Resorts get in the swing, shoot for golf market

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NEW YORK -- It's all about links, clubs and greens at several resorts in the Caribbean region this winter, as golfing takes center stage.

In the most overt example, the Radisson Cable Beach Resort in Nassau, the Bahamas, went ahead and changed its name to the Radisson Cable Beach & Golf Resort to celebrate the redesign of its 18-hole, public championship golf course.

The property is the only resort in Nassau to offer unlimited, free greens fees as part of its all-inclusive rate plan, according to management. Low greens fees also are available to guests staying on a room-only rate plan.

A nearly $2.5 million revamp of the par-71 course resulted in reshaped fairways, repositioned greens, new hazards and water holes, sea-salt-tolerant grasses and a renovated clubhouse.

Golf deals abound across the Caribbean this winter. Above, a couple teeing off at the Radisson Cable Beach & Golf Course, Nassau, Bahamas. With four tees, the course offers a variety of options for golfers of all skill levels, according to its designer, Fred Settle of International Gold Design.

Prices through April include all-inclusive Supersaver rates starting at $200 per person, per night, double; meanwhile, per-night, room-only rates --with European plan -- start at $205 per room.

Standard agent commission is 13%, although some special packages pay only 10%.

To book either type of stay, call (800) 777-7800 or access Radisson via GDS using resort code RD. For more information, e-mail [email protected] or visit the Web at www.radissoncablebeach.com on line.

Habla usted golf?

Farther south, down Dominican Republic way, Coral Resorts has hired championship golfer Chris Hall as the on-site pro at its new Guavaberry Golf & Country Club in Juan Dolio, which debuted just in October.

A veteran of Carenage Bay Resort in Canuan, the Flamingo Monastir Golf Course in Tunisia and the Grazar Golf Club in Austria, Hall offers instruction in six languages, including Spanish, French and English.

Guavaberry's 7,156-yard, par-72 Gary Player course offers sloping hillsides, undulating greens, landscaping with native plants, wide fairways and huge waste bunkers, according to management.

Those cost-conscious clients who want to check out the course and/or ply Hall for golfing tips might opt for Coral Resorts' new Dominican Defrost winter special.

The package offers all-inclusive $99 per-person, per-night rates -- as well as free fifth or seventh nights -- on minimum four-night stays through March 31 at the nearby Coral Costa Caribe Beach Resort and Casino.

For the more timid amateur or novice golf player, the 548-room property -- set on the Caribbean Sea on Juan Dolio Beach in San Pedro de Macoris -- also offers both miniature golf and Spanish-language classes.

The Dominican Defrost deal includes accommodations; unlimited meals, drinks and snacks; land and water sports; nightly entertainment; access to the gym, sauna and Jacuzzi, tennis courts and discotheque; and aerobics and Latin dance class.

Kids under age 8 stay and eat free when accompanied by two adults in the same room.

Through March 1, Coral Resorts also continues to offer its three-night Par in the D.R. package to Costa Caribe, which adds free room upgrade; daily transfers to Guavaberry course and the rounds of golf with cart; and one complimentary massage to the resort chain's usual all-inclusive perks.

Par in the D.R. is priced at $400 per person with double occupancy; Coral Resorts pays 10% commission to travel agents.

For more information or to book, call Coral Resorts at (800) 847-0291 or visit www.coralhotels.com on line.

A Provo hole-in-one

Back up in the Turks and Caicos islands, the newly refurbished, 21-suite Grace Bay Club on Providenciales hopes for a hole-in-one with its seven-night Golfer's Delight package, which is available through April 21.

Six rounds of 18-hole golf for two -- plus transport to the course and use of a golf cart -- distinguish the $6,660 per couple plan, which also includes accommodations in a one-bedroom, oceanview suite with terrace; champagne in the suite; six candlelight dinners for two; daily breakfast and one hour-long massage per person. The rate does not include taxes or service fees.

Grace Bay Club also offers discounted greens fees for the course at the Provo Golf Club -- noted for its friendly flamingo population -- with other types of stays.

Agent commission on the Golfer's Delight package is 10%, but Grace Bay Club also pays up to just over 14% when higher categories of accommodation are reserved, according to reservations staff.

For additional information on Grace Bay Club or to make reservations, call (800) 946-5757 or visit the resort's Web site at www.gracebayclub.com on line.

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