Which Caribbean island is the best golf destination?
It’s like asking “which rum is the best”. The answer may come down to your personal taste, but here’s a sampling to wet your appetite:
Punta Espana in the Dominican Republic has been named Golfweek Magazine '#1 course in the Caribbean' from 2009 to 2016. With eight of its holes running alongside rocky shores with crashing ocean waves, it might be all too easy to lose yourself (or a ball) in admiration of the view on this celebrated par 72 course.
More than reggae, jerk, and the fastest men and women in the world, Jamaica also offers world-class golf courses. The White Witch and Cinnamon Hill located on the 4,000 acre Rose Hall estate are championship courses carved into the side of a mountain. The golf experience is first class and country music fans will delight in the opportunity to tour the home of late legend Johnny Cash who bought the Cinnamon Hill Great house in early 70s.
That brings us to Barbados; coincidentally the birthplace of rum. This charming island could fit many times over in much larger territories such as Jamaica or Dominican Republic, yet it has an exceptional golf offering with incredible value for money.
However, the reason many golfers and their families prefer Barbados is that you can tour the whole island without worry. The beaches are beautiful, accessible and safe. You can stop by corner shops, talk to locals and grab a bite of local grub. You’ll get to know familiar faces very quickly as Bajans are very warm and friendly. As quick as they are to share their story, they’ll want to hear yours too.
The courses available here are world-class, such as the Barbados Golf Club, which was sanctioned by the PGA European tour to host a PGA Seniors tournament in 2003. The par 72 course, 6,805 yards, is located in Durants in the southern parish of Christ Church.
Another favourite among golf enthusiasts is the Old 9 at Sandy Lane, an intimate golf course affording a good look at the Caribbean sea. Spanning 7,060 yards, par 36 this course was home to the 2006 World Golf Championship Barbados World Cup.
The Royal Westmoreland 18 hole championship course (6,870 yards, par 72) is a five star rated course that is a mixture of challenging holes with a collection of signature Par 3s.
Rockley Golf Club (5,610 yards, Par 70) is not the biggest course on the island but it offers great value and a tough challenge of your golfing ability. The course is a flat parkland course of 9 holes with alternative 18 hole tees. Each hole is 'Out of Bounds' requiring players to play strategically to keep their score low.
Finally, Apes Hill at 1,000 feet above sea level means your game will be on a higher level but still down to earth. It’s what happens on the green that’s the real magic. Apes Hill is uniquely situated straddling the east and west. Playing the front 9, you enjoy spectacular views of the “Platinum coast” – the sparkling Caribbean sea, the winding stretches of famous beaches often times glittered with celebrities who may be larger than life but unrecognizable from your perch on the 2nd hole.
Once you move to the back 9, the scenery shifts. First, you’re thrust back in time to an almost newborn Barbados, with only a few colourful rooftops visible among the otherwise green carpet of foliage. From the 15th hole, your eyes can roll down the hillside of the Scotland District to the crashing whitecaps of the untamed East coast. The course at Apes Hill is an 18 hole Championship Par 72 course which is really playable and a “must-see”.
Seeing the views are why you should play Apes Hill at least once. A fantastic round of golf might bring you back again. Find out more about the golfing experience at Apes Hill here.