Golfing among palm trees and monkeys? Or sagebrush and snakes? T.V. Heyes says …
If a troop of monkeys and tropical breezes are to your liking, try the eponymous course at Royal Westmoreland in Barbados. The community of residences and vacation rentals in the parish of St. James range from villas (worth upwards of US$1 million) to apartments (around $250,000). The golf course has sun-drenched vistas of the Caribbean Sea – on every hole.
Several of these holes utilize an old limestone quarry, complete with drop-offs, and the par-3s have been described by Ian Woosnam, a Masters champion and successful Ryder Cup captain who also has a home here, as some of the best he’s ever played. Steep ravines, swaying palms and abundant sand traps add to the appeal and the challenge – to your game and your golf bag, as just about every club will come into play here.
While on the course, there are also views of the villas that overlook the fairways, including those of sporting Brits such as the footballer Wayne Rooney and the retired pro boxer Joe Calzaghe. A par-72, the 7,045-yard championship course was designed by the American golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. Royal Westmoreland also has a Canadian connection, with director of golf Roger Beale, a PGA Golf professional who has both Bajan and Canadian roots. When not teeing off with club members, Beale is available for lessons. You don’t need to own a home here to golf but if you’ve got pockets as deep as Rooney’s, rent a villa – you’ll get a complimentary tee time for every day of your stay. If you’re more of a duffer like me, book a round in advance of your visit to the island. www.royalwestmoreland.com
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