Whether you’re a duffer or a pro, you need to tee up at these picks. Please come back to simplicitytravel.com to plan your golf getaway!
SANDY LANE – ST. JAMES, BARBADOS
Cricket’s the name of the game on this island, but the grass is greener on the green.
Yes, this English–influenced island’s national sport is cricket, but that doesn’t stop golf from making its mark. By tapping into golf great Tom Fazio for this luxury golf retreat, Sandy Lane ensures it. In an old limestone quarry is The Green Monkey, where a full 18 holes on its 72–par, 7,343–yard course runs $390 a round. Its tremendous elevation change is a large part of why this course is a can’t–miss, along with perks like a GPS system that advises you on each hole and can be used to order light refreshments—much like having a second caddy.
Along those lines, Fazio’s The Country Club, where the 2006 World Golf Championships Barbados World Cup took place, also offers a 72–par challenge over 7,060 yards above the Caribbean Sea, but for a fraction of the cost. And The Old Nine, an executive course that dates back to 1961, is even more affordable, meandering scenically through the Sandy Lane estate for a more leisurely round.
CASA DE CAMPO RESORT & VILLAS – LA ROMANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Forget about grabbing the bull by its horns. Try the Teeth of the Dog.
Obviously, we couldn’t put together a list like this without including the Caribbean’s #1 golf resort. The three on–site courses at this sportsman’s paradise were designed by Pete Dye, and all make the most of DR’s coral shores, craggy hills, and ocean views. The names? Cliffside Dye Fore, The Links through Casa de Campo, and the lauded Teeth of the Dog, a masterpiece counted among the finest courses in the entire world and the best in the region.
Complimentary golf clinics every Wednesday and Saturday get you ready; kids 4 – 15 are encouraged to enroll in Junior Golf Academy, in session on Mondays and Wednesdays. Special packages—including villa stays for up to five or shooting combos—make it the perfect golf getaway.
PUNTA ESPADA GOLF CLUB, PUNTA CANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Designed by the legendary Jack Nicklaus, Punta Espada Golf Club is rated as the finest course in the Caribbean and Mexico by Golfweek magazine and features eight holes that play directly along the ocean. All guests of the Sanctuary enjoy complimentary transportation to and from the nearby course, and forecaddies for each group. For prices and reservations please ask at the front desk.
HILTON ROSE HALL RESORT & SPA – MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA
Even those unfamiliar with the game will recognize the name Robert von Hagge, one of the most celebrated golf course architects of all time. His redesign of the Cinnamon Hill Golf Course—with Rick Baril—in 2001 brought the 1969 grounds to even greater glory, its 18 holes a frequent host for tournaments and competitions.
The Johnny Walker Cup takes place here, and World Golf Long Drive competitions and the LPGA Skills Challenge have as well. But teeing up on its 6,828 yards is more than just a championship challenge—you’ll play before the historic Rose Hall Great House; the centuries–old burial plot of English poet Elizabeth Browning’s family; a waterfall that was featured in the James Bond movie Live and Let Die; and the Cinnamon Great House, the second home of Johnny and June Carter Cash.
ONE & ONLY PALMILLA – LOS CABOS, MEXICO
Play like an executive … then do it again twice more.
Even the world’s greats have momentous firsts, and for the Golden Bear Jack Nicklaus, his course at Palmilla Golf Club was one of them. This was the very first Signature he built in Latin America, an exciting 72–par challenge consisting of three executive courses. Named Arroyo, Mountain, and Ocean, this 27–total hole amenity has been named the “Grand Dame of Los Cabos golf,” with Sea of Cortez views from every one of them.
Warm up with golf lessons at the practice facility nearby or go straight for the shot fresh off your short ride from One & Only Palmilla. Once there, it’s up to you which of five staggered tee boxes you want to make your handicap. However you play, though, know that you’re at one of the top 100 courses in the world, according to Great Golf Resorts of the World.
PUERTA LOS CABOS, LOS CABOS, MEXICO
The Puerto Los Cabos Golf Course, located next to Secrets Puerto Los Cabos, is the only “composite” championship-caliber course in the area, made up of two 9 hole courses. The Jack Nicklaus Signature Course and the Greg Norman Signature Course combine to create a unique 18 hole, 6,818-yard course with stunning ocean views and challenging elevation changes amidst the natural beauty of the area.
MOON PALACE SPA& GOLF CLUB – RIVIERA MAY, MEXICO
The Moon Spa & Golf Club is home to one of the only two Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses in Cancun. Players can enjoy 27 holes of Dunes & Jungle, Jungle & Lakes, and Lakes & Dunes. Palace Resorts also invites guests to participate in the Moon Palace Golf Academy. Here, students can learn the techniques and playing under the guidance of certified instructors, and with integrated state-of-the-art technology. Best of all, guests can use their Resort Credit to pay for rounds of golf, or forfeit the entire Resort Credit for our Unlimited Golf offer.
BANYAN TREE MAYAKOBA – RIVIERA MAYA, MEXICO
Refined yet authentic, the name “chameleon” definitely suits.
No matter how many courses he develops, it seems that PGA legend Greg Norman has no end of new ideas. At the spectacular El Camaleón course, he not only manages to marry signature landscape elements of the Mayakoba with traditional features—sand, water, greenery—but tames them into elegance with distinctive vision. The sand here comes in the form of dunes, and mangroves provide the foliage. Four cenotes come into play; they’re only some of the ways water features at 15 of the 18 holes. It should come as no surprise, then, that this course was chosen as the site of Mexico’s only PGA Tour event, the OHL Classic at Mayakoba.
That’s not the only first attributed to this development. The lone Jim McLean School of Golf is also here. Featuring a two–bay SuperStation and the Pure Performance Golf Lab, your best game might be a stay at the Banyan Tree away. Not only does the school offer coaching, the lab, and technology like the Trackman swing and ball flight analysis system, but they can also fit or build your perfect custom clubs.
PLAYA MUJERES GOLF CLUB, RIVIERA MAY, MEXICO
Guests at Excellence Playa Mujeres can golf at the spectacular Playa Mujeres Golf Club. Located just 3 miles north of Cancun, in the same resort community as Excellence Playa Mujeres, the 18-hole course spans the width of the peninsula between the Caribbean and the Chacmochuc Lagoon. The course was designed by world-famous golf champion and course designer Greg Norman, and was constructed with special regard for the exotic tropical flora and fauna that make the location so noteworthy. With nine ocean holes and nine lagoon holes, the course features stunning vistas and challenging sea breezes.