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10 Best Tropical Golf Courses on the Island of Jamaica



Golf enthusiasts planning a tropical vacation will be pleasantly surprised to learn that Jamaica has several championship courses, golf resorts, and public courses with a sublime setting and beautiful backdrop. Although it's no Scotland, the island offers world-class golf, sun, sand, and serenity and offers a rich history of the sport - including Manchester Club, the oldest golf course in the Caribbean.

Montego Bay is an easy choice for golfers, especially at Rose Hall, an area that offers several top-notch courses, including Cinnamon Hill, Half Moon, and the White Witch - a legendary course with a spooky history of its own.  

A number of resorts offer all-inclusive packages or individual courses. Sandals Golf and Country Club is another popular choice, with plenty of inclusive options, as is Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort.

Kingston also has a handful of courses that make ideal day trips, including Caymanas Golf and Country Club, a championship course with numerous elevated courses for scenic views. Or, for a casual, easy-going golf course, Negril Hills is just a quick stop away from the famous Seven Mile Beach.

For a small Caribbean island, golfers will find a pleasant golf getaway in Jamaica, and 10Best showcases a few favorite course options for visitors.

 


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Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort
Photo courtesy of Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort


Jewel Runaway Bay Beach Resort features an 18-hole, 72 par, championship golf course that has hosted the Jamaica Open, the Brinks (Jamaica) Classic, the Heineken World Cup Qualifier, and the Ryder Cup. The Clubhouse features an open-air restaurant and bar that serves breakfast and lunch. Green fees are included for guests of the resort, and a golf pro shop, showers, and storage area are also available to golfers. Wedged between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, the course at Jewel Runaway Bay makes an easy jumping off point for additional golfing or adventure activities, including the Green Grotto Caves or Dunns River Falls.

Recommended for Golf Courses because: This resort combines beach and golf and is smack in the middle of two major tourist areas.

Amber's expert tip: Hook your caddy up with a drink at the bar after a round of golf. It's hot out there!

Read more about Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort →




As Kingston's premier, 126-acre course, beginners can also get their feet wet taking golf classes with accredited instructors. Other options include multi-court badminton, squash racquet, a club house and pool, and full-service bars. Built in 1920, it is one of the oldest on the island (Manchester pre dates it). A golf store offers shirts, golf balls, and other accessories. Golfers of this 18-hole, members' course must drive to a narrow plateau past a steep valley. Its signature hole is number 13, and is short and easy to miss. Situated in St. Andrew's Hill, this scenic course is off the typical Montego Bay tourist path, but worth the visit.

Recommended for Golf Courses because: Outside of the usual suspects, this course offers a challenging alternative to the typical golf route.

Amber's expert tip: Be sure to find out what special events they have going on.

Read more about Constant Spring Golf Course →


Tryall Club
Photo courtesy of Tryall Club


Tryall Club is one of the most prestigious courses on the island and has hosted major events like the Johnnie Walker Tournament and Jamaica's Classic Annual. Manicured and playable year-round, the course certainly attracts its fair share of fair-weather golfers. Make sure to call ahead if you are not a guest at Tryall because the course is sometimes open only to guests. Located just 12 miles west of Montego Bay, it is easy to squeeze in a round or two at this 18-hole, par 71 course while on a weekend vacation. A golf academy is on hand to help improve your swing.

Recommended for Golf Courses because: The Tryall Club offers beautiful scenery and a traditional course that keeps getting better.

Amber's expert tip: The stunning, fourth hole hugs the shoreline and may take patience.

Read more about Tryall Club →


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Opened in 1964, the Half Moon Golf Club hosts the Red Stripe ProAm and is one of the best courses in Montego Bay. Robert Trent Jones, Sr., a master course creator and one of the most well respected 20th-century designers, designed the championship course. The sundry greens and well-groomed fairways make the somewhat high green fees well worth your trouble. Some features include a 50-yard pitching green, 20 grassed practice greens, a clubhouse, pro golf shop, putting and chipping greens, and a complimentary shuttle to the hotel and villas. There is also a snack bar on the 19th hole that serves lunch and cold drinks.

Recommended for Golf Courses because: A premier golf resort, Half Moon is a perfect hub for those spending some serious time golfing.

Amber's expert tip: The total golf package allows golfers to play unlimited golf at Half Moon Golf Club, Cinnamon Hill, and White Witch.

Read more about Half Moon Golf Club →




At the Rose Hall Resort & Spa, golfers are treated to some of the most scenic views and professional services in Montego Bay. Sister course to the White Witch and alternating between seaside and mountain holes, this course designed by Robert Von Hagge definitely makes you earn your pars and birdies. The professional staff is eager to help and have earned rave reviews. Golfers will find a second-to-none pro shop and clubhouse ready to supply them with whatever they need for their rounds. With a mixture of inland setting and ocean breeze, this is quick to become a favorite in Montego Bay.

Recommended for Golf Courses because: Combine the cool ocean breeze with this challenging course and you'll have the recipe for a great game of golf.

Amber's expert tip: The seaside trails are ideal for the non-golfers in the group.

Read more about Cinnamon Hill Golf Course →




As a host to the Jamaican Open more than 25 times (and counting) as well as other top-tier championships, Caymanas attracts avid golfers from all over the globe. The 18-hole, par 72 course was built in 1957 and is open to the public and it continues to impress visitors today. Located 25 minutes from Kingston, this beautiful country club offers a serene setting, poolside garden, club house, and outdoor dining on the scenic terrace. Many course tees are elevated and allow golfers to overlook other areas. The twelfth hole is a signature with a narrow fairway, tropical foliage and limestone rock.

Recommended for Golf Courses because: A perfect day trip from Kingston, golfers can also take advantage of the pool and restaurant.

Amber's expert tip: Be careful of the elevated green on the 11th hole.

Read more about Caymanas Golf and Country Club →


This 18-hole, par 72 golf course is located about an hour- and-a-half drive from the airport in Montego Bay, and a few minutes' drive from Negril's picturesque Seven Mile Beach with beautiful cliff side resorts. The course offers awe-inspiring views of the Caribbean Sea in a casual, unpretentious setting. Negril Hills also features tennis courts, a club house and restaurant. Most greens and tees are elevated, and challenges include water areas and tropical landscape. However, it is suitable for all skill levels, and caddies here are exceptional. A shorter round is offered for those who are on a time crunch.

Recommended for Golf Courses because: This is an overall, "great little course" with a friendly staff.

Amber's expert tip: Bermuda grass offers an added challenge.

Read more about Negril Hills Golf Club →


Sandals Golf and Country Club
Photo courtesy of Sandals Grande Riviera Beach & Villa Golf Resort


Honored by Golf Digest, Sandals Golf and Country Club is a top choice for a stay-and-play vacation in Ochos Rios. Guests of the resort receive plenty of perks: like complimentary green fees, a PGA-certified clinic, and club storage. The 18-hole, par 71 course has three sets of tees and narrow fairways with small drop off greens. On the course, two dining options are available including the Jamaican jerk chicken shack on the tenth hole, and traditional restaurant in the club house. There is also a full-service, pro golf shop, a driving range, practice range, and changing area. Clinics are held Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Recommended for Golf Courses because: This resort is a one-stop-shop for a classic golf getaway.

Amber's expert tip: Caddies are mandatory at this course.

Read more about Sandals Golf and Country Club →


Manchester Club
Photo courtesy of Amber Nolan


Dating back to 1865, this nine-hole, par 35 golf course is the oldest is the entire Caribbean and certainly the most scenic in Jamaica. Stretched over 55 acres of rolling hills near the quiet town of Mandeville, Manchester Club is far off the traditional tourist path, and is ideal for those avoiding straw markets and hair braiding. The private, 9-hole course (with 18 tee locations) is located 2,000 feet above sea level - adding a unique element to golf in Jamaica. The course is not easy and has many slopes, sand traps, and bamboo traps. Tennis is also available and the nearby Golf View Hotel offers accommodations.

Recommended for Golf Courses because: Its cool, scenic mountaintop location, rich history, and challenging course make this a top choice.

Amber's expert tip: This would be a perfect choice for summer golf since its elevation makes it a bit cooler than other areas.

Read more about Manchester Club →




The White Witch of Rose Hall Golf Course may sound spooky, but guests and non-guests alike have dubbed it something a little less ominous; "beautiful." Designed by Robert von Hagge, the course intertwines with the mountains and provides golfers with some of the best views of the sea. Green fees are a bit steep making this one a splurge, but if you bring your camera along, you will more than pay yourself back. Spectacular views can be had from 16 of the 18 holes, dramatically carved into the countryside. The course is challenging - yet not overwhelming - and caddies are extremely helpful.

Recommended for Golf Courses because: The White Witch of Rose Hall Golf Course is not to be missed and a consistent favorite among golfers.

Amber's expert tip: After taking in a few rounds, sign up for a night tour to learn the eerie story of Rose Hall.

Read more about Rose Hall Great House Golf Course →


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Meet Amber Nolan

Originally from upstate New York, this restless traveler has a knack for befriending interesting characters. You can usually find her just about anywhere that has a hammock. Amber's favorite...  More About Amber

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