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Golf’s ultimate bucket list

Play the US’s finest, most remote courses this summer with XOJET

XOJET helps complete the bucket lists of golfers who want to play the best courses in the US in a short time.

Playing the country’s finest golf courses is nothing unusual for pros like Jordan Spieth or Rickie Fowler. But how many golfers still haven’t ticked off the country’s best courses from their bucket lists because of time constraints?

Imagine playing round after round on the best courses during one glorious summer week, travelling hundreds, even thousands of miles, to reach the finest and most remote courses. While the distances between the courses make travel by car or train impossible in such a compressed time frame, XOJET routinely flies clients to areas not served by commercial air carriers.

“We can access thousands of smaller airports and private landing areas that larger commercial carriers can’t,” says Shari Jones, XOJET executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “That gives us an edge for clients who may need to get to multiple locations in a week, or even on the same day. You decide the location and we’ll get you there in the shortest, most efficient way possible.”

XOJET has access to more than 1,000 jets, including its own fleet of Challenger 300 and Citation X business jets, which are ideal for extended golf trips. “The cargo area on the Challenger 300 can carry up to 10 golf bags,” says Jones. “The Citation X comes close, with space for roughly eight golf bags or a combination of golf bags and other luggage. They’re really designed for group travel.”

Want a great golfing bucket list? The five links at Bandon Dunes, the Tom Weiskopf-designed course at the Yellowstone Club and, of course, the eight courses at Pebble Beach could just be the start of the ultimate golf quest. “If I had just one more round to play, I would choose to play it at Pebble Beach,” Jack Nicklaus once said. “I’ve loved this course from the first time I saw it. It’s possibly the best in the world.”

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Golf’s greatest legends have competed on the stunningly beautiful cliffside fairways and sloping greens since the course opened in 1919. The course that sits on the Pacific has hosted five US Open Championships, with the next taking place in 2019. Beyond the scenery, the course that has demanded the best from pro golfers in each generation, from Snead through Spieth, remains open to all. It is consistently ranked number one among public golf courses. Cypress Point Club, Monterey Peninsula Country Club and five other local courses add even greater depth to what has become a golfing mecca.

By contrast, the rugged terrain and constant winds of Bandon Dunes on a stretch of remote Oregon coast is more like returning to golf’s roots. Scotsman David McLay Kidd situated his course on a bluff above the Pacific, following the natural contours of the land. McLay Kidd left the vegetation and native dunes in tact, so that every hole not only offers spectacular ocean views, but also seems like it is being played in the original environment. The ever present winds also make it a thinker’s course.

The original Bandon Dunes course was soon followed by four others: Pacific Dunes, Bandon Trails, Old MacDonald, Bandon Preserve and The Punchbowl. Each has its own eclectic features, but designers Tom Doak and Ben Crenshaw made sure that the courses were integral with the landscape. Golfers will play through forests of shore pines and 60ft-high sand dunes, making these courses some of the most beautiful and challenging in the country. 

Besides reducing travel times to remote courses like Bandon Dunes, XOJET is the ultimate clubhouse in the sky. “For our clients, we like to think of ourselves as the 19th hole,” says Gregg Slow, senior vice president of client services for XOJET. “We carry our clients’ favourite drinks – Arnold Palmers, Bloody Marys or beer. But we also provide delicious food such as smoked salmon and bagels, a charcuterie tray or just some healthy snacks.”

The goal is for XOJET clients to arrive rested and relaxed at their destinations, even if they’re as remote as the ultra-exclusive Yellowstone Club in Big Sky, Montana. This western hideaway, with 13,600 acres of private land, has a course that has become a dream destination for golfers. Tom Weiskopf channelled his love of high-altitude living into creating one of the most beautiful but challenging courses in the Rockies. Snowcapped peaks make up the background for the course, while alpine pools and sand traps dot the verdant fairways. 

“What makes us different from the commercial airlines is that we can reach literally hundreds of the most idyllic golf courses directly,” says Jones. “At the same time, our levels of service and safety are head and shoulders above the norm for the jet-charter industry. Time and comfort are just two of many ways we look after our golfing clients, on and off the course.”

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