In 2014, Scott DeLong needed answers to two important questions before interviewing for the position of Head Golf Professional on the island of Anguilla. “I wasn’t familiar with the island, so I Googled to find out where it was. I was also eager to see what kind of golf course they had.”
DeLong learned that Anguilla was the most northern of the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean and was home to 33 spectacular beaches. He also discovered that CuisinArt Golf Course was not only owned and operated by CuisinArt Golf Resort and Spa, his new course was designed by none other than Greg Norman.
Upon arriving on Anguilla, DeLong was blown away to see that 15 of CuisinArt’s 18 championship golf holes featured water. Even better, from the CuisinArt clubhouse and restaurant balcony, DeLong was treated to amazing views of Anguilla, the Caribbean Sea, and the neighboring island of St. Martin.
Hard to Beat
With each passing year, Anguilla has gone from under the radar status to one of the most popular islands to vacation. Hardly a week goes by that DeLong doesn’t rub shoulders with an A-list celebrity, a sports superstar, or a visitor who is so blown away by Anguilla’s beauty that they invest in a second home on the island.
As for golf, 2019 is a breakthrough year as the 7,000-yard 18-hole layout has seen a sizable cash infusion since recovering from Hurricane Irma in 2017. CuisinArt Golf Club now features new Titlelist rental clubs and new Yamaha golf carts with GPS. CuisinArt’s Director of Golf Operations Don Johnson was also given the green light for massive improvements that include a new irrigation system and converting to Better Billy Bunkers with imported silica sand.
One of the main takeaways from the CuisinArt golf experience is the reminder that despite playing on a course with such magnificent views, there’s a feeling that you’re all by yourself. “This feeling of solitude is amazing. Norman purposely routed the course so you’re rarely along side another hole. When you combine the ocean views, the sounds of waves crashing, and our lush green Bermuda grass, CuisinArt is hard to beat,” DeLong said.
Swept Away by Sea Views
The visual action starts right from the 384-yard, Par 4, first tee box. On this lead hole, Norman sweeps golfers off their feet with a panoramic view of St. Martin. In you thought that was a fluke, the second hole offers brilliant ocean views while sharing a 16,000-square-foot green with the 10th hole.
Depending on what month you’re playing, a golfer never knows what he or she might witness whenever sneaking a glimpse of the Caribbean Sea. In the winter season, neighboring St. Martin is famous for the mega-yachts that frequent the island, and in the month of March, everyone sets their calendars for the Heineken Regatta, the largest warm weather regatta in the world.
At some point by the back nine, you realize that Anguilla’s trade winds typically have played an integral part in your round. Norman factored the island’s winds when he designed the course. On each hole, golfers should prepare for a slight mind game as to how to approach your tee shot based on whether the wind is at your back, in your face, or if there’s a cross wind.
Great Golf and Island Life
Whereas much of Anguilla was punished by Hurricane Irma, CuisinArt Golf Club escaped relatively unscathed. “Most of our native trees are less than 20 feet tall, so they were able withstand Irma. What’s interesting is we’ve found new grasses that have popped up. Some of the sprouts have traveled as far as the island of Guadeloupe which is located 170 miles south of us,” DeLong said.
The good news is Anguilla is almost totally revitalized since Irma. A great vantage point to daydream about island beaches or reminisce about your golf round is CuisinArt’s Santorini Restaurant. The whitewashed Mediterranean-style structure not only provides an awesome backdrop for CuisinArt’s Par 4, 430-yard finishing hole, it’s a perfect setting for lunch or a refreshing cocktail. The elevated perch from the restaurant deck provides some of the best views in all of Anguilla.
On this deck looking out on St. Martin, DeLong was asked what he finds special about his new home. “When I arrived, I knew very little about Anguilla, and I was single. Now, only four years later, I’m married with two children. On weekends I take my wife and children on picnics to secluded portions of the island. My family enjoys island life on some of the most beautiful beaches you could ever imagine. CuisinArt Golf Club and Anguilla, what’s not to love?” DeLong said with a smile.
Story by Tim Cotroneo