Golf Courses with a Twist
No golf experience is ever the same. Every one ever constructed is unique in their own right and that’s what makes the game so exciting and unique. While most sports have a playing field or court that has the same measurable and dimensions no matter where you play, golf is the opposite and each course taps into the uniqueness of the land it sits on and the elements of the area it resides.
But when just thinking about golf courses, many are the same when it comes to how the game is played. The conventional build out of a golf course present consistent challenges no matter the location like sand bunkers and water hazards and feature different forms of vegetation that get in the way of your attempt to from tee to green.
There are some courses however in the Troon family that pride themselves on being unique and unconventional. With everything from the on-course experience to the land they reside on. We call these golf courses “with a twist” which pride themselves as being a unique golfing experience.
The Preserve at Eisenhower – Crownsville, MD
The Preserve at Esenhower unveiled its new completely bunke-rless 18 hole course designed by Andrew H. Green. “Was the golfing community ready for a bunker-less golf course?” said Green after the completion of the project. “When I first walked the property, I realized this was the place to do it.” The tee to green renovation of the course was done in tandem with a stream restoration by the Anne Arundel County Bureau of Watershed Protection and Restoration with the help of the US Fish and Wildlife Service. There’s no better game to be connected to nature than the game of golf.
Lofoten Links is a breathtaking 18-hole golf course set along the rugged coast line of Gimsøya in Norway. The location of the course has been integrated into it, with the sea acting as a natural water hazard on many holes and the beach acting as a rather unique bunker on others. It’s an enthralling game of golf for any player, but for those playing in the summer months they are treated to 24-hours of daylight and midnight tee times make for an unrivalled experience. But the real twist to this course; the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights in all their glory
Cascata, Italian for “waterfall,” is aptly named. A 418-foot waterfall outside Las Vegas, NV cascades over the steep mountainside that towers above the practice ground. The water meanders through the practice facilities, merging into a river that roars through the very heart of the Tuscan-inspired clubhouse, culminating in a tranquil stream after its mile-long journey.
Al Zorah Golf Club – Ajman, United Arab Emirates
Al Zorah provides an experience that would always be remembered as it draws upon its natural environment to create lasting memories that embrace rather than intruding on the natural layout of the land. A constantly changing tidal system also present a unique challenge for players, altering the look and feel of the course on an hourly basis. This distinctive feature of a golf course changing its look and feel during your round could be found on few golf courses worldwide. A stand-out feature at Al Zorah is the island tee boxes that protrude from the tidal inlets, which are visually stunning; however, depending on the tide, these tee shots can become formidable. Tidal heights vary throughout the year, and when tidal heights reach their peak, Al Zorah is one of the most breathtaking golf courses you could play.
Velaa Private Island – Noonu Atoll, Maldives
Easily one of Troon’s most unique and luxurious golfing destinations, Velaa Private Island offers golf on a stunning tropical island. Part of the Maldives archipelago which stretches north from the equator in the Indian Ocean, Velaa, which means turtle, opened in 2013 and has been providing the ultimate in luxurious island escapes ever since. Located on the Noonu Atoll, Velaa Private Island is a 45-minute seaplane flight from Malé and offers an array of amenities. Velaa Private Island is also home to a Troon Short Game Academy. ‘Velaa Golf Academy by Olazabal’ has been designed by the ex-Ryder Cup captain and twice Masters champion and provides an unrivalled level of intimate tuition to enhance the short game of any visitor to the Island.
Mauna Lani – Kohala Coast, Hawaii
North and South Course were constructed through a’a and pahoehoe lava flows. Miss a fairway and it’s a rocky….Not only does it create some challenging hazards for wayward balls….But it creates striking contrast between the emerald green impeccably managed paspalum turf and the jet black ancient lava flows that border holes
The Track, Meydan Golf – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The Track, Meydan Golf is situated in the heart of Dubai and is attached to the world famous Meydan Racetrack, home of The Dubai World Cup. The Dubai World Cup is home to one of the world’s top racing challenges, drawing the attention of millions of enthusiasts around the globe. The meeting, which traditionally takes place on the last Saturday in March, is worth an estimated US$ 26.5 million. The golf course is fully floodlit and operates from 6:00 am until 11:00 pm, 365 days a year, and offers a welcoming, accessible, and modern approach to playing golf.
Blue Cypress Golf Course – Jacksonville, Florida
Blue Cypress Golf Course in Jacksonville, FL closed in 2003, but went under a major renovation after becoming newly managed by Indigo Golf Partners in 2020. This is a 9-hole Muni that just re-opened this spring. If you don’t hit a fairway in regulation here, that would certainly be a skill in its own right as there are no bunkers on the course and the rough, fairways and green surrounds are all the same height.
Abu Dhabi Golf Club – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
One of the most unique clubhouses at a Troon course anywhere in the world, the Falcon clubhouse at Abu Dhabi Golf Club is nothing short of iconic. It was built in 2000 and is a tribute to the United Arab Emirates’ national bird, and a nod to the importance of falconry in the Arab culture. The symbolism dates back hundreds of years when Bedouin hunters used falcons to collect food. The clubhouse overlooks the 9th and 18th greens and can be seen from multiple spots on the course.
Ak-Chin Southern Dunes – Maricopa, Arizona
This favorite in Maricopa, AZ converts is practice range into a short course. #MiniDunes is the proverbial bunny slope for golf or a great place to settle a tie, have a post round skins game or closest to the pin contest. It’s a driving range in the morning and converts to a short course in the afternoons. And in Troon family golf fashion, kids play free
Angel Park Golf Club – Las Vegas, Nevada
The Cloud 9 course in Las Vegas, NV is a one-of-a-kind facility designed by world renowned architect Bob Cupp. This unique course incorporates design concepts that are embodied in 12 of the most legendary short holes from around the world, such as the “Island Green” at TPC Sawgrass or the “Postage Stamp” at Royal Troon, Scotland. While not intended to be exact copies of these great holes the Cloud 9 allows players to experience some of the playing characteristics of some of the most celebrated holes in golf. After sunset the Cloud 9 changes to 9-Holes “under the lights” as golfers get to enjoy a truly unique golf experience.
The eighth hole on the Tom Fazio Championship Golf Course at Pronghorn Resort is one of the most unique holes in the world. The par-three hole on our private golf course in Bend, Oregon includes a 45-foot canyon and exposed lava tube. Fazio 8 is one of the most-photographed golf holes on the property, and for obvious reason. Home to great horned owls, and many awestruck golfers, the landscape of this golf hole is magical.
Vattanac Golf Resort – Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia
Vattanac Golf Resort, celebrated the opening of the spectacular “The Dragon Turn” night golf back in February of this year. This night golf experience is an exciting addition to the recently opened “West Course” and offers golfers a unique opportunity to play in the breathtaking surrounds of Phnom Penh under the cover of darkness. “The Dragon Turn” is aptly named by the lake’s shape that sits in the middle of three holes of this exciting 9-hole floodlit course. Inspired by ownership’s vision to create a venue with significant character, this lake is yet another unique feature that this resort plays host to.
Mystic Creek – El Dorado, Arkansas
Located in El Dorado, AR, Mystic Creek is consistently rated among the best golf courses you can play in the state and hosts both Symetra Tour and NCAA events every year. A unique aspect of the course is that the 12th hole on the course was built as an inverse of #12 at Augusta. Constructed in the rolling timberlands that surround El Dorado with cathedral pines similar to Augusta, high flashing bunkers styles similar to A.W Tillinghast, and domed greens with runoffs similar to Pinehurst #2.
Old Overton Club – Vestavia Hills, Alabama
Located in Vestavia Hills, AL was designed by professional golfer Jerry Pate and Tom Fazio in 1993 and since has enjoyed many accolades among private clubs in the state. The golf course was shaped from terrain was built on an old coal mine property. The course channels that history to this day as all of the on course restrooms are built to resemble mine shafts.
Purgatory Golf Club – Nobelsville, Indiana
Purgatory Golf Club is stretched out over 218 acres and is a links-style course has something for all skill levels. The signature hole of the course is their visually intimidating 17th hole which is known as “Hell’s Half Acre.” It is an island green that uses sand instead of water. So the glass half full with it being sand instead of water, you still get another shot.