Whales, beaches, a true links and sand dunes combine to make Cape Cod's Provincetown a unique golf destination
PROVINCETOWN, Mass. - The sand dunes of the Cape Cod National Seashore are nothing short of spectacular.
Golf writers like me can’t help but daydream of building a links through them. The rolling sand hills and ocean views would surely combine to make a bucket-list course.
But this is protected government-controlled land that will never see development. I marveled at their beauty and isolation from all directions yesterday on my first trip to Provincetown, the hip, edgy seaport at the tip of the Cape’s curling boot.
The first stop was Highland Links in Truro, a cool nine-holer set in the shadow of a lighthouse. It’s one of the handful of courses in America that is a true links set on sandy soil near ocean shores. When the wind blows, this short track will feel like an Irish delight.
Next came a wonderful ride from the Dolphin VIII, a whale watching boat run by the Dolphin Fleet of Provincetown. The three-hour ride skirts along the coast before finding the open water of the Atlantic Ocean. We saw at least five whales and several different species. A humpback whale named ‘Pinball’ gave us the best show just feet from the boat, flipping up its tail before a final dive (see below). Seeing whales are virtually guaranteed. Click here for the company website, www.whalewatch.com.
But the best way to experience the sheer majesty of the dunes is on a sunset cruise with Art’s Dunes Tours (click here for its website, www.artsdunetours.com). As the sun fades, its light bounces off the stunted trees, shrubs and wispy grasses in surreal fashion. The isolated setting looks like a moonscape. Or maybe the way Ballybunion and Doonbeg looked more than a century ago.
The day ended at a gorgeous spot on the beach as the sun dipped from view. Some people on the dune tour wisely brought drinks to toast the occasion. I just sat there savoring it all, taking in every breath of fresh air like it was my last.
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