Positioned on the southwest coast of Anguilla next to the luxury resort of Cap Juluca, the Greg Norman-designed golf course first opened for play in 2006 and it features no fewer than thirteen holes where golfers come into contact with saltwater lagoons. Originally named Temenos, the course was acquired by CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa in September 2011.
Indeed, the old Merrywing Salt Pond was rejuvenated during construction of the course by installing new flushing channels to allow seawater to flow out during high tide and this lowering of the water salinity, along with the building of grass flats, has brought about a substantial increase in marine life within the new live reef habitat.
While water is an obvious obstacle on the course, the Great White Shark has laid out generous, expansive fairways that are wide enough to keep golf balls dry and in play. Although there are few forced carries to intimidate from the tee, care should be taken with sandy waste areas (as on hole 5) and rocky outcrops (like that on the 13th) as wayward shots will be punished by these hazards.
The 327-yard 7th is a memorable hole for many – especially a former US President – on the front nine. A short par four that plays to a shallow plateau green protected to the front by a deep, intimidating bunker, it’s one where President Bill Clinton is said to have driven the green on his way to an eagle two when he played the course, prompting a puff or two on a cigar to celebrate, no doubt!
Another fine hole, this time on the back nine, is the 590-yard par five 10th and it’s a tough way to start the second half of a round as it’s normally played against the prevailing wind. Water runs all the way down the left of a fairway that leads to a double green which is shared with the par three 2nd and this large putting surface is the only one on the course to actually touch the coastline on Rendezvous Bay.
The CuisinArt course in Anguilla is what I would call a typical resort course. There are breaktaking views of the turquoise waters of the Caribbean, Anguilla’s white sand beaches and of St. Martin in the distance. The course has wide fairways and the greens are fairly easy to hit. The real challenge is the seven holes where water comes into play. Course conditioning is very good and the greens are more challenging and faster than they look. The 2nd, 10th, and 11th are my favorite as they are close to the sea. Away from the water, the par five 5th is a great tree lined hole with an elevated green. You are very lucky to be anywhere on the island of Anguilla, it is such a secluded and amazing place and the beauty of the green fairways set against a perfect sky and ocean makes this an immensely enjoyable day out.
John Sabino is the author of How to Play the World’s Most Exclusive Golf Clubs