Golf in Jamaica
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Golfers appreciate both the beauty and the challenges offered by Jamaica's courses. Caddies are almost always mandatory throughout the island, and rates are $15 to $45 per round of golf. Cart rentals are available at most courses; costs are $20 to $40. Some of the best courses in the country are found near Mo'Bay. Many resorts have their own courses (including several of the Sandals resorts) and allow both guests and nonguests to play; there is generally a charge for nonguests at these courses.
Cinnamon Hill Gold Course. This 18-hole championship course 14 mi (22.5km) east of the airport hosts several invitational tournaments. Green fees run at $169 per person in the winter season. The course was designed by Robert von Hagge and Rick Baril and is on the Rose Hall estate. Rates include green fees, cart, caddy, and tax. Rose Hall, North Coast Hwy., St. James. 876/953–2984. www.cinnamonhilljamaica.com.
Half Moon Golf Course. This Robert Trent Jones–designed 18-hole course is the home of the Jamaica Open. The nonguest cost is US$181, which includes greens fees, cart, and caddy for 18 holes, and US$118.20 for 9 holes. The course is also the home of the Half Moon Golf Academy, which offers one-day sessions, multiday retreats, and hour-long private sessions. Half Moon, North Coast Hwy., 7 miles (11 km) east of Montego Bay, Montego Bay. 876/953–2560. www.halfmoon.com.
Ritz-Carlton Golf and Spa Resort, Rose Hall. One of the nicest courses in Montego Bay, if not Jamaica, is the White Witch, which closed on May 20 along with the Ritz-Carlton resort, which at this writing is slated to become a Park-Hyatt and reopen sometime late in 2013 or early 2014. 1 Ritz Carlton Dr., Rose Hall, St. James. www.whitewitchgolf.com.
Tryall Club Golf Course. Probably the best-known golf course in Jamaica is at this resort 15 miles (24 km) west of Montego Bay. The 18-hole championship course is on the site of a 19th-century sugar plantation. The famous 7th hole tees off between the stone pillars of a historic aqueduct; the adjacent waterwheel has been the subject of many photos. The course, designed by Ralph Plummer, is a PGA-tour-approved course, having hosted events such as the Johnnie Walker World Championship. Greens fees for Tryall guests are $105 for 18 holes and $75 for nine holes; the fees are $150 and $115, respectively, for nonguests. Tryall Club, North Coast Hwy., Sandy Bay. 876/956–5681. www.tryallclub.com.
Sandals Golf and Country Club. The golf course in Ocho Rios is 700 feet above sea level (green fees are US$65 for non guests; free for guests). 5 mi (8 km) southeast of Ocho Rios, turn south at White River and continue 4 mi (6 km), Ocho Rios. 876/975–0119. www.sandals.com/main/ochorios/or-golf.cfm.
Manchester Club. In the hills, the 9-hole Manchester Club is the Caribbean's oldest golf course. Greens fees are J$3,500 for the day. Brumalia Rd., Mandeville. 876/962–2403.
Negril Hills Golf Club. Great golf, rolling hills, and a rolling "liquormobile" go hand in hand at this 18-hole golf course, the only one in Negril (it's east of town). Green fees are US$28.75 for 9 holes or US$57.50 for 18 holes. Clubs are available for rent. Sheffield, Negril. 876/957–4638. www.negrilhillsgolfclub.com.
Although golf isn't a major activity here, travelers will find two courses in the Kingston area. As in other parts of Jamaica, Kingston courses require that you hire the services of a caddy.
Caymanas Golf and Country Club. This course is about 8 mi (12 km) west of the city center. Jamaica's first major championship 18-hole course, Caymanas opened in 1957. Green fees are J$4,500 on weekdays and J$5,500 on weekends and public holidays. Mandela Hwy., half way between Kingston and Spanish Town. 876/746–9773. www.caymanasgolfclub.com.
Constant Spring Golf Club. Constant Spring Golf Club dates back to 1920, when it was designed by Stanley Thompson, a mentor of Robert Trent Jones Sr. This short course, in one of Kingston's nicest neighborhoods, charges J$4,500 per round on weekdays and J$5,000 on weekends and public holidays. There's a clubhouse, restaurant, bar, and pro shop. 152 Constant Spring Rd., Kingston. 876/924–1610.
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