ON FLORIDA'S EMERALD Coast, the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort has undergone massive upgrades and changes since its acquisition in 1998 by Vancouver, B.C.-based Intrawest Corp. A new 18-hole course, The Raven, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., was added in 2000 and promptly voted the “Best New Course in Florida” by Florida Golf News. But the resort's three other courses, Burnt Pine (designed by Rees Jones), The Links, and Baytowne Golf Club have all received substantial upgrades. Both Burnt Pine Clubhouse and Baytowne Clubhouse have been redesigned. And the resort now offers an 18-hole putting course, The Dunes. www.sandestin.com
The Ocean Hammock Resort is the new name for what was formerly called Palm Coast Golf Resort. Located on the Intracoastal Waterway on Florida's Atlantic Coast, north of Daytona, the resort features 90 holes of world-class golf designed by Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Gary Player. The Nicklaus-designed Ocean Hammock Golf Club opened in December 2000, and the Lodge at Ocean Hammock opened two years later on the 18th green of the course. The resort features other accommodations ranging from condominiums and villas to the value-priced Harborside Inn. www.oceanhammock.com
The Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate will open its hotel and spa in October with 730 rooms and 70,000 square feet of meeting space. The resort hotel is surrounded by two courses designed by Greg Norman, and is also the home to the world headquarters of the David Leadbetter Golf Academy. www.omnihotels.com
Starr Pass Marriott Resort & Spa will open in December as Tucson's first new resort in 18 years. Among the 575-room resort's amenities is the redesigned Starr Pass Golf Club, which originally opened in 1986 and was designed by Robert Cupp. The course, renovated by Arnold Palmer's Palmer Course Design Co., reopened last October. The company is adding nine holes, which will open in November of this year. www.starrpassmarriott.com
In New York, Long Island's, Garden City Hotel has reached an agreement with a nearby country club so that guests can now enjoy first-class country club living with 18 holes of golf, the use of the driving range, swimming in a spacious pool, and tennis. On Long Island's South shore, the 18-hole championship golf course offers challenging, par-72 play. Personal and group golf outings can be arranged directly through the hotel's concierge. www.gardencityhotel.com
Half Moon Montego Bay, Jamaica, has added three new meeting rooms for up to 30 people on its Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed golf course. It is investing more than $1 million this year to upgrade the par-72 course, the first phase of what is slated to be a two-year process. Starting June 1, Half Moon began renovating the course's back nine holes creating better site lines, widening fairways, reshaping fairway bunkers, reorienting tees for better angles, and expandinggreens. www.halfmoon-resort.com
In Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, the 500-acre Westin Rio Mar Beach Resort & Golf Club has added a new fleet of golf carts equipped with ParView GPS Course Management Systems, personal coolers, two-way communications, and the ability to order food and beverage items from the course. The Ocean Course is getting additional bunkers and improved drainage this year. www.westinriomar.com
In Nassau, Bahamas, the Radisson Cable Beach & Golf Resort now offers a driving range, open until 9 p.m. The golf course was recently redesigned with spacious fairways and a network of lakes. It is dotted with a minimum amount of sand bunkers, making its 6,453 yards challenging, yet resort-friendly. With four tees to play from, the course plays to a par-71 and offers 6,453 yards from the blue tees; 6,001 yards from the white tees; 5,412 yards from the gold tees and 4,755 yards from the red tees, giving options for golfers at all skill levels. The resort has 25,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, and a seven-acre tropical waterscape for outdoor venues. www.radisson-cablebeach.com
The Final, the first Jack Nicklaus — designed course in Wales, is scheduled to open this summer in a dramatic setting on the edge of Carmarthan Bay on the southwest coast. This 7,000-yard, par-72, links-style will have a Clubhouse with spa facilities including sauna, Jacuzzi, gym, and treatment rooms, and a restaurant and bar.
The Grove, London's Country Estate opened its doors last September. A member of The Leading Hotels of the World, 40 minutes from London's Heathrow airport, the luxury golf and spa resort offers 227 bedrooms, five restaurants, an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Kyle Phillips, and a 30,000-square-foot spa. There are 23 flexible meeting rooms, all opening directly onto formal gardens, with indoor meeting space for up to 750 and an outdoor walled garden that accommodates 1,000, rain or shine.