Bahamas Abaco Golf Course Article

Golf on a true Scottish-style links course in the tropics – the Bahamas Abaco golf course

Bahamas Abaco golf article written by Golf Travel Writer, Photographer and Consultant Tony Smart

The stunning links Bahamas Abaco golf course at Abaco Club on Winding Bay is a true Scottish-style tropical links created by Donald Steel and Tom Mackenzie.

Described by Ernie Els as “a phenomenal golf course”, the first 14 holes wrap themselves around the half-moon shape of Winding Bay and the last four play alongside the Atlantic on the other side of the headland.

All the fairways are tight, steeply ridged on many holes, and bordered by beach scrub mixed with beautiful tropical plants in some places and impenetrable jungle in others. Tall sand dunes dominate several holes on the front nine, acting as a magnet for stray tee shots.

Many of the greens are huge and severely undulating, placing a premium on putting and choosing the right club for your approach shots, whilst strategic bunkering, many of them deep pot bunkers that would not be out of place on St Andrews or Carnoustie, adds to the challenge.

Measuring 7,123 yards, par 72 from the back tees the Abaco course can be a monster, particularly when the wind is howling in from the sea. Fortunately a variety of tees mean that men can play it at just 6,010 yards and ladies at just 5,395 yards but whichever set of tees you choose to play from you will never forget your round on this magnificent course.

Memorable holes on the Bahamas Abaco golf course

Whilst virtually every hole at Abaco is memorable there are three holes in particular worthy of special mention. Firstly the 312 yard, par four fifth, a stunningly beautiful hole that is driveable provided you can carry large sand dunes and three pot bunkers 240 yards from the tee and then negotiate another pot bunker just in front of the green. Anything left off the tee and you’re on the beach or in the turquoise blue waters of Winding Bay.

On one of the days I played the wind was behind and one of my playing partners, a good 4-handicapper, nonchalantly stepped up to his tee shot and smote a five-wood to one foot from the hole for a tap-in eagle. Easy game isn’t it… sometimes.

The other two holes that really linger in the memory are the last two. The par three 17th, played from an elevated tee to a green right by the Atlantic Ocean, is truly picturesque and can play 204 yards from the back tee. It’s completely exposed to the elements, requiring a very accurate tee shot to carry the two pot bunkers front right of the green and hold the right level on the four-tiered putting surface.

Meanwhile the 18th, a 572 yard par five, is also quite breathtaking. Played from an exposed tee on a cliff top most of the hole plays down a slightly sheltered valley before ending up on an elevated green so close to the Atlantic that, on a wild weather day, the crashing waves can shower you as you’re putting. It’s one of the world’s great par fives and finishing holes.

[June 2014]

Bahamas Abaco golf course - Caribbean golf courses
Bahamas Abaco golf course - Caribbean golf courses
Bahamas Abaco golf course - Caribbean golf courses
Bahamas Abaco golf course - Caribbean golf courses
Images on this Bahamas Abaco Golf Course Article page are copyright of The Abaco Club on Winding Bay, Bahamas