Apes Hill News
The Telegraph on Golf Courses in Barbados
5:28PM GMT 25 Jan 2012 - Rob Smith
Barbados boasts a handful of jewels that make up its treasure chest of golﬁng venues - varied, verdant and voluptuous courses that between them will satisfy every golﬁng taste.
Visiting in alphabetical order, we begin our feast with a trip to the newest addition to the portfolio, the exclusive and visually sumptuous Apes Hill.
This ridiculously scenic course has only been open for a couple of years and sits 1,000ft above the coastline in a position where it is able to offer breathtaking views of both the Caribbean Sea to the west and the wild Atlantic Ocean to the east.
The ﬁve short holes are all particularly memorable, with the ﬁfth being the pick of the bunch going out. Here you play towards an old kiln which requires a very accurate tee shot. Over-club and you will ricochet off the rock face behind the green, unlikely ever to see your ball again.
The elevated 12th is similarly impressive and introduces you to a string of holes that play through dense jungle, while the 16th crosses the coral quarry to a green beside water with a natural cave behind.
All in all, Apes Hill has the wow! factor in abundance.
Next up is the revitalised Barbados Golf Club, a mile or so inland from the southern tip of the island. This impressed me a great deal with its charm and the genuine warmth of its welcome. Substantially upgraded in 2000, this is where the locals play.
While being a little more forgiving than its more tree-lined compatriots, it is still a proper test of golf and enormous fun. If it were not for its more illustrious neighbours, the course would be far better known in its own right.
The small, informal clubhouse at Rockley on the outskirts of Bridgetown is where you will pay the most modest green fee on the island. And for this you will enjoy a round of golf on a pretty, easy-walking, relatively short and tree-lined nine-hole course.
Indeed, trees really are the feature here as they also guard the greens and in places challenge the golfer by standing, arms outstretched, in the middle of the fairway! Although this is not a problem for a golfer such as me who tends not to bother with fairways, it does mean that for the better player and the longer hitter, there is plenty of risk and reward on offer.
There are two sets of tees, plenty of birdie opportunities, and an informality that makes a visit well worthwhile.
I must confess to a real soft spot for the excellent Royal Westmoreland with its beautiful, demanding Robert Trent Jones Junior course. Thought by many to be the ﬁnest design on the island, the holes twist and turn through gentle hills as well as some severe ravines.
As at nearby Apes Hill, an old coral quarry comes into play and I was lucky enough to hole a sand-wedge for an eagle two on he short par-4 sixth. Admittedly, we were playing Texas scramble and using the tee-shot played by one of my partners, but a two is a two in anyone’s book!
Even if your game is off, the rich diversity of lush vegetation and glorious views of the shimmering azure Caribbean Sea offer solace at every hole. The course has been used for many top professional events and is one of those that I would happily recommend to anyone.
Our ﬁnal port of call is the world-famous Sandy Lane, just a little further down the west coast, which boasts not one but three courses. Having hosted golf’s World Cup in 2006, it is as well known for being the venue for Tiger Woods’ wedding two years earlier.
The original course now dates back 50 years, but this is now a supporting act nine-holer and has been complemented by the addition of two superb newer courses designed by Tom Fazio.
The Country Club course includes a number of revamped holes from the original layout, as well as new holes. Immaculately groomed and the epitome of all that is good about holiday golf, this is a ﬁrst-rate course.
By contrast, the ultra-exclusive and visually stunning Green Monkey is immaculately carved from an old limestone quarry and features exposed rock faces and dramatic changes in elevation. It is unique and certainly different from anything you will have played elsewhere.
As you would expect from an island with such a strong tradition of premium-quality tourism, the golf on Barbados is a heady and vibrant mix. There is something to challenge and delight players of every ability, and all of it in a variety of glorious and enchanting settings with a welcome as warm as the hot, tropical sun.
For the full article please visit http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/travel/barbados-holidays/9039347/Barbados-golf-courses.html