Golf Destination: Jamaica

by GO GlobeHopper

The Caribbean island of Jamaica is home to several spectacular golf courses. Each has been designed in complete harmony with the wide-ranging landscape, from mountains to coastlines. Lush plant life and swaying palm trees give golfers a truly tropical experience, with unique terrain that includes significant elevation changes, sloping fairways, shrewd bunker placement, and unique signature holes that motivate players of all skill sets and cause them to return to the island over and over again.

Let’s break down the most notable courses by region and alphabetical order.



Cinnamon Hill

Cinnamon Hill Golf Course offers 18 holes of remarkable play. Winding its way along the sparkling shores of the turquoise Caribbean Sea and through the lush green mountain terrain of its demanding back nine, Cinnamon Hill’s diverse elevations combine the best of both links and inland golf. From Hank Smedley’s original design in 1969 to Von Hagee and Baril’s brilliant redesign in 2001, painstaking care has been taken to ensure that the historic sites, flora, and fauna of the Rose Hall Estate are preserved for future generations. The dynamic course design features an open, windswept front nine, where golfers will find either an advocate or an adversary in the coastal winds and elements. On the closing stretch, tight fairways are dotted with treacherous, strategically placed bunkers, inspiring the most competitive player’s best game. The Cinnamon Hill Course is situated on what used to be a large sugar plantation. Still winding through the 400-acre property is the ancient aqueduct that was used to grind sugarcane during the plantation era. Upon close inspection of the supporting pillars, players can see the year of construction, 1761. In fact, with so much beauty and so much history, one of the greatest challenges to playing at Cinnamon Hill is disregarding the panoramic scenery. From its signature hole, Majestic Blue, where the fairway fades into the aquamarine sea, to the mountaintop tee overlooking the Rose Hall Great House, every stroke at Cinnamon Hill is a beautiful one. As an added enhancement, one of the course’s biggest assets happens to be its expert caddies. Cinnamon Hill caddies are listed among “The Best in The World” by Golfer Magazine.


Half Moon Golf Course

Consistently ranked one of the top golf courses in the world, the classic Robert Trent Jones Sr. course is sculpted out of the foothills of the western Jamaican coastline and has an international reputation for being challenging and breathtaking. A member of Jack Nicklaus’ “Great Golf Resorts of the World,” Half Moon has hosted a number of prestigious tournaments including the Jamaica Open Golf Championship, the Dunhill Cup Final of the Americas, and the Red Stripe Pro-Am. A Caddy Master is on-site to facilitate the needs of golfers The Half Moon Course features grass practice bays, a bunker practice green, putting and chipping green, a 50-yard pitching green, and a 19th Hole Bar. The Clubhouse includes 2 meeting rooms and a Golf Shop. Frequent shuttle bus service is available for the short ride to the pro shop from the hotel and the Royal Villas.


Tryall Golf Club

Whether you’re a complete beginner, a serious amateur, or an experienced player there’s plenty for you to enjoy at Tryall Golf Club. The 18-hole, 6836-yard course is the work of celebrated golf course designer Ralph Plummer. The course is a mixture of hills, beachside, and grandeur in-between. Holes #4, #7, #11, and #14 are among the favorite for players incorporating spectacular elevations and awe-inspiring views. The seventh hole incorporates the historical aqueduct that supplied the sugar plantation’s waterwheel – you play your shot right through the aqueduct’s stone pillars. The Tryall Club’s Golf Academy offers expert tuition for everyone. The small classes with plenty of instructors mean you’ll get the attention you need to improve your game.


The White Witch Golf Course

Carved from the rolling countryside of Jamaica’s historic Rose Hall Estate is the White Witch, an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Robert Von Hagge and Rick Baril. This 6,800 yard, par 71 treasure is named for the former sugar estate’s beautiful but wicked mistress, Annie Palmer. Legend has it that Annie’s ghost still haunts the grounds, creating an alluring mystique that has fascinated islanders and visitors for generations. The White Witch features 16 holes offering views of the Caribbean Sea and dramatic elevation changes and vistas. The course is accentuated by native stone-inlaid walls shoring up greens and tees. There are large practice greens and bunkers, and at least 5 tee boxes on every hole.



Negril Hills Golf Club

Here guests can enjoy the best in golf club privileges from the elegance and charm of one of Jamaica’s finest golf courses. The breathtaking scenery, the challenging multi-rise golf course, and the tranquil atmosphere attracts new and returning visitors each year. Located just outside of the resort town of Negril, the Negril Hills Golf Club is one of international golf’s best-kept secrets. The staff has been carefully chosen to ensure total guest satisfaction and the caddies have been selected to help enhance your experience at Negril Hills Golf Club, the crown jewel of the Caribbean golf courses. The Golf Club includes a Driving Range, Putting Green, and Golf School.



Sandals Golf and Country Club

In June 1992, Sandals Resorts International purchased Upton Golf Club and set about creating “the elite golf course” in Jamaica. Since that time, the facility has grown to be one of the finest golf courses in the Caribbean, as recognized by Golf Digest and Frommers Travel Guide. Sandals Golf & Country Club is the ideal golf vacation spot in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The golf club stretches out over a rolling landscape with sweeping views of the sea and mountains. Narrow fairways have been resurfaced with Bermuda grass while minuscule, drop-off greens have been rebuilt with Tifdwarf Bermuda grass for a beautifully manicured course. Guests staying at any of the six Sandals Resorts in Jamaica are welcome to play at this most scenic Country Club. Sandals Golf & Country Club features a Pro Shop, Golf Shop, Driving Range, Sweet Spot Jerk Shack at #10 green for dining, and a Clubhouse.



Runaway Bay Golf Club

The Jewel Golf Course at Runaway Bay is a par seventy-two (72), Eighteen (18) hole championship golf course which offers an exhilarating experience for beginners and accomplished golfers alike. The course was designed by Major John Harris from Britain and was opened in 1960. The features of the golf course are long rolling fairways, large flat greens protected by grassy mounds, and sand bunkers. It has hosted many events including the Ryder Cup match between the United Kingdom and the West Indies. The Jamaica Open, The Brinks (JA) Classic. The Heineken World Cup Qualifier, CNBC Nations Cup and numerous JGA Qualifiers. The course measures 5,389 yards and is slope 117 rated from the forward tees. From the back, it measures 6,870 yards and is slope-rated 124. The Club House offers its guests the opportunity to unwind and relax after a lively round of golf in our elegant and comfortable lobby, or in the open-air restaurant and bar. The Clubhouse Restaurant serves á-la-carte breakfast and lunch daily.  It opens each morning at 8:00 am and closes when the last person leaves. Guests can experience Jewel Service while having a drink, a meal, watching their favorite televised sporting event, or fellow golfers on their final hole. Restroom facilities provide golfers with lockers (available for rent) and showers, while the Pro Shop offers an array of golfing apparel, balls, gloves, and sunblock as well as rental of carts, clubs, and shoes.



Source Visit Jamaica

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