The island of Great Exuma is one of the Bahamas' Out Islands, but it is decidedly in vogue now, ever since the opening in November 2003 of the Four Seasons Great Exuma at Emerald Bay. With the opening of an elegant new resort and a spectacular Greg Norman golf course, this sleepy little island is now wide awake and enjoying the limelight.
Two of the more riveting scenes from 1993's action thriller "The Firm" take place in Grand Cayman. In the first, Tom Cruise is lured to the beach by a seductive beauty, an act orchestrated by his employer that comes back to haunt him later. In the second scene much later in the proceedings, one of the "bad guys," played by Gene Hackman, is seduced himself, and the web of mysteries and secrets begins to unravel under the bright Cayman moon.
New courses and refurbished classics make this island one of the Caribbean's top destinations for golf vacations. Like the lazy rhythm of island music, Jamaican vacations are meant to be easy-going and worry-free. You have to look for trouble. However, if your idea of trouble is bunkers as big as beaches, water hazards stretching to the horizon, and wind blowing fresh off the sea -- no problem, mon.
OK, it's been a long winter and you can't wait to take your sticks and head to some place other than Hilton Head (been there) or Myrtle Beach (done that) for a little links action. In fact, you want to become an international man and go somewhere beyond the borders of the good ol' U.S.of A. But wait. Scratch that. An eighth trip to Orlando looks pretty good right about now. There's a mysterious respiratory illness spreading in Asia. Terrorists seem to be lurking everywhere. And you're an American, which means you might as well put a bullseye on you as soon as you hit foreign turf, right?
Americans have changed their travel patterns, opting for destinations where they can vacation with their families and feel safe. This shift in thinking threw the spotlight on the Caribbean, always a popular destination for Americans, but now more than ever. All the fine old courses built in the 1960s and 1970s have been upgraded in recent years, and top architects give us new layouts every year.
With Caribbean golf and golf resorts getting better and more plentiful every year, it's not easy to single out "bests." However, here are the humble opinions of one who has devoted many hours to laborious research under the warm Caribbean sun.
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