FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Mahogany Run Golf Course, St. Thomas, USVI

by Francis X. Gallagher

Apr 1, 2016
2016

As I planned the excursions on our family getaway on the Norwegian Gem cruise this winter, I thought I should try to secure a tee time at the famed Mahogany Run Golf Course in St. Thomas. After cruising the North Atlantic from New York to the Caribbean, the ship docked in St. Thomas, and Paul Gosselin joined me to hit the links. As an organized Norwegian Cruise Line excursion, transportation was provided, and three other shipmates — Dom, Dom (father and son) and Lou from the Big Apple — joined us.

Don’t let the shortness (6,022 yards) fool you. The course is narrow at times and offers a great deal of flora to carry. Any offline shots get lost in the brush forever. Opened in 1980, George and Tom Fazio designed the course with seashore paspalum on the greens and Bermuda grass on the fairways that leaves those telltale floppy, irreparable divots.

Cruise ships in the port

Cruise ships in the port © Francis X. Gallagher

Located on 110 acres on the north shore of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Mahogany Run could not be more beautiful. The only course on the island, it is a favorite of celebrities, U.S. presidents and, by the look of it, cruise passengers.

The course is known for the Devil’s Triangle, made up of holes 13, 14 and 15. The scorecard offers a prize for those who complete these holes without penalty.

When our driver dropped us off, we quickly got settled with overpriced rental clubs and two sleeves of balls, which were included with the package. Lou wanted to play as a fivesome, but I quickly grabbed a cart and said Paul and I needed some quality time and I needed to write this article and take pictures. We were free, and off we went to the first tee.

Hole 1 | 414 yards, par 4
Continuing our race to the tee box, we approached the first hole, where a couple was ready to tee up. The gentleman waved us ahead, and I had to scramble to find the driver, tees and balls in order to not slow them down. I guess they thought we were the “pros from Dover,” and I quickly made it clear we were not. I slammed a ball right and into some trees but still playable. Joking, the guy said, “Maybe I made a mistake.” I assured him we would be swift as the wind. Showing off on the first tee, Paul shot a straight ball to the center of the fairway in position “A” for the dogleg right.

I lost a stroke coming out of the trees, and Paul lost a stroke with a poorly executed shot to the green. Rushed and ready, we walked off with two double bogeys, enthused to take on Mahogany.

Hole 7 | 305 yards, par 4
A long drive can put you in position for an easy chip to the green which lies on the right of this dogleg. The hole reminded me of Hole 5 at Nissequogue Golf Club in Long Island, N.Y. (see my November 2013 Global Traveler review), which measures 316 yards and also is a dogleg right. Dixon Hunter, a longtime advisor to GT, aced Nissequogue’s Hole 5 in the late 1990s — I was a witness. So driver in hand, I was determined to get the ball as close as possible or maybe do a “Dixon.” That, of course, did not happen — a series of mishaps had me carding a triple bogey. Sneaky Paul launched a drive and hit a perfect chip for par.

Mahogany Run Golf Course

Hole 13 © Francis X. Gallagher

Hole 13 | 327 yards, par 4
One of the most beautiful holes I have played. I took a lot of pictures when I was on the green looking out on the Caribbean Sea and the other islands beyond. Fortunately, a greenskeeper was cutting grass just behind the tee box and talked me down from using the driver. “A 5 would place you where you want to be,” he said. I took a graceful swing to a perfect shot in the center of the fairway so I would be in position for the turn on this dogleg left to the green. Paul was convinced he’d beat me and overlaunched a ball way right into the 15th fairway. His shot really wasn’t bad, and I told him this must have been part of his plan, as it was the most beautiful view of the green and the ocean beyond. Sadly, his rescue shot took another turn to the right and vanished into the trees. We returned to the fairway, and I took a calculated shot to the green, passing the hazard and landing on the front half of the green. A two-putt and I secured par.

Hole 14 | 159 yards, par 3
Another beautiful hole, which I believe plays longer than the written yardage. This is Mahogany’s signature par 3 where prevailing winds normally blow from left to right. The best play is to hug the left side of the green and hope the wind takes you to the center of the green. Paul and I hit our balls right of the green; mine landed about 40 yards off and Paul’s blew through the back on a rocky plateau. We both chipped up and two-putted for bogeys.

Hole 15 | 564 yards, par 5
The last of the Devil’s Triangle takes you away from the beautiful vistas of the Caribbean Sea and back to the meat of the course. From the tee box, the fairway looks narrow, with trees and brush on the left side, but it opens up and offers a little more room on the right. I hit one of my best drives right down the center. From here, I took a 3-wood and clobbered my ball, landing just before the pond that sits in front of the green. The hole runs relatively straight from tee box to green and runs downhill from about 240 yards to the green. My final shot was spot-on, while Paul overcalculated and overshot the green into a row of condos behind. I left the Devil’s Triangle with scores of 4, 4 and 5 — and feeling pleased! No penalty, but I forgot to ask about the prize.

We ended the day with a stop at Coconuts, the eatery off the 18th green, where Louise makes some of the best burgers and grilled chicken sandwiches around. She pours a mean beer and also makes some tasty hot sauce. We had plenty of time to put back a few cold ones as we finished a good hour ahead of Dom, Dom and Lou.

Mahogany Run Golf Course

One Mahogany Run N.
St. Thomas, USVI 00802
tel 340 777 6250
mahoganyrungolf.com

Newsletter sign-up

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Nov 30, 2022

Mondrian to Open First Singapore Hotel in 2023

Accor Hotels Group announced Singapore's first Mondrian hotel will be built in the heart of the city's prominent Duxton Hill neighborhood, set to open in early 2023. The news comes on the heels of Accor's recent announcement regarding its planned venture with Ennismore, which brings together Ennismore’s know-how in building brands with creative storytelling, design and authentic experiences, with Accor’s wealth of knowledge in delivering scale, network growth and distribution.

TAP Air Portugal’s Porto

When American travelers make plans to visit Portugal, Lisbon is usually their first stop.

Daily
Nov 29, 2022

Hide Away in the Scottish Highlands with 57 Nord

Situated deep within the Scottish Highlands, just steps from many lakes and mountains, lies 57 Nord. This collection of two design-led boutique hideaways blends the region’s Norse-Gael heritage by incorporating Scottish craftsmanship, modern Scandinavian design and panoramic views into both structures.

Daily
Nov 29, 2022

Luxury Art Deco Lodging Sommerro Opens in Oslo

Oslo’s Art Deco connections just grew stronger with the opening of Sommerro, housed within a historic building in the city’s West End neighborhood of Frogner. The structure itself was once the location of the city’s original electrical company, Oslo Lysverker. The conversion to urban, luxury lodging features 231 guestrooms, 56 residences, seven restaurant and bar options, and meeting and event spaces for up to 150 people. There’s also a 100-seat gilded theater and expansive wellness space, including a full-service gym and Oslo’s first, year-round rooftop pool, sauna and terrace.

From 24-Hour Butler Service to a Sky Pool: Boutique Luxury Awaits at Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences in Los Cabos

Set on a seaside bluff overlooking Land’s End in Cabo San Lucas, Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences is a Baja paradise specializing in serene vistas and impeccable hospitality, offering a Pacific coast lifestyle with authentic Mexican touches. Guests can now earn a fourth night free at the stunning resort, plus a $100 resort credit, when booking through March 20, for travel through June 15.

Daily
Nov 29, 2022

Key West Airport Breaks Ground on $100 Million Expansion

Key West International Airport recently held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of its $100 million expansion. Roman Gastesi, administrator, Monroe County; Richard Strickland, director of airports; and others attended the ceremony and outlined details of the Concourse A terminal expansion project.

Daily
Nov 25, 2022

Give a Gift from Around the World this Holiday Season

This holiday season, give your loved ones a gift from around the world to create memories that last a lifetime.

United’s 100 Percent Green Commitment to be Carbon Neutral by 2050

United Airlines remains firmly committed toward sustainability in aviation. The latest development in its eco-conscious goals includes working with Oxy Low Carbon Ventures to commercialize the production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) with biotech firm Cemvita Factory. Cemvita looks to develop a revolutionary new way to produce SAF by using carbon dioxide and synthetic microbes. Additionally, United Airlines Ventures (UAV) recently announced an equity investment in Fulcrum, and United has invested more in SAF production than any other airline in the world.

Daily
Nov 24, 2022

Angama To Open Deluxe Lodge Near Kilimanjaro

Lodging and hospitality company Angama announced the November 2023 opening of Angama Amboseli, an intimate, 10-suite lodge set in Kenya’s private, 5,700-acre Kimana Sanctuary, against the iconic backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro, located just across the border in Tanzania.