For many people, golf is a great way to unwind and relieve stress, while others are more competitive and set goals like playing through every course that they have access to. These are two of the top reasons why one might plan a vacation that revolves strictly around playing golf.
There are a number of golf courses available to vacationers throughout the Caribbean, but the best course of action to take when planning your golf getaway is finding a top-rated luxury resort with a golf course on-site. For this reason, we have comprised this list of the Top 5 Luxury Golf Vacations in the Caribbean. Not only are the courses listed below some of the best in the region, but each is located on the property of a 5 Star resort – ensuring that every moment you aren’t playing golf is as enjoyable as the times that you are.
Opulent is one way to describe the appointments at Sandy Lane Resort in Barbados. The rooms are carefully designed to make sure each guest knows that they are seated in the lap of luxury, and the staff is over-indulgent to say the least. Though Sandy Lane is one of the priciest properties in Barbados, the extensive list of amenities and unending comfort offered makes this 5 Star resort worth every penny.
Access to the Sandy Lane Golf Club is one of the perks of a stay at the resort. There are three separate courses at the Club: the Old Nine, the Country Club, and the Green Monkey. The Old Nine is a nine hole, Par-33 course; the Country Club is an 18-hole Par-72 course designed by Tom Fazio; and the Green Monkey, also an 18-hole, Par-72 designed by Fazio, is known around the golf world for its challenging elevation changes and otherwise dramatic landscaping. The Sandy Lane Golf Club features a Pro Shop, restaurant, driving range, and practice bunker.
El Conquistador Resort and Golden Door Spa is a 5 Star resort in Puerto Rico. The property is divided into five distinct villages that allow guests to choose exactly which type of vacation they would like to enjoy – from your standard hotel rooms and suites to one, two, and three bedroom villas. Every unit offers breathtaking views, and access to a number of excellent amenities, such as a marina, water park, casino, spa, and of course, the El Conquistador golf course.
El Conquistador is one of the most well known courses in the world, with its 200 foot mid-course elevation change inciting whispers amongst golfers about the challenges faced at this course. Designed by Arthur Hills, the 18-hole, Par-72 course usually takes between four and five hours to play through. Also on-site is a driving range with with three tiers of hitting space, a chipping area, and a putting green.
The 5 Star Four Seasons Resort Nevis stands out amongst the other properties on the list because of its tranquility and seclusion. Most travelers spend a trip to St. Kitts and Nevis solely on the larger island of St. Kitts, yet one of the best resorts in the entire country sits on her smaller sister, Nevis. This, with its wide selection of standard rooms, suites, and villas, is the perfect location for getting away from it all. Although guests do have to pay to use the Four Seasons golf course, many argue that it is worth the extra expense. This 18-hole, Par-71 course was built in 1991 by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. and later updated by Doug Carrick in 2006. The course is surrounded by coconut groves and winds through the foothills of Mt. Nevis, making sure you never forget that you have the pleasure of playing on an exotic Caribbean island. On-site amenities include a Pro Shop, driving range, and putting green.
Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic is not a 5 Star property like the previous three resorts listed, but comes in close at 4 Stars. The reason this property takes the Number 2 spot on our list is one of three golf courses that exists on-site: Teeth of the Dog. Teeth of the Dog is consistently brought up as the top golf course in the whole of the Caribbean, which coupled with the still high-level of care offered by the Casa de Campo resort staff, puts it high up on the list in our book.
Teeth of the Dog is situated along the coast, offering guests spectacular vistas as they play through the 18-holes, seven of which designer Pete Dye said were laid out by Mother Nature before he even got the chance to make plans for the course. Mastering this course is no easy feat, and when you throw in the consistent trade winds that can be a quick game-changer, you can bet that you’ll experience the game of a lifetime here.
Coming in at number one is not one singular locale. Instead, we have chosen to honor all of the golf opportunities offered by all of the Sandals Caribbean Resorts: Sandals Golf & Country Club in Jamaica, Sandals Golf Club in St. Lucia, and Emerald Reef Golf Club in the Bahamas. Why? Simply put, Sandals offers golfers a lot of options. On the island where each of the golf clubs is located, guests can choose to stay at any of the Sandals resorts (all of which are rated with 4 or 5 Stars) and gain access to the links. This gives guests the option of choosing between nine luxury resorts that are known for their all-inclusive prices, long list of high-end amenities, and eager-to-please staff.
The courses themselves are often noted as some of the finest in the Caribbean as well. Sandals Golf & Country Club in Jamaica plays to 6,404 yards, and is a Par-71. This course is known for its narrow fairways and views of the mountains and the Caribbean Sea. The Country Club offers twice weekly golf clinics, a practice range, driving range, pro shop, and two restaurants. Sandals Golf Club in St. Lucia features a Par-33 nine holes, spread out over 3,141 yards of lush rolling hills. The Club has golf clinics once a week, a practice range, driving range, pro shop, and changing facilities. Finally, Emerald Reef Gold Club in the Bahamas is a championship course designed by Greg Norman. The front nine holes are situated amongst mangroves and sea dunes, and the back nine run along the rocky coastline. The club offers a practice range, practice bunker, club lounge with casual dining, and a beverage cart.
John Nesmith is President of Interactive Internet Websites, Inc.