted with Seashore Paspalum on the tees, fairways and greens; new tee boxes were added; bunkers were reshaped and filled with G-3 Silica sand; and the practice range was upgraded.

Elsewhere at the resort, the bunkers were reconfigured on the nine-hole Woods Course.

The Makai clubhouse is scheduled to be renovated in ...

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Categories: Resorts
November 23, 2009 | 5:01 p.m.

Have no fear

Martin Kaufmann
Cape Fear National
Cape Fear National

LELAND, N.C. – Cape Fear National at Brunswick Forest, a daily-fee course designed by Tim Cate, is scheduled to open Nov. 28 in this coastal town near Wilmington.

Cate moved more than 1.5 million cubic yards of dirt in constructing the course. The layout stretches to 7,217 yards and greens average 8,500 square feet.

Green fees range from $50 for Brunswick Forest residents to $75 for nonresidents. Those fees include carts.

Cape Fear National is managed by KemperSports and is part of the Brunswick Isles Golf Trail, a collection of courses that totals 450 golf holes and ...

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Categories: Resorts
November 17, 2009 | 4:06 p.m.

Smoke signals

Pebble Beach Resorts' assistant food and beverage manager Jeff Wallace
Pebble Beach Resorts' assistant food and beverage manager Jeff Wallace

There are two kinds of people who smoke cigars, according to Jeff Wallace, the assistant food and beverage manager at Pebble Beach Resorts: “Those who know what they want, and those who have absolutely no idea.”

Pebble Beach generally caters to the former group, but there are times, particularly during the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, when the latter group (oftentimes 20- and 30-somethings, including a surprising number of women) gathers in numbers, and the staff’s “Cigar 101” training comes in handy. Here are some of Wallace’s suggestions for those golfers who don’t know your ash ...

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Categories: Resorts
November 4, 2009 | 3:37 p.m.

Top Mississippi course lands Champions event

Golfweek Staff
The 18th hole at Fallen Oak.
The 18th hole at Fallen Oak.

SAUCIER, Miss. – Fallen Oak Golf Club, a Tom Fazio design ranked No. 1 on the list of Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play in Mississippi, will host a new Champions Tour event starting in 2010.

The Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic will be played April 30-May 2. The Gulf Coast Business Council is leading a consortium of businesses that are putting on the tournament. Bruno Event Team has been hired to manage the event, including sponsorship sales, marketing, volunteers and operations.

Aside from being the top-ranked public course in Mississippi, Fallen Oak, which is owned by MGM Mirage, is ranked ...

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Categories: Resorts
October 28, 2009 | 12:32 p.m.

Work begins on Trump’s Scottish golf course

EDINBURGH, Scotland – Work has begun on Donald Trump’s controversial golf resort here.

Workers were clearing rocks and other debris from the site Wednesday after planners at the Aberdeenshire Council granted permission.

Trump was given permission last year to build the resort featuring a five-star hotel, 1,200 homes and two international-standard golf courses north of Aberdeen.

Grass will be planted from November to March on an environmentally sensitive stretch of sand dunes to stabilize the beach for development into a championship-caliber golf course.

Some local residents who oppose the project have threatened legal action, claiming violations of environmental laws ...

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Categories: Course Management, Resorts
October 26, 2009 | 4:15 p.m.

A new kind of Waldorf

Martin Kaufmann
The Waldorf Astoria Golf Club.
The Waldorf Astoria Golf Club.

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Waldorf Astoria Golf Club, the first course to bear the name of the fabled New York hotel brand, has opened for play near Walt Disney World.

The Rees Jones design, a 7,108-yard layout, is part of a 482-acre development that includes two new hotels that have added nearly 1,500 rooms to the central Florida market. The course is open to the public and guests of the new Waldorf Astoria Orlando (497 rooms) and the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek (1,000 rooms).

The two hotels have a combined 150,000 square feet of meeting space, and ...

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Categories: Resorts
October 21, 2009 | 4:59 p.m.

Prairie Club preps for 2010 opening

Martin Kaufmann
No. 7 on the Dunes Course at The Prairie Club.
No. 7 on the Dunes Course at The Prairie Club.

As a venture capitalist, Paul Schock has made his living searching out businesses in which his investors’ money could be entrusted. When he decided to build a major golf resort in an unlikely location – 17 miles south of Valentine in north-central Nebraska – it was Schock who needed to secure the trust of his investors.

Schock is the man behind The Prairie Club, which is likely to be the biggest domestic resort opening of 2010, with three golf courses, including one short course, and a lodge. Course construction is completed and grow-in is on schedule for the May 2010 opening.

The ...

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October 12, 2009 | 5 p.m.

Blue Ridge boutique

Martin Kaufmann
The Lodge at Primland
The Lodge at Primland

MEADOWS OF DAN, Va. – This blink-and-you’ll-miss-it mountain hamlet sits at milepost 177.7 of the Blue Ridge Parkway, near the North Carolina border, beckoning sightseers to take a respite from one of America’s most scenic drives and return to “a simpler place in time.” It’s the sort of place where you expect to find a farmer’s market or a small cafe, not necessarily a golf resort with five-diamond aspirations.

But that’s the lofty objective at the new Lodge at Primland, located at one of the highest points on a 12,000-acre property, affording guests Blue ...

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Categories: Resorts
September 21, 2009 | 5:32 p.m.

Garmany steps down

Martin Kaufmann
Dana Garmany founded Troon Golf in 1990.
Dana Garmany founded Troon Golf in 1990.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Troon Golf chairman Dana Garmany announced plans to step down as CEO effective Dec. 31.

He will be replaced by Hud Hinton, who has been the company’s president and chief operating officer since 1999.

Garmany, who founded Troon Golf in 1990, will remain chairman of the course-management company, which operates nearly 200 courses in 31 states and 26 countries.

“While planning to be an active chairman, I look forward, with my current clean bill of health, to some new challenges and will enjoy some time with my wife and children as they have had a very tough ...

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Categories: Resorts
September 7, 2009 | 4:48 p.m.

A Tribute to golf

Golfweek Staff
Old American Golf Club
Old American Golf Club

The Tribute, a 1,150-acre development north of Dallas, will open its second course, the Old American Golf Club, later this month.

Designed by Tripp Davis and PGA Tour player Justin Leonard, the 7,100-yard Old American is intended to pay homage to classic American designs such as Shinnecock Hills and Crystal Downs. It complements The Tribute Golf Club, another Davis design, which itself was constructed as a salute to Scottish links golf. The property also has a 33,000-square-foot Tudor-style clubhouse.

Set along Lake Lewisville, which spans more than 23,000 acres, The Tribute has 1,150 single-family lots ...

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Categories: Resorts
August 31, 2009 | 4:38 p.m.

Just the beginning

Golfweek Staff
Sequoyah National
Sequoyah National

Cherokee, N.C. – Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Hotel has opened Sequoyah National Golf Club.

The 6,700-yard course, located near Great Smoky Mountains National Park about 50 miles west of Asheville, was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and Notah Begay. The rack rate is $85 on weekdays and $110 on weekends.

The course – which is owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and managed by Troon Golf – is part of what Harrah’s Cherokee bills as a $633 million expansion, slated to be completed in 2012. The project includes: a third guest tower with 533 rooms and suites; a 3,000-seat events center; 16,000-square-foot spa, a new restaurant and retail shops; and new hotel and casino parking lots.

Visit www.harrahs.com

Kohler, Wis. – The Kohler Food & Wine Experience will be held Oct. 22-25.

The event features wine tastings, wine and spirits seminars, and culinary demonstrations. New events this year include the Chef Luncheons ($85) and the Ultimate Tailgate Party, held in conjunction with the broadcast of the Green Bay Packers game Oct. 25.

Celebrity chefs and presenters include: Travel Channel host Andrew Zimmern; Jacques Pépin, cohost of PBS’ “The Zen of Taste”; Marcus Samuelsson, cofounder of the Townhouse Restaurant Group; and Lidia Bastianich, host of PBS’ “Lidia’s Italy.”

Ticketed events start at $15. Two-night hotel packages for Oct. 23-24 at The American Club start at $459 per person.

Visit www.KohlerFoodandWine.net

Riviera Maya, Mexico – Mayakoba Resort, which hosts the PGA Tour’s Mayakoba Classic ...

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Categories: Travel, Resorts