Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at Bay Creek Resort & Club, Cape Charles (resort). Opening: October.
Although this is now the first resort in America featuring signature courses by both Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, what most visitors will probably remember are the idyllic water holes. There's a five-hole stretch on the front that's hard by the Chesapeake Bay, while the back nine flirts with mile-wide Old Plantation Creek. Architect: Jack Nicklaus. Yardage: 7,250. Par: 72. Greens Fees: $45–$95. Tee Times: 757-331-8620, baycreek.net.
The Links at Las Palomas, Puerto Peñasco (public).
Situated along the northern coast of the Sea of Cortez, just three and a half hours south of Phoenix by car, rapidly developing Puerto Peñasco seems poised to become Mexico's next major vacation hot spot. If the clever alternate fairways at Las Palomas don't help settle a match, there's a 135-yard, par-three bonus hole with a gorgeous backdrop of the beach. Architect: Forrest Richardson/Jack Snyder. Yardage: 6,850. Par: 72. Greens Fees: $30–$75. Tee Times: 602-943-2000, thelinksatlaspalomas.com. •
Wigwam Resort & Golf Club: As of September, this venerable Phoenix-area resort will be home to a Jim McLean golf school. The Wigwam will also unveil a $5 million renovation of its flagship courses, the Gold and the Blue, originally designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. The improvements include new tee boxes, restored bunkers and a replica of Augusta National's par-three sixteenth. Call 800-729-7888 or visit wigwamresort.com. ... Nonstop to Northern Ireland: The pilgrimage to Royal County Down and Royal Portrush just got easier: Continental Airlines has launched the first scheduled nonstop service between the New York City area and Belfast. The six-and-a-half-hour flight departs from Newark at 7:55 p.m. and arrives in the resurgent Northern Ireland capital at 7:30 a.m.—in time for a jet lag–relieving round. Call 800-231-0856 or visit continental.com. ... Mini-Golf in Legoland: Although Carlsbad, California, may best be known as the high-tech corridor of golf, it's added another flag on its map: a miniature golf course at Legoland. The family theme park, a half-hour north of San Diego, now features an eighteen-hole layout populated by Lego forest creatures. Adults and kids alike can use specially designed putters by La Jolla Golf Company that incorporate Lego bricks to teach proper alignment. Call 760-918-5346 or visit legoland.com. ... Dublin and the K Club: While the scene at the K Club during next year's Ryder Cup is sure to be spirited, why not play the course yourself—long before the crowds arrive?Dublin's elegant Merrion Hotel, forty-five minutes away, is offering two-night packages ($615 per person) that include a round of golf at Arnold Palmer's acclaimed inland design and a chauffeur-driven shuttle to and from. Call 011-353/1603-6800 or visit merrionhotel.com. ... PerryGolf Broadens Horizons: Dying to play Barnbougle Dunes but don't know where to begin planning a trip to Tasmania?In September, PerryGolf, which for two decades has specialized in arranging luxury excursions to the British Isles, will begin offering customized tours of some of the world's finest courses in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Italy. Call 800-344-5257 or visit perrygolf.com. —Paul Rogers