Darren Clarke has been a fixture at the Club since its opening in 2004. He was married to his wife, Alison, on our extraordinary, 2.5-mile white sand beach in 2012 and considers the club his full-time home when he’s not competing on the PGA TOUR Champions. In addition to practicing relentlessly on the golf course and at the practice facilities, Darren has a passion for the world-class saltwater flats fly fishing and sport-fishing opportunities in The Abacos. In fact, he competed in—and won—in several of the Club’s bonefishing competitions, and caught a near record-breaking 38 lb. permit (pictured right). And when he’s not doing that, you might find him in his usual seat enjoying a DC Breeze while shooting the breeze at Flippers Beach Bar.
“I love the relaxed atmosphere here,” Darren said. “It’s extraordinarily beautiful, and there’s no place I’d rather spend time, especially with my family.”
“One of the things that I particularly like about The Abaco Club is the fact that, strictly speaking, it’s not a resort. It’s a private international sporting club with members from all over the world. I’ve met other Club members from South Africa, from Canada, from the U.K. and Ireland, as well as from the United States. All of them joined the Club for the same reason that I did. They fell in love with the place.”
“The golf course is sensational. It’s a proper golf course; it’s not a resort course, it’s not easy. I didn’t want a golf course where I could come and play and hit it anywhere and shot 63 or 64. That’s not conducive to getting myself ready to go play on tour. I want something that’s going to be a test. The greens are so quick and they have tiers—there are levels all over the place. If you’re not on the right level it becomes very tricky and very difficult; but if you are on the right level then you can score. But when the wind comes, those levels become smaller. If the wind blows and I’m playing off the tips, I’ve played really well if I break 70. And the practice facilities here, they are as good as you can get and that’s where I spend much of my time preparing for tour events.”
Darren Clarke has had a long and successful professional golf career. Originally from Northern Ireland, Darren played on the PGA Tour, European Tour, and has been finding great success on the PGA TOUR Champions, having won the 2022 Senior Open at the PGA Centenary Course, Gleneagles along with 3 titles during the 2021 season. Darren was a member of the European Ryder Cup team five times, was the 2016 European Ryder Cup Captain, and has won 24 tournaments on major tours. He won the 2011 Open Championship at Royal St. George’s, along with two World Golf Championships, most notably the 2000 WGC-Andersen Consulting Match Play Championship when he defeated Tiger Woods. Most recently, Darren notched wins at the TimberTech Championship, Mitsubishi Electric Championship, and the Sanford International where he defeated K.J. Choi with a birdie on the second hole of a playoff.
Darren represents The Abaco Club in many different capacities as our World Ambassador. All of us at the Club are very grateful to him for sharing his impressions of what it’s like to live here and be an Abaco Club member. And it goes without saying that it’s certainly wonderful for our members and guests to be able to spend time with him here when he is in residence. Thank you, Darren!