GREAT GOLF MAGAZINE | Get Up and Go To Abaco

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Mention you are going to the Bahamas, then stand back and watch the predictable reaction of friends and family as they exhibit an unattractive mix of astonished disbelief and undiluted envy.

The face that these inoffensive islands, lying just off the southern tip of Florida, have come to be synonymous with self-indulgence, extravagance and high-living is perhaps partly due to the popular perception of them as a tropical tax haven providing a perfect playground for the super-rich and hugely famous.

The advent of the Abaco Club certainly does nothing to alter this image as its unashamed upmarket appeal is to the fabulously wealthy seeking luxurious exclusivity.. Peter de Savray, the Club’s founder, knows what the well-heeled want – he has created a string of top-notch boltholes, including Skibo Castle in Scotland.

THE FORMULA: The strategy he employs is surprisingly simple. First, find a fabulous site in a spectacular setting well away from the great unwashed. Then create quality accommodation that combines comfort with something distinctly different. Next, provide a rich array of activities to ensure your guests are always happily occupied and generate a supremely relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Finally, price it beyond the reach of common folk to keep it exceedingly private, gloriously quiet and frightfully exclusive.

De Savray knew what his rich clients wanted and gave it to them with coconuts at the Abaco Club.

US-based Southworth Development owns the property now and has added fabulous new facilities that make the prospects for the club only shine brighter

What few people know is that the club allows non-members to visit as guests and act like they own the place up to three times. Three times may not be enough.

BONEFISH. Fishing is huge round these parts, as indeed are the fish. Super shy bonefish lurk nervously in the shallow mangrove flats of Abaco. You can catch them – or not, as in my case – with a fly and the thrill when you hook one is tremendous, apparently.

Out to sea there are loads of exotic fish with equally exotic names such as grouper, wahoo, snapper, triggerfish and yellowtail. Dolphin, too, are caught but not the friendly variety that squeak and leap through hoops. These dolphins are what you might call ‘regular’ fish.

Outside the barrier reef in the Atlantic proper, even bigger game awaits. Sports-fishermen from around the world descend on these deeper waters in search of mahi mahi (so good they named it twice!), blue marlin, sailfish, and tuna.

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