natedog5 wrote:Hello board... So talk to me about the golf on Curacao. I hear the 18 hole course at BlueBay is the only 18 hole course on the island ? A bit dry but interesting and worth playing ? I heard something about an 11 hole course at a beach club ? We'll be visiting Aug 22nd-29th, have yet to book lodging yet. Anything to note while visiting during that time ?
How about rental cars..was thinking of renting a jeep but didn't know how important A/C is on Curacao.
I've been to Curacao 3 times and have played six rounds on the Blue Bay course (3 each of my first two years there).
Let me try to give you an accurate description of Blue Bay and then share an experience we had there last year.
Blue Bay is in the middle of a private housing development, but thankfully the homes are not crowded around the course.
- The clubhouse area is fairly nice.
- Nice pro shop (very limited selection)
- 19th hole is a nice sized bar
- Restaurant down on the developments beach (which you have priviliges on based upon playing the course)
- Driving range is awful, mats only, range balls are in poor condition
- practice green and chipping area are a complete waste
- Outside services (bag drop, club cleaning, refreshment cart, etc) are there but good luck trying to get much service
Ah but you want to know about the course:
The course is very well laid out. There are a couple really stupid holes (like any course has) but I do like the layout of the course.
The opening hole is a pretty easy par 5 (a nice start to the round) followed by a mid-length par 3 which in my experience has been the best conditioned hole on the course. There are some nice elevation changes throughout the course.
Five holes really stand out in my memory.
#4 is a downhill par 4 with a slight dogleg left. You are hitting from an elevated tee towards the towards the sea and if you are brave can try to cut off a little of the dogleg. Nice layout and great views.
#5 is a seaside par 3. You tee off high on the cliffs to a nearly island green. Probably about a 100 foot drop. The shot from the back tees is all carry over water to the green. This is a very exciting hole.
The finishing holes #16-#18 are also very nicely laid out.
#16 is a short par 3 from an elevated tee to an elevated green. Great layout and a fun tee shot but be prepared to walk up on down some hills if you miss the green
#17 long par 4 back out towards the sea. Use lots of extra club on that shot into the green. Not a great hole but the views are fantastic.
#18 another long par 4 but this runs along the sea, nice layout and the views are fantastic. When you walk up onto the green don't be surprised if you see a dive boat tied in right off shore. I've also had the pleasure of diving here and found many a golf ball in the water here.
Conditions are another story here. Granted Curacao has a very dry climate but the course was nearly barren at times. We were playing off of dirt, kind of like those nightmare municipal courses I played as a kid. The greens are very slow and do not roll true. The only good green was #2 (the hole you can really see as you drive into the course).
By contrast Tierra Del Sol in Aruba is actually pretty lush and as I mentioned #2 is in great shape so it's not just a Southern Caribbean thing...the courses can be maintained if the proper effort is put forth. And for the prices they charge more effort should be put forth, that is if they cared about their customers.
I don't know what kind of golfer you are, but all that to say... if you're looking just to get in a couple rounds on vacation, the course is fine. But if you're looking for an upscale seaside golfing experience (which their website and the surrounding community seem to make the place out to be .... Blue Bay is not the place.
One word of advice, make sure to pickup lots of water or powerade at the bar before you go out. It gets very hot out on the course.
Earlier I eluded to an experience I had there last year (our 3rd year in a row at Blue Bay). Without going into detail here on the forum let me just say that my wife and I were treated very rudely by the pro shop staff and even worse by one of the pros (whom I asked for after being treated poorly in the pro shop). We in turn left the course which cost them over $500 in revenue (greens fees and extras) as we had both planned on purchasing 3 round packages for our stay.
This treatment was so poor that I will not return to Blue Bay.
You also asked about renting a jeep. On each of our 3 trips to Curacao we rented a Toyota RAV5 from Budget. While rental car rates are pretty high on the island we were very pleased with the car and the service each year.