Perhaps Greg Norman needed a place in the Bahamas to moor his 228-foot motor yacht, Aussie Rules. He did, after all, purchase a slip at the new Four Seasons Resort Great Exuma at Emerald Bay for his destroyer-size vessel. Or maybe he couldn't resist the chance to build a gem of a course that brings players to the brink of the sea on six unforgettable holes. Whichever, the Shark has made a splash on a former pirate's hideaway ninety miles south of Nassau.
Opened in November, this secluded resort marks a new luxury direction for the Exumas, a chain of 365 mostly uninhabited islands. One of the prettiest sites in the Four Seasons fold, it features 183 rooms and suites, each with a private terrace or balcony facing Emerald Bay.
It also boasts a remarkable new course. Routed around turquoise lakes and coral outcrops, this 6,880-yard layout reaches a climax at holes eleven through sixteen, which trace the perimeter of a peninsula lashed by the sea. Windswept and challenging, this stretch is, overnight, the finest sequence of holes in the Bahamas. These seaside stunners overshadow the course's well-crafted interior holes, with tight angled fairways framed by shrubs, water and long waste bunkers. Norman clearly expects that a golfer, even a refugee from the snowbelt, can hit the ball straight. Bring your rope hooks, your wind cheaters, your mid-season guile—or stick with snorkeling.
"When I first saw the site for Emerald Bay," Norman told T+L GOLF, "I fell in love with the location, simply because of the possibilities of designing a great golf course on such a beautiful site." Golfers—and Norman's yacht—are the beneficiaries of that vision.
Reservations: 800-332-3442. Greens Fees: $175-$215. Tee Times: 242-336-6800.