One of the most popular golf events of the last five years was also one of the most short-lived. In 2016, PGA pros Rickie Fowler, Smylie Kaufman, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas created a social media frenzy with their #SB2K16 vacation in the Bahamas. The foursome experienced Snapchat stardom by sharing antics from the exclusive, members-only Baker’s Bay golf course, and it was so successful that they returned again in 2017 for more shenanigans.
Alas, Spring Break eventually ends for us all, and so when the pros traded Baker’s Bay for Kaufman’s wedding in 2018, golf fans lost their inside look at arguably the best golf course in the Caribbean. However, while you probably can’t play Baker’s Bay, there is still a lot of great golf in the Caribbean. Pack your clubs and gear, and tee off at one of these best Caribbean golf courses.
CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa — Anguilla
Designed by Greg Norman, the 18-hole par 72 championship course was built to complement Anguilla’s natural beauty. Recently renovated after hurricane damage, CuisinArt Golf Club, offers views of the Caribbean and neighboring St. Maarten. The second hole showcases the Anguilla Channel, while holes 16 and 18 use native trees and plants to create challenging obstacles for even the most advanced golfers.
Tierra del Sol Resort & Golf — Aruba
Golfers at all levels will enjoy the Robert Trent Jones II-designed golf course at Tierra del Sol, which features the Caribbean as a backdrop. After knocking the rust off with some practice swings on the full range and putting greens (especially important if you’re renting clubs), guests will hit the first hole and choose from four sets of tees, each one offering a different angle and challenge. Helping golfers along the way is the Par View GPS yardage system, which gives a virtual pro’s eye view of the course while keeping score for bragging rights.
Royal Blue Golf Course — Nassau, Bahamas
Don’t be too bummed if you can’t get a tee time at Baker’s Bay or the members-only Abaco Club. The Bahamas still offers world-class golf for the general public and Baha Mar’s Royal Blue Golf Course — Nicklaus Design’s first layout in the Bahamas — is a perfect blend of beauty and challenge.
The front and back nines offer two entirely different golf experiences, and while both are loaded with natural obstacles, the course’s CaddieMaster program will help golfers of all skillsets. Royal Blue also encourages golfers to leave their clubs at home and take advantage of the “Better Than Your Own” rental service, which features the latest gear from golf’s biggest brands.
Sandy Lane — Barbados
Sandy Lane is home to three courses — Green Monkey, Country Club and Old Nine — and each one is a bucket list experience that make Barbados a repeat destination for many golfers. Designed by Tom Fazio, the Green Monkey stands out due to its exclusivity (Sandy Lane guests only) as well as its unique design, having been carved from an old limestone quarry and boasting exposed rock that is unlike almost any other golf courses you’ll ever experience.
Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort — Curaçao
Regularly regarded as one of the best golf courses in the Caribbean, Old Quarry is part of the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort complex. The course was designed by World Golf Hall of Fame inductee Pete Dye to provide a challenging golf course that offers views of the Caribbean, Spanish Water harbor and Tafelberg mountain.
Cruise guests stopping in Curaçao for a short visit can purchase a special package that handles everything from shoes and clubs to lunch and transportation to and from the terminal, while family members who would rather hit the pool can purchase a day pass to the resort for rest and relaxation.
Punta Espada — Dominican Republic
Another course often mentioned in the conversation about the best golf courses in the Caribbean, Punta Espada is a Jack Nicklaus Signature course deemed as one of the best in the world. With ocean waves crashing against the rocky shores that run alongside eight holes on this par 72 course, you’ll be glad to have a caddie present to remind you to stop holding up the flow of the game with all your sightseeing.
Rose Hall — Jamaica
Rose Hall is home to two championship golf courses, both of which will satisfy even the most experienced golfers. Each designed by Robert von Hagge and Rick Baril, it’s difficult to choose between White Witch and Cinnamon Hill because they’re synonymous with the best golf in the Caribbean.
Each course offers not only challenging designs in a tropical setting, but there’s also so much history to learn at Rose Hall. Some people even think White Witch is haunted, which allows golfers to blame a ghost for their bad slice.
TPC Dorado Beach — Puerto Rico
TPC Dorado Beach features two championship courses, but casual golfers might be better off sticking to the popular East Course, as opposed to the much more difficult Sugarcane. The East Course offers views of the water, which bodes well for taking Instagram-worthy photos from your golf surfboard while your buddy recovers from losing a few balls in both lakes on hole four.
For anyone brave enough to take on Sugarcane, the Dorado Beach Golf Academy’s experts are on hand to help fix your swing before you face off against those deep bunkers.
The Buccaneer — St. Croix
The Buccaneer Golf Course will make you feel like you never left the clubhouse at your local country club. From the pro shop to the signature third hole, this Bob Joyce-designed course will inspire beginners and reward advanced golfers. That’s not to say it’s easy, but The Buccaneer is not going to make you want to snap your clubs over your knee and throw them into the ocean (which can be seen from 13 holes).
Fancy a quicker round out of the heat? The pro shop has a golf simulator loaded with 93 courses from around the world. However, nothing’s better than getting out there and taking on The Buccaneer.
Provo Golf Club — Turks and Caicos
Opened in 1992, Provo Golf Club is the only course in Turks & Caicos and has long been a regular choice as one of the best Caribbean golf courses. Decorated by regional flora and fauna, and home to a variety of native birds, the recently re-turfed course at Provo is as pretty as it is challenging. Four tee boxes are available for golfers of all skill levels, with plenty of water and sand to avoid on each hole.