Most people would agree that sun, sand, water and verdant green are all words you would use to describe the Caribbean. What you may not expect is that the Caribbean has some of the world’s most beautiful and challenging golf courses and hosts many major and local tournaments. Most courses have in-season and off-season prices, as well as guest and non-guest prices (many courses are part of resorts or hotels) and member and non-member prices. Some of the more famous require carts and a mandatory caddy. Most offer club rentals. You should always call, email, or visit a specific course’s website (if available) for the latest information, greens fees and tee times.
Here is our selection of 5 golf courses that we think should make it to your must-play list.
1) One & Only Ocean Club — Bahamas
Challenging, masterfully-conceived and stunningly beautiful, the Tom Weiskopf – designed Ocean Club Golf Course offers guests of the resort every element for the perfect round. This 18-hole, par 72 championship course stretches over 7,100 yards on Atlantis Paradise Island’s peninsula, where crosswinds challenge even the most experienced player. Course operations are overseen by Troon Golf, which creates extraordinary experiences for guests through uncompromising standards and attention to detail.
With its skillful design, expert management and idyllic locale, Ocean Club Golf Course is increasingly recognized as one of the finest in the world.
2) Eden Roc Cap Cana – Dominican Republic
The Eden Roc, which opened in late 2012, offers guests the nearby Punta Espada golf course, designed by Jack Nicklaus. Don’t miss the 13th hole — where you’ll have to get your tee shot over the ocean.
Punta Espada is the first of 3 Jack Nicklaus Signature golf courses to be developed at Cap Cana. Opened in November 2006 it is already listed among the worlds finest, with the renowned GolfWeek publication ranking it as the “#1 Best Golf Course in the Caribbean and Mexico”.
Punta Espada was designed to incorporate the natural features of the landscape into its topography; the bluffs, the Beach, the waterways and the foliage. The design guarantees that golfers of all levels are accommodated, including those playing at world championship level. Enjoy spectacular sea views and close-up encounters with nature while you tackle these challenging links.
3) Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve – Puerto Rico
The tradition of golf at Dorado Beach is as rich as the property’s history. Beginning in 1955, renowned golf architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr. set out to create the finest golf resort in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, culminating in several spectacular, 18-hole layouts that have played host to celebrities, world leaders, golf legends and PGA tournaments.
This elite resort offers three of the most dazzling and challenging course you will find in the Caribbean.
East Course is a Robert Trent Jones Jr.’s restoration of the historic East Course vision put forth by his father. Robert Trent Jones Jr.’s brings this classic seaside course into the 21st century with a subtle rebirth as a modern masterpiece.
Original panoramic site lines of the Atlantic Ocean have been restored on 15 of 18 holes through an aggressive tree management program. Native Puerto Rican sand harvested from surrounding beaches highlights the newly renovated and contoured bunker complexes. New ultra-dwarf Champion Bermuda greens support double digit green speeds with a premium number of hole locations on every green. A course layout that now stretches over 7200 yards, is as formidable from the championship tees as it is forgiving from the forward tee.
The Dorado Beach Plantation Sugarcane Course is the more challenging of the two Plantation courses at this Caribbean golf resort, although it boasts larger fairways and greens. The course features more forced carries and deeper bunkers that can penalize you for an errant shot. The back nine is surrounded by newly created rivers and lakes and offers a much different look, never seen at the old Cerromar and Dorado Courses, making this a hidden gem amongst Puerto Rico golf courses. Players have an opportunity for birdies early in the round, but par is a great score on most every hole on the back nine.
The Plantation Pineapple Course was designed to be the more friendly course for golfers at this Caribbean golf resort. The course has fewer forced carries, the bunkers are not as deep and the greens are slightly larger. The back nine of The Plantation Pineapple Course consists of four holes with an ocean view, followed by a tough five-hole stretch culminating with a fantastic par four, 18th hole, that finishes up on a green that is just below the clubhouse terrace. We promise that you’ll enjoy the majestic beauty on one of Puerto Rico’s finest golf courses.
4) Four Seasons Resort – Nevis
A dramatic view of the Resort, the Caribbean and the neighboring island of St. Kitts, as well as two complimentary weekly clinics and a golfer’s conditioning program await at this pristine golf course in Nevis.
The course at the Four Seasons Resort, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., is one of the most popular golfing destinations in the Caribbean. It lies at the base of the Nevis Peak, a dormant volcano, giving the golf course dramatic elevation changes and scenic views of the Caribbean Sea as it winds up the mountain. Although it is not very long at 6,682 yards, the course offers many challenges with water hazards and more than 70 bunkers scattered throughout. The 15th hole is particularly notable since it is a challenging downhill par-5 that requires a carry over a deep ravine and due to its elevation, the highest on the golf course, the hole offers a spectacular view.
5) Half Moon – Jamaica
Jamaica is one of those places where the scenery is beyond compare and the golf courses are, well, they are spectacular too. Jamaica is home to some of the top golf courses and resorts in the Caribbean.
Half Moon is the quintessential of these Caribbean golf gems. It is one of the Caribbean’s signature resorts, and it boasts a course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr that was renovated in 2005 by Roger Rulewich.
The Hilton Rose Hall Golf Resort and Spa, Jamaica offers its guests exclusive access to 54 holes of the finest championship golf in the Caribbean. Along with their own stunning Cinnamon Hill Golf Course, guests can tee off at White Witch and Half Moon and test their skills with the best golf along the northern coast of Jamaica. Here’s your chance to uncover the perfect golf getaway at any of these three unique courses.