The 19th Hole Is the Best One of All

Tyler, of Burlingame, is a golfing travel writer.

When the last drive has been struck, the final putt sunk, golfers head for the "19th hole," a refuge for food and/or drink to savor (or forget) what happened during the game.

I've collected some pet 19th holes and asked friends in the golf travel business for theirs. Here are our nominations for the 50 best in the world, and why:

Says Eddie Lewis, president, International Golf Safaries, Sherman Oaks: (1) Mauna Lani clubhouse, island of Hawaii. From the terrace overlooking a staggering blend of green grass on black lava, you can stretch a mai tai all the way to a magnificent Pacific sunset. (2) Wentworth Golf Club lounge, Surrey, England. An ideal "olde English" pub in which to share a shandy (beer and lemonade).

(3) Bar at St. Nom-La-Breteche club, Versailles, France. Can't beat the atmosphere of this cellar that was once Louis XIV's country farmhouse. (4) Mt. Kenya Safari Club, Nanyuki, Kenya. Peacocks scream, Egyptian cranes take flight. It's the most exotic 19th hole I know. (5) Bar at Stockholms Golfklubb, Stockholm, Sweden. With the help of an aquavit schnapps, the memory of your golf game may not improve, but your humor most certainly will.

(6) Copenhagen Golf Club bar, Copenhagen, Denmark. What a boggler! Three thousand head of wonderful antlers gracefully roam outside the windows! (The king's private deer park surrounds the clubhouse.) (7) Terrace at Navatanee Golf Club, Bangkok, Thailand. You gaze on the course, but more particularly at its girl caddies, so beautiful and in green smocks and straw hats. (8) Bar at El Rincon Golf Club near Lima, Peru. Sip a pisco sour while being studied by their pensive, huge pet llama.

A Tongue-Twister (9) Lounge at Arikikikapa Golf Club, Rotorua, New Zealand. Nurse a beer long enough to learn to pronounce the name (it could take all night). (10) Clubhouse at Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii. There can't be a more romantic spot. It's open to the breezes; you look out to the Pacific and waterfalls cascading down distant mountains, with probably a rainbow or two. (11) Terrace at Royal Canberra Golf Club, Canberra, Australia. Through trees bordering the first and 10th fairways, families of wild kangaroos box for their own (and your) amusement.

Says Mary Liz Larmore, author of "The Resort Book for Swingers": (12) Club at Keystone resort, Colo. To lunch lakeside while viewing lush meadowlands and the Rockies is to get a strong touch of Rocky Mountain fever. (13) Camelback Inn, Scottsdale, Ariz. It's a toss-up whether to dawdle over lunch at the classy Spanish-style golf club or to make a pig of yourself at the pool-side buffet at the inn. (14) Hound Ears Lodge & Club, Blowing Rock, N.C. From the deck it's like being in Bavaria, drinking in mountain scenery with hillside chalets just a yodel away.

Says Michael C. Roseto, president, Wide World of Golf of Carmel, Calif.: (15) Dormie House near the pro shop at Gleneagles, Scotland. The snazziest of snack shops, outstanding for its "toasties." (16) Royal Kaanapali Golf Clubhouse, Maui, Hawaii. Super hamburgers with island views to match. (17) Kawana Hotel's clubhouse, Ito, Japan. On the terrace overlooking Mt. Fuji, nourish a beer and have a helping of golfer's curry. (18) Grill at Silverado Country Club, Napa, Calif. Good fellowship flourishes, with most everyone ordering burgers, here served on a hot dog bun.

(19) Lunch on the deck at Grand Hotel Villa d'Este, Como, Italy. After a round at nearby Circolo Golf, drink in the Italian lake district and have the pasta of rice and cheese. (20) Tavern at The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colo. Dark, cool hide-out; casual dress, fair prices, great food. (21) High Tea at The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. Ritzy snacks to the tune of a string quartet. Wear your best golf sweater.

Says Chuck Kinder, president, Best Tours, Irvine, Calif.: (22) Oasis Bar at Sawgrass resort, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Gazing over the Atlantic with something relaxing in hand is the best way I know to recoup from a tough bout on the Tournament Players Club course. (23) Adam's Rib at Holiday Inn, Augusta, Ga. A late-late night swinging spot, just dandy for unwinding after a tense day at the Masters.

(24) The Green Jacket across from Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, Ga. Highlights of previous Masters games are shown on a large TV screen. (25) Beach Club at Dunes golf club, Myrtle Beach, S.C. Old World Southern charm, as warm as a mother's hug. (26) Jakes on the Beach at Del Mar, Calif. The place to go after the Andy Williams at nearby Torrey Pines. No extra charge for the sunsets.

Says Bill Hughes, Hughes Travel Associates, Danville, Calif.: (27) Royal Hong Kong Golf Club, Fanling, New Territories. Oak-paneled elegance, but surprisingly gracious, too. (28) The atrium at the Acapulco Princess, Acapulco, Mexico. After a hot game, have something wet and a wild ceviche with snappy service. (29) Turnberry Hotel's golf course restaurant, Turnberry, Scotland. Its view is the incoming hole of the amazing Ailsa course. (30) Carnoustie Golf Club lounge, Carnoustie, Scotland. Over exchanges of tall golfing tales, you really get to know your caddy (all of whom are club members).

Very British

(31) Clubhouse lounge at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Club, Lancashire, England. Very, very British and impressive. (32) Patio at Golf Nueva Andalucia Club, Costa del Sol, Spain. Congenial; lovely views too. (33) Bar at Las Aves, Club de Golf Sotogrande, Sotogrande, Spain. Rings with atmosphere, fellowship, cheer. (34) Rusack's Hotel lounge, St. Andrews, Scotland. Overlooks the first and 18th holes of the most thrilling course in the world.

Say June Breton and Maurie Fisher, Ridgewater Partners, Greenwich, Conn.: (35) Lido Deck bar on cruise ship Pearl of Scandinavia. While cruising the South China Seas, savor the game you had ashore at today's port of call and look forward to tomorrow's. (36) Singapore Island Country Club, Singapore. Oriental cuisine and local beers make every golfer feel he's played scratch. (37) Pool-side bar at Penina Golf Club, Portimao (on the Algarve), Portugal. Nice help, good wine list, biggest and best salad nicoise ever. (38) Mid-Ocean Golf Club, Bermuda. Silver trophies and a chic sit-around ambiance. (39) Beaconsfield Golf Club, Pointe Claire, Quebec, Canada. Lovely views, friendly, and an innovative French Canadian kitchen.

Says Richard Taylor, editor, Golf World magazine, Southern Pines, N.C.: (40) Pine Needles Country Club bar, Southern Pines, N.C. Leather chairs, copious popcorn, roaring fires (when needed). (41) Pine Crest Inn, Pinehurst, N.C. Best and friendliest place to meet after tackling Pinehurst's six intense courses. (42) Links Hotel family pub, St. Andrews, Scotland. Super atmosphere and only a pitch shot away from the Old Course.

(43) Fourth-floor lounge at the Old Course Hotel, St. Andrews, Scotland. Nearly all of the links can be seen at a glance, inspiring clever conversation. (44) Golfer's Grill, Titirangi Golf Club, Auckland, New Zealand. As plain-looking as a fishing camp, but the food, drink and talk are dynamite. (45) Yomiuri Country Club, Tokyo, Japan. A geodesic dome, light and airy. (46) PGA Sheraton Resort, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Beneath its roof is the PGA National Golf Club with a brass bar.

Says Jim Mills, Prestonwood Travel, Dallas: (47) Health club at Gleneagles, Scotland. Soak in the steam room, relax in the hot tub.

Say I: (48) Heritage Clubhouse, Harbour Town Links, Sea Pines Plantation, Hilton Head Island, S.C. Tasty sandwiches named for famous players, and their portraits hang overhead. (49) Club XIX at The Lodge at Pebble Beach, Calif. Sip a brew and cock an eye to watch players on the 18th reluctantly putt out. (50) Beachside snack at the Mauna Kea, island of Hawaii. After a hot game, have a cool swim, then a hot dog, here served with an island orchid.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
67°