|Continuing our series on winter golf destinations, this week
we present an overview of the Caribbean, written by Dale Leatherman, Associate Editor of TravelGolf.com.
Golf in the Caribbean
The Caribbean serves up year-round golf with generous helpings of sun, sand, wind and
water, plus the skills of the worlds top architects.
Sand, sea, wind, and a ragged stretch of no mans land. Thats where golf
began and still exists in its purest form. It began with a few rules. Today its
loaded with rules. But there is no rule saying golf must be played in cold, rain and fog.
With no disrespect (or apologies) to the many hallowed tracks across the Pond, the
Caribbean offers golf sunny-side up, year-round, with generous helpings of sand, sea and
wind. First-rate golf thrives here, bearing the stamps of noted architects such as Jones,
Dye, von Hagge, Nicklaus, Norman, Weiskopf, Fazio, Hills, Roquemore, Trevino and Wilson.
And it fits seamlessly into the ultimate beach vacation lifestyle luxury resorts,
romantic sunsets, great fresh fruits and seafood, and limitless watersports.
Today, you can find good golf on nearly 20 islands that are a short hop from
Miami. No two islands are alike, and neither are the golf courses. The variables?
Mountains, volcanoes, rainforests, coral cliffs, sandy beaches, marshland and even
desert-like terrain. The turf is usually Bermuda grass, but finer-bladed, salt-resistant seashore
paspallum is probably the grass of the future on water-poor islands.
The season in the islands is 12 months long, and there are usually cooling ocean
breezes, even in summer. Language is seldom an obstacle, because English is spoken
everywhere. However, the natives converse among themselves in patois, a local slang
which combines several languages and varies from island to island. This makes it possible
for caddies to discuss your swing without your being aware of it, but its all in
Most of the islands changed hands many times in a tug-of-war among nineteenth century
European superpowers who imported African slaves to tend the islands vast sugar and
banana plantations. Such a mix of cultures and races gives the Caribbean a unique style in
cuisine, music, architecture, language, dress, religion and mannerisms.
You can almost choose a golfing destination by your cultural preferences, and with
nearly 50 good courses waiting, the Caribbean presents a delightful dilemma. Almost
without exception,golf courses are couched in good- to-excellent resorts where youre
guaranteed a vacation experience ranging from acceptable to outstanding. Keep in mind that
islanders function on island time, which means a languid pace in which
punctuality seldom exists.
The Caribbean is one of the safest places
you can travel these days, as long as you use the same common sense youd practice in
any foreign country or American city. Many islands have a large poverty-level
population, and there are sometimes insistent street vendors and beggars. A firm
no sends them away. Any resort good enough to have a championship-caliber golf
course will also have a good security force, so you will not be bothered on resort
The above is an excerpt from Dale Leatherman's article "Golf Sunnyside Up on the
Caribbean Islands". Click here
for the full article.
If you are considering a golfing holiday in the Caribbean, call (US toll-free)
888-383-3633 or visit www.caribbeangolf.com for
a FREE Caribbean package quote.