Golfers are a serious people. If you belong to a club, you are a serious golfer by definition. You have a large investment in both time and money. If you play in tournaments, you and/or your team might get competitive. Maybe too competitive.
But something happens when you go on holiday. You begin to relax and you want to relax. The “holiday” mode prevails. Who needs a tee time? Just show up at the course and hope you can get out. Everything is relaxed. Your ball lands under a tree? Get out the “foot wedge”- kick the ball out from under the tree. And so it goes.
On a recent trip to Jamaica, I was in “holiday” mode. Sandals Grande Riviera in Ocho Rios was my perfect fix. I had been travelling so much, I only knew where my room was- I couldn’t even tell you the room number. Beside the nice tropical resort with all its amenities, Sandals Golf & Country Club is a quick 15 minutes away.
Over the years, I’ve had the good fortune to play the top courses in Jamaica- White Witch, Half Moon, Cinnamon Hill, Tryall, etc. While Sandals Golf is not the best (the aforementioned are better), it’s still very good. It’s the former Upton Country Club and at 6,404 yards (slope 128/125), it’s a nice blend of old and new. It has an elegant feel and charm like an old plantation. With its location up in the hills, it also offers some great views. Fairways and greens have recently been rebuilt with Tifdwarf Bermuda grass. Carts and brand new Taylormade rentals are perfect. A nice but not too challenging round of vacation golf.
The best news- no green fees when you stay Sandals in Jamaica (you do pay for the other services- carts, rentals, caddies, etc.. If you walk and bring your own clubs, you only pay $17 plus tip for a caddy). And if you listen to your caddy- distances and putting- you’ll get even more value for your golf dollar.