By Scott Kauffman
New golf course openings are as rare these days as a double eagle. But the Bahamas are scheduled to welcome golf’s newest championship course next month as part of the $3.5 billion Baha Mar.
Scheduled to open March 27, 2015 along a beautiful 3,000-foot stretch of Bahamian beachfront, the Jack Nicklaus-designed TPC at Baha Mar represents the 33rd course in the elite Tournament Players Club network.
“We are very proud that TPC at Baha Mar is the newest property in the PGA Tour’s prestigious TPC Network of resort and private golf courses,” said Baha Mar chairman/chief executive officer Sarkis Izmirlian, whose resort was built and funded in part with the Chinese government. “We’re committed to looking for the most extraordinary partners from around the world, whether it is at tee time or dinner time, to bring the best of the best to our guests at the new Bahamian Riviera.”
The addition of TPC at Baha Mar signifies the continued growth of the TPC brand, following the October 2014 opening of TPC Cartagena at Karibana, located in Caragena, Colombia. All of TPC’s 33 premier properties have hosted or been designed to host PGA Tour events.
“The PGA TOUR is thrilled to expand the TPC Network’s brand presence into the Caribbean for the first time by partnering with Baha Mar’s visionary resort destination,” said Charlie Zink, PGA TOUR Co-Chief Operating Officer. “TPC at Baha Mar truly epitomizes the standard of excellence and tournament-hosting capabilities for which TPC courses are recognized worldwide.”
Receiving the ongoing, hands-on personal attention of Nicklaus, the 7,189-yard TPC at Baha Mar blends beauty, challenge, playability, and memorable aesthetics. Offering “two courses in one,” with the front nine providing dramatic play highlighted by ocean views and other water features, and a back nine that winds through inland forest of native habitat and an unexpected amount of natural topography, the course features bunker placement and green design that incorporate the contours of the local landscape while creating a scenic course to be enjoyed by a variety of players.
The design of TPC at Baha Mar made a point to focus on preservation and has recently registered as a member of the Audubon International Classic Program, actively seeking certification from the environmental education organization dedicated to providing people with the education and assistance they need to practice responsible management of land, water, wildlife, and other natural resources.
To that end, the course’s salt-tolerant Platinum Tiff Eagle Paspalam turf grass will be irrigated with treated water from the resort. Additionally, the course is home to 15 species of native trees, including protected Mahogany, Silk Cotton, Caribbean Pine and Buttonwood, as well as Red and Black Mangroves. More than 70 species of birds, including the Bahama Woodstar, Egret, and Osprey can also be found on the course while the wildlife in the surrounding lake includes Terrapin and Mosquito fish species. A hidden cave with a protected family of indigenous bats has also been preserved within the course.
Featuring more than 200 residential units and 2,200 guest rooms spread across four hotels – Baha Mar Casino & Hotel, Rosewood at Baha Mar, Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar and SLS LUX at Baha Mar – the upscale Baha Mar ushers in a new era of chic Caribbean living just 10 minutes from Nassau’s fully renovated and expanded international airport.
“Baha Mar will open all hotels along with most amenities on March 27,” said Baha Mar chief operating officer Paul V. Pusateri. “We are thrilled to welcome our first guests to the ‘New Riviera’ in time for the peak spring travel weeks.”
Besides Baha Mar’s four luxurious hotels and the TPC course, the development features the Caribbean’s largest casino, a 100,000-square-foot masterpiece with a full array of the latest slots and table games, an ESPA spa, numerous pools, beach experiences, restaurants and luxury shops.
For those seeking a permanent place in the Bahamian sun, Baha Mar offers a variety of residential real estate opportunities. Among the choices are 92 Rosewood Residences at Baha Mar priced from $1.9 million to $12 million for 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom homes as large as 6,071 square feet with terraces offering unmatched views of the Caribbean Sea.
SLS LUX at Baha Mar features an additional 107 distinctive 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom residences priced from $1.2 million for homes ranging in size from 829 square feet to nearly 3,000 square feet, and Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar is selling 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom residences priced from $1.1 million to $12 million for homes as large as 2,583 square feet.