Just off the
eastern coast of Florida sits the island of Grand Bahama. Pristine beaches, lush gardens and congenial locals await golfers here. Grand Bahama is truly a tropical paradise, with courses to delight the senses and test the abilities of players at all skill levels. Ample sunshine, scintillating views, manicured fairways and greens, and soft ocean breezes make for a truly memorable, magical golfing experience any time of the year.
Visitors to Freeport in Grand Bahama will find two of the island’s most revered and historic courses at the Westin and Sheraton at Our Lucaya. The oceanfront resort overlooks 7.5 acres of white sand beach and boasts two championship courses designed by some of the biggest names in golf course architecture.
Dick Wilson lent his designing talents to the Lucayan Country Club. Opened in 1964, it sits on a naturally hilly area overlooking the Bell Channel. One of the most notable features of this superb tract is the white coral rock that forms natural hazards off fairways beyond natural rough areas. A sense of privacy and solitude lingers here, with foursomes rarely seeing one another during a round. A number of doglegs demand proper club selection and accurate shot making. The course measures 6,824 yards from the tips and plays to a par of 72.
The Lucayan is also home to the first and only international location of the Jim McLean School of Golf. The top-rated school delivers world-class instruction with proven techniques used by top PGA pros for mastering a great swing. This January, the Sixth Annual Breitling Pro-Am tournament will be played out on the Lucayan, as well as on the Robert Trent Jones-designed Reef Course.
Players will find an equally memorable yet completely different golfing experience at the Reef Course, the only one in the Bahamas designed by Jones. Jones made sure environment played a part in his creation.
“The Reef Course has been designed to offer a different challenge than many of the courses in the Caribbean,” he said when it opened five years ago.
“It will certainly be affected by the wind. In fact, it’s a lot like Scotland -- only warmer.”
It features picturesque lakes on 13 of the holes and has large, undulating greens, wide, winding fairways and an overall links feel. It plays to almost 7,000 yards from the tips, and places a premium on precise iron play and power from the tee.
Golfers will plenty of ways to shake off those bogeys at the Westin and Sheraton at Our Lucaya—from island sports and recreation to spa pampering.
Our Lucaya delivers the Caribbean’s only “Fast Grand Slam” tennis experience. Earlier this year, the resort debuted four new courts featuring each surface of the world’s Grand Slam courts: red clay (French Open), manicured grass (Wimbledon), Rebound Ace (Australian Open), and DecoTurf (U.S Open).
Our Lucaya is the only resort in the world where travelers will find this one-of-a-kind experience.
Guests can also choose from a variety of water-based activities.
Seaside swimming is available in four themed, freshwater pools. The resort offers something for everyone--snorkeling, jet skiing, kayaking, sailing and scuba diving lessons are among the resort’s many diversions.
Travelers don’t have to hit the water to stay in shape at Our Lucaya. In addition to upgrading its fitness center, the resort recently added two new WESTINWorkout rooms. For a $20 daily premium, guests can stay in rooms outfitted with exercise equipment, fitness videos, yoga mats and other health-related amenities.
After working up a sweat, relaxation is only a step away at the resort’s fabulous Senses Spa. The 25,000 sq. ft facility serves up exotic treatments, with ingredients indigenous to Grand Bahama and its sea. One way to unwind is with the Bahamian Wrapsody. The 75-minute wrap, bath and massage trilogy uses a tropical cocktail of rum, aloe and island spices. Another signature offering, the Total Senses Massage, is the ultimate in pampering: two therapists working in sync, followed by a light rain Vichy shower.
New ways to indulge are always on the menu at Senses Spa. Solar-inspired relaxation is now available with the Solar Manicure and Pedicure. An elixir bar, poolside massages overlooking the ocean and seasonal facials were among this year’s additions.
Culinary indulgence is close by at Our Lucaya. The resort is home to 14 different restaurants and lounges. Guests can enjoy tropical drinks at Hammerheads swim up pool bar, and casual fare (with a side of karaoke) at Prop Club. For fine Italian food, Portobello’s is the place, while Iries delivers some of Grand Bahama’s best Caribbean cuisine.
Travelers toting kids will appreciate Camp Lucaya, the resort’s full-service interactive center featuring 3,000 sq. ft of activity space and classrooms.
Children from 3 to 12 years old are treated to island-inspired activities like Junkanoo parades and native dancing. “Grandma Lucaya’s” nursery services are available for infants and children up to 3 years old.
For grown-up entertainment, the Westin and Sheraton at Our Lucaya teamed up with Isle of Capri Casinos to offer the island’s premier gaming experience. The on-property casino has 400 slot machines and 21 game tables. High limit areas feature both slots and table games, as well as a VIP lounge with food and beverage service. Directly across from the resort, Port Lucaya Marketplace is home to 55 shops, 32 restaurants and bars, and Count Basie Square, which delivers dancing and live entertainment nightly.
Day or night, island fun is the name of the game here. Indeed, there is no end to the unique experiences the traveling golfer will find on Grand Bahama. Top 5 Activities: • Learning to swing like a pro at Our Lucaya’s world-renowned Jim McLean School of Golf. • Swimming in Our Lucaya’s infinity pool overlooking Grand Bahama’s beautiful sand and sea. • Experiencing an international challenge at the Fast Grand Slam of Tennis. • Indulging in an island-inspired treatment at Senses Spa. • Enjoying Grand Bahama’s best gaming at Isle of Capri Casino. There’s More Than Golf on Grand Bahama Island
With hundreds of activities on land and sea to choose from, visitors to Grand Bahama Island will find there is not enough time in the day to do everything that the island has to offer.
With water temperatures averaging about 80°F year-round, Grand Bahama Island is a haven for water sports enthusiasts, boasting some of the most magnificent coral reefs, blue holes and diverse marine life in the world.
For travelers searching for adventure above water, Grand Bahama proves the perfect place to launch a sea kayaking expedition, ranging from day trips through mangroves to island-hopping tours with six and seven-day itineraries. Other water sports available are parasailing, windsurfing, sailing, water-skiing and sport fishing for giant tuna, white and blue marlin, barracuda and Grand Bahama’s famous bonefish.
There’s plenty of scenery to take in, with hiking, birding or even caving at one of the island’s three nature reserves: Bahamas National Trust Rand Nature Centre, Lucayan National Park or Garden of the Groves. At Lucayan National Park, adventurous travelers can explore the largest underwater cave system in the world, while true nature lovers observe the 130 types of native plants and birds at the Rand Nature Centre. Visitors can wander among the tranquil waterfalls in the lush Garden of the Groves or spend an afternoon horse-back riding on a secluded beach.
The hospitable and easygoing people of Grand Bahama Island are always ready to welcome visitors to their homey “settlements.” In these small fishing communities such as Smith’s Point, McClean’s Town, Bootle Bay and West End, visitors can enjoy a meal at a down-home restaurant, serving up island specialties such as cracked conch, steam fish and peas ‘n rice.
After dinner entertainment may include a traditional Junkanoo celebration - the colorful and uniquely Bahamian parade characterized by costumes, music, food and art in which couples can dance the night away to the energetic beats of local bands. For more information about Grand Bahama Island visit: www.grandbahama.bahamas.com For more information about The Westin and Sheraton at Our Lucaya, visit www.ourlucaya.com.