SCOREGolf Summer 2014 UberFlip

scoregolf spring magazine devoted to the best of golf travel, instruction, stories and the 50 best things about golf. Plus a feature on Mike Weir 10th anniversary Masters win.

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Page 73 of 103

| TRAVEL CuRACAo | pLAyER pRoFILE | TRAVEL BERMuDA | EASTsection While Old Quarry, located at the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, is hands down Curaçao's finest golf course, if you're there for a week check out Blue Bay too for variety's sake. But for the ultimate ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao) combo play, pair two rounds on Curaçao then add a couple more at Tierra Del Sol in Aruba. The resort's RTJ II course is a mere 30-minute hopper flight away. At Old Quarry, the ocean practically laps up against the edge of the runway on No. 1 with only a sliver of rough and short drop-off separating the fairway from the salty drink. A slice tendency paired with flag-snapping wind is a surefire recipe for deep-sixed balls. So, if your drives tend to veer right, save yourself a first-tee mul- ligan by striving for low, left and under the wind. The same rules apply on No. 2, a 552-yard par 5 with a narrow green that ratchets up the difficulty factor. While the craggy coastline along the opening stanza can be treacherous for scuba diving, the Pro V1 bounty is too massive for head pro Jane Weststrate to pass up, so she biennially suits up for a sunken sphere treasure hunt. While the mesmerizing Smurf-blue Ca- ribbean Sea only looms large on the first couple holes, Old Quarry's charms are as varied as the pastels that colour the 17th century Dutch colonial architecture of Curaçao's capital Willemstad. Recurring views of the iridescent waters of Spanish The ninth hole at Old Quarry features one of the widest fairways on the course. Approach shots missed short and left of the green will tumble down into two cavernous bunkers. MIKE DOJC COurtEsy OLD QuArry Serving SharkS Lunch B oth Diving underwater and dangling a bloody fish at incoming sharks takes some serious guts. While futzing with my snorkel gear with great trepidation, an Ocean Encounters ( guide instructs my group on how to tear a capelin to make the meal more enticing to one of the dozen or so nine-foot lemon sharks lurking in the vicinity. She does so with the rote ease of a flight at- tendant demoing the use of an oxygen mask before takeoff. I count her fingers and let out an audible sigh when I hit 10. We've just gone through a myriad of ways to the hold the whole fish snacks we'll be divvying out to various marine life: stingrays whose mouths are on their underside, hungry giant turtles and a goliath grouper. Ocean Encounters warms guests up to the signature shark feeding activity by first having the relatively cuddlier critters nibble out of your hands. The stingrays feel like wet dogs and the reptiles in the half shells are Little Mermaid cute, so by the time we get to the Discovery Channel's favourite flesh tearing predator I'm not exactly prepped and my heart begins to race. There is a Plexiglas wall to assuage jittery nerves but who knows how many sharks have slammed into it full bore after a tourist chickened out and bailed last minute? Could a ravenous showboating shark pull a Darryl Dawkins and shatter the pane? I take a deep breath through my snorkel and plunge down to take a proper looksee. The sharp-toothed grins that immediately meet my gaze are not exactly reassuring and the sharks seem to be jostling for position closest to a wrist-sized opening. I tap the glass and it seems pretty thick, so barring a real life Sharknado there is no chance of me going from server to served. Still, these are sharks, so the millisecond a dead-eyed mini-Jaws clamps down on the head of the capelin I poke through the hole I let go. — Dojc 72 | | Summer 2014

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