SCOTTSDALE, AZ – Taking the world’s premier island resort destination to even more visionary levels, Sun International Hotels recently contracted Troon Golf, America’s leading high-end golf management, marketing and development company, to oversee the Ocean Club Golf Course, now under construction on Paradise Island in the Bahamas and scheduled to open in December 2000.

The championship course is just one part of the $100 million expansion and renovation of the historic Ocean Club property. Originally opened in 1962, the property has long been a favorite hideaway for international jet setters. This fall, the hotel will be adding another 50 rooms and suites (for a total of 108), a gourmet restaurant created by an internationally acclaimed chef and, by December, a first-class spa. Set on one of the Bahamas’ most beautiful beaches, the Ocean Club resort also features lushly manicured gardens modeled after those at the Château de Versailles, complete with marble sculptures and a 12th-century Augustinian cloister.

The new 18-hole championship golf course ushers in the heralded “Troon Golf Experience” to members and guests of this historic property. “We contracted Troon Golf to help us create a highly refined golf experience to complement our vision of the Paradise Island resort lifestyle,” said Paul O’Neil, CEO, Sun International Bahamas. “Troon’s global reputation for meticulous standards of operations and their total knowledge of the high-end golf market, will uphold the ultimate luxury positioning of the Ocean Club.”

Designed by Tom Weiskopf, the golf course at the Ocean Club marks the renowned player and designer’s first project in a tropical setting. But, it’s one more step in the time-honored working relationship he enjoys with Troon Golf that includes the golf courses at Troon North Golf Club (Scottsdale, AZ), The Ridge at Castle Pines North (Castle Pines, CO), and The Westin La Cantera Resort (San Antonio, TX).

“We are excited for this opportunity to partner with Sun International Hotels and to extend our association with Tom Weiskopf and this stunning resort development,” said Troon Golf Chairman and CEO, Dana Garmany. “A golf course of this caliber, impeccably maintained to championship conditions, plus our refined and well-coordinated customer service, epitomizes the Troon Golf brand of golf experience that we are proud to offer at Paradise Island.”

The golf course is set on a peninsula wrapped by ocean on three sides, where nine holes play toward, along, and away from the sea. Weiskopf’s layout completely replaces the original shorter track built by Dick Wilson in the 1960s.

“This location is without question, one of the most spectacular settings for a golf course,” said Weiskopf, whose designs stretch through the deserts and pine forests of Arizona, the lava-strewn shores of Hawaii, as well as the oak forests and lochs of Scotland. “Not only is the natural lay of the land ideal, but the developers have put together a perfect land plan mix for real estate and a golf course. In this business, it is rare to find such compatibility that we have at the Ocean Club.”

According to Weiskopf, one of his standards for determining an ideal site includes no more than 35 feet total elevation shift throughout the golf course. The course has a 30-foot vertical drop from start to finish. But the most striking feature, is the sweeping view of the entire golf course. With its core-style design of homesites built around the layout, fifteen holes are visible from the clubhouse.

“Our goal at the Ocean Club Golf Course is to assure exceptional, high-level playing conditions which match the natural beauty of the tropical setting,” said Ocean Club Golf Course Manager, Tom Cortabitarte.

The natural beauty of the Ocean Club Golf Course is further enhanced and protected by Weiskopf’s choice to use Seaside Pastpalum, a salt-tolerant turf grass that allows irrigation with brackish (a more environmentally sensitive mix of ocean water with fresh water that actually limits the use of pesticides). It is in keeping with the Troon Golf maintenance philosophy of striking a balance between the natural order and modern management methods that is based on scientific and agronomic principles. Troon Golf’s exceptional golf course maintenance and conditioning programs are the core of the experience that the company strives to provide at each of its properties throughout the world.

Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, Troon Golf has over 50 management and development contracts in 11 American states and 7 countries. Troon Golf’s prestigious facilities include: Turnberry Hotel, Golf Courses & Spa, Ayrshire, Scotland; Troon North Golf Club, Scottsdale, Arizona; Eagle Ridge Inn & Resort, Galena, Illinois, as well as Pelican Waters, Queensland, Australia.

Sun International Hotels Limited, is an international resort and gaming company incorporated in the Bahamas which develops, operates and manages premier resort and casino properties.