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Born2bWild

Nicklaus Travel: Dream Vacation Contest Preview

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Nicklaus Travel , the travel arm of Nicklaus Design golf courses, provided TheSandtrap an opportunity to experience first hand how relaxing a golf vacation should be. As we launch the Dream Destination contest and before I could tell the TST members about the whole experience I had to take a look for myself. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, here I come.

Choose from the many destination Jack Nicklaus designed courses and begin planning. Nicklaus Travel brings together world class Jack Nicklaus designed golf courses and exclusive destin ations creating hassle free packages combining tee times, transportation and lodging. They will coordinate every aspect of your vacation provide full support and a unique travel experience that doesn’t end once you arrive at your destination.


Once I booked my flight and gave Nicklaus Travel my itinerary, we had a trip agenda outlined in a confirmation email complete with reservation numbers, tee-times and transportation confirmations. The hardest part of the trip was finding my passport.

San Francisco a Punta Cana

Despite a 2 hour delay in Miami our transportation was waiting to take us to the Hard Rock Hotel.  Once I arrived at the Hard Rock the driver relayed our information to the bellman who took us straight to check in, it was a breeze.  Within minutes I had my room key and was lead straight to my room to unwind.

I only had limited time and this trip was designed to give me a small taste of Nicklaus Travel destinations and exceptional service. 3.5 days, 2 resorts and 2 courses… I had to pack as much in as possible.

Hard Rock Hotel, Punta Cana

The Hard Rock Hotel all-inclusive resort has just about every food selection imaginable. Upon arrival I was greeted by a huge sign that read “ I’ve Got Two Tickets to Paradise” – Eddie Money, this couldn’t be any truer. Check in was a breeze and was offered an escort to the room, which was a necessity given the tremendous size of this resort. The notion that Hard Rock knows how to rock & roll is confirmed the moment you notice the large Jacuzzi in your room over looking the resort. This theme continues as you head down to the pool to the sounds of Poison, G&R; and Tom Petty coming from a band with extreme energy and an obvious Caribbean / Spanish accent, it was awesome. As a foodie from San Francisco, dinner was not the mouth-watering creations I’m used to but that didn’t matter once the check came… oh wait, what check? For me, the main draw of the Hard Rock was the service, manicured grounds and ease that only an all-inclusive resort can provide. This is THE place if your traveling with your golf buddies or a group of friends looking to indulge, play, party and golf without a care in the world.

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Cana Bay Golf Club

The Cana Bay Nicklaus Design golf course boasts a 18 hole 72 par championship golf course. At 7,253 yards in length from the back tees the combination of stunning fairways and natural Dominican landscape will challenge every level of player. To warm up hit the unlimited driving range before you are let loose on the course. First tee 9:00am, Shanked it hard to the right but one mulligan later I was back on track, I ended the day with an 82 and was ready for the pool.

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Punta Espada Golf Club

First impression, speechless. Punta Espada was designed in 2008 by Jack Nicklaus and ranked #1 course in Mexico and the Caribbean by Golf Week magazine in 2012. This 18-hole championship course features a 72 par, 7,090 yard course with approximately 8 holes playing directly on the water. When you are on the elevated first tee you instantly can see why this place should be on every golfers bucket list. Picture a full view of the front 9 turquoise blue ocean, white sand beaches, vivid green fairways laid out before you and your caddie running down the fairway pointing where to hit. As you approach the 2 nd hole you see why you need the caddie helping you out, the sound of the ocean is over powering yet amazing. One recommendation is to bring cash and plenty of it, the drink cart is rather expensive. I was able to finish the day with an 87 and memories to last a lifetime. Nicklaus Travel was able to pre book the tee-times on this ultra exclusive course and include the green fees in the total package; my only expense on site was the caddy tip and food.

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Beachfront Bungalows of Caleton Beach Club by Eden Roc

For the golfer who demands the best Cap Cana is the place. I was treated to one night in a bungalow at Caleton Beach Club steps away from Eden Roc, a beachfront property on one of the most pristine shorelines in the Dominican. The $1500/night rate almost seems like a bargain to call this property home for the evening. After exploring the grounds and spending some time at the Cap Cana Beach Club I came back to my topical bungalow to enjoy the complimentary champagne and fresh fruit. As the evening turned to night, clouds rolled in and began to pour but the 80 degree weather made the tropical storm enjoyable. I stayed in, ordered room service and enjoyed every last second because I knew it was my last night.

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I can’t begin to describe this quick 3.5 day getaway and have included several pictures to help with the visuals. Nicklaus Travel lived up to the Nicklaus name and provided an experience that rivals none. When you only have a few days to unwind you don’t want to waste any time, for one package price Nicklaus Travel will handle your entire vacation. We look forward to partnering with Nicklaus Travel to provide this Dream Destination contest and know your experience will be as enjoyable as mine.

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Very cool I was at the hard rock this march break with my family and got to play Cana Bay twice on the trip I thought it was a very nice resort course and enjoyed the unlimited range balls as I seriously need to shake off some rust

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Hey!  Some of those photos look like my Avatar!  Thanks!

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Originally Posted by namkrats

Very cool I was at the hard rock this march break with my family and got to play Cana Bay twice on the trip I thought it was a very nice resort course and enjoyed the unlimited range balls as I seriously need to shake off some rust

I agree!! Those range balls helped more than you can imagine.

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Originally Posted by boogielicious

Hey!  Some of those photos look like my Avatar!  Thanks!

Ha! Love the avatar, nothing makes your buddies more jealous than a good POV shot.

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What would be the estimated ball park cost of this sample dream vacation?

Is it one of those cases where -- if you have to ask about cost then you cannot afford it anyways?

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Originally Posted by Born2bWild

We look forward to partnering with Nicklaus Travel to provide this Dream Destination contest and know your experience will be as enjoyable as mine.

Looking forward to your linking this Dream Destination contest (although I will say that I was somewhat disappointed in the Nicklaus Travel site when they only provide links to his courses as part of their golfing destintations)

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Sick.  Would love to check out Punta Cana.  Thanks for sharing the photos Steve.

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Originally Posted by 2thetee

What would be the estimated ball park cost of this sample dream vacation?

Is it one of those cases where -- if you have to ask about cost then you cannot afford it anyways?

It will be free, if you win the contest!

If you don't happen to win, though...

It's fair to say that the golf trips you find on NT aren't the cheapest, but instead they deliver a really big bang for your buck (and your bucket list). Some of our packages offer stay and plays for under $100/person/night (including accommodations and golf), while others offer more exclusive experiences. In either case Nicklaus Travel's rates are extremely competitive and straightforward - never any hidden fees or extra charges.

Our number one goal is for you to have an incredible experience (and value) from start to finish. When you book through Nicklaus Travel a dedicated Trip Planner acts as your personal concierge and takes care of all the details, like securing your tee times, arranging for ground transportation, and resolving any issues that might come up when you're on your trip on your behalf.

If you're in the dreaming/planning stages, your Trip Planner can also help you find the best rate for a destination based on season and special promotions. Plus, when booking group travel, the larger your group, the lower your rate.

Here's a link to some of our top offers at the moment: http://www.nicklaustravel.com/best-golf-package-offers.html

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Originally Posted by Nicklaus Travel

It will be free, if you win the contest!

If you don't happen to win, though...

It's fair to say that the golf trips you find on NT aren't the cheapest, but instead they deliver a really big bang for your buck (and your bucket list). Some of our packages offer stay and plays for under $100/person/night (including accommodations and golf), while others offer more exclusive experiences. In either case Nicklaus Travel's rates are extremely competitive and straightforward - never any hidden fees or extra charges.

Our number one goal is for you to have an incredible experience (and value) from start to finish. When you book through Nicklaus Travel a dedicated Trip Planner acts as your personal concierge and takes care of all the details, like securing your tee times, arranging for ground transportation, and resolving any issues that might come up when you're on your trip on your behalf.

If you're in the dreaming/planning stages, your Trip Planner can also help you find the best rate for a destination based on season and special promotions. Plus, when booking group travel, the larger your group, the lower your rate.

Here's a link to some of our top offers at the moment: http://www.nicklaustravel.com/best-golf-package-offers.html

Can you let me know what a 4 night / 5 days would run to go to Hawaii?

I looked on your site and didn't see any specific packages - but it did list this course which I would be interested in given I've heard amazing things about Kauai.

http://www.nicklaustravel.com/Kauai-Lagoons-36-holes-profile.html

Target date would be Winter 2013.

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