The Bear Trap. That's the nickname assigned to the 15th, 16th, and 17th holes on PGA National Resort & Spa's Champion Course, a lighthearted nod to designer Jack "The Golden Bear" Nicklaus—or so you might think. Rather, the formidable stretch of holes has more than earned its fearsome moniker, as PGA Tour pros discover every spring in the Honda Classic. When the pin is back on the 17th hole, Robert Allenby believes it's the hardest course on the Tour, and Mark Wilson—who won the Classic in 2007—conceded he would still be nervous with a colossal six-stroke lead going into 15. When golfers play the Champion Course, they're walking among the divots of golf history; in addition to the annual Honda Classic, the course has hosted the 1983 Ryder Cup and the 1987 PGA Championship.
Along with the Champion Course and The Palmer Course—named after its legendary designer, Arnold Palmer—the resort features three more 18-hole courses, each of which offers its own devilish challenges. To help golfers take on the sprawling, historic courses, renowned instructor David Leadbetter shapes the teaching strategies at the resort's onsite academy.
The Waters of the World pools are almost like aqueous islands, scattered among the grounds' lush grasses and palm trees. Two of the world's oldest and most coveted natural remedies infuse the waters: Dead Sea salt from Israel, which is used to detoxify the skin and quiet the mind, and Salies-de-B?arn salt from the Pyrenees Mountains, which can help with mood swings and water retention. The pools are the centerpiece of The Spa at PGA National Resort's internationally inspired treatment menu, which reads like a history of old-world spa therapies.
The massage and body treatments draw from nearly every corner of the Earth. Reflexology uses Chinese techniques that date back 3,000 years, aromatherapy massages hydrate skin with essential oils from Egypt, and a mud treatment detoxifies the body with Moor mud from Lake H?v?z in Hungary. Like a robot chef that only uses organic foods, facials use natural ingredients in tandem with modern technologies; for example, tightening NuFace microcurrents can be added to a Sea Water Pearl facial with red seaweed.
The spa, which recently benefited from the resort's four-year, $100 million renovation, also has a salon complete with all hair and nail care services. Plus, a plastic surgeon administers cosmetic injections weekly, and it has an additional selection of men's services, including facials for golfers experiencing red skin as a result of the sun's hot rays or embarrassment over not executing a perfect pirouette after a drive.
No matter what day of the week it is, chances are, there's something going on at The Crazy Horse Saloon. Friday and Saturday nights greet revelers with the sounds of live bands playing rock, blues, or country music, or singing their favorite whale songs. Thursdays better brain cells with trivia questions, and Sundays entertain with bingo games. Crazy Horse's kitchen fuels patrons with a variety of pub foods, from sauce-slathered wings and ribs to big burgers and baskets of spicy fried shrimp. It is also a smoking-friendly establishment.
At Kavasutra, guests chat with friends over cups of kava, a traditional root extract from the South Pacific celebrated for its soothing, sedative effects. Rather than impairing mental function like alcohol, kava merely relaxes the mind, allowing patrons to leave the worries of everyday life behind for a spell. Surrounded by cozy couches and Polynesian-inspired decor, visitors can lounge in an oasis of calm as they make new friends.