World Magazine : World - Spring 2016
David McLay Kidd, whose other notable creations include the Castle Course at St Andrews Links and Bandon Dunes in Oregon. Kidd’s brief was to design and build “the most environmentally sensitive and sustainable golf course” with as little impact as possible on the island’s natural character. The result is a beautiful layout that has been carefully integrated into the old plantation area of the island. Set against a volcanic mountain backdrop, the course winds like a bright green snake over rolling terrain, through tropical vegetation, across the odd stream and past natural rock formations. Fairways may end at a sheer cliff, in a palm-fringed glade or down by a sandy beach, as is the case on the signature par-5 12th hole, where players can get wet feet at high tide. Views from elevated tees are spectacular. It’s the kind of course with enough challenges – and tee placements – to satisfy a broad range of golfing talent. Non- golfers sometimes choose to take a cart and drive the course for a scenic tour. After completing the front nine, players can relax, grab lunch, a light snack or drinks at the picturesque Halfway House down by the sea as they take in the blue vista of Satokoro Bay: a very sensible innovation to our way of thinking. And at the end of their round there’s an intimate 19th bar and lounge in a clubhouse that also boasts a well-stocked pro shop and locker rooms. In this laid-back, luxuriant setting you’re unlikely to get too hung up about your score. This a resort where staff outnumber guests by something like five to one and your everyday decisions are reduced to stuff like what and where to eat, whether to go sailing or snorkelling or simply sink back into your private pool with a glass of something cool and delicious to hand.
World - Winter 2016
World - Summer 2017