The Top 10 Golf Courses and Resorts in Jamaica

Ocho Rios, Jamaica
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Most of the great golf courses of the world over are set on or amid the most spectacular scenery imaginable. The top 10 golf courses and resorts in Jamaica are no exception. Wherever we might choose to visit, be it the deserts of Arizona to the mountaintops of Colorado, from the tropical rainforests of South America to the Caribbean Islands, the scenery, atmosphere and ambiance are always very special, and nowhere more so than in Jamaica. And I know you'll agree with me, the aesthetics of any given location are always a major consideration when serious golfers set about planning a golf vacation.

Jamaica is one of those places where the scenery is beyond compare and the golf courses are, well, they are spectacular too. Jamaica is home to some of the finest golf courses and resorts in the Caribbean. For more years than I can count, the Caribbean has been my favorite destination: the balmy nights, the emerald ocean waters, the lilting sounds of distant steel drums and the ever-pervasive tropical atmosphere is not only relaxing but inspiring too. Add a dozen or so championship golf courses and you have a golf destination that's just a little this side of heaven, one that will draw you back time after time.

Jamaica has little else to offer than "the all-inclusive vacation," its spectacular scenery, its resorts, beaches and, in my opinion, the finest coffee on the planet; and I do say that with tongue-in-cheek. These days, where there's a resort there's usually a golf course, and often more than one; Jamaica has more than its fair share of both resorts and golf courses. The "golf resort" is something of a hybrid among its peers, a resort that offers virtually everything you need under one roof: golf, of course, and world-class lodging, a spa, fine restaurants, the best beaches and a ton of activities to enjoy between and after rounds of golf.

Nowhere in Jamaica is more blessed with these golf-related, mini-worlds than Montego Bay. Here are just a few for you to consider:

Setting golf aside for just a minute (as if I really could), Jamaica is perhaps the ultimate vacation destination for individuals, couples groups and, of course, families. Most of Jamaica's resorts are all-inclusive, which means meals, accommodations and basic amenities are included in the rate. In Jamaica, just about every kind of recreational activity is yours for the undertaking: from bird watching to hiking, deep-sea fishing to horseback riding, sailing to scuba diving, shopping to exploring the island's incredible historic sites, the list of things you can do is almost endless.

I have often wondered how it is that some people can be blessed, not only with good looks but perhaps an amazing singing voice, artistic talent, athletic ability. Jamaica is like that too, a tropical island blessed with all the wonders of nature, including the crystal clear ocean, the softest whitest sand and the sunniest skies you have ever seen.

So, how about those golf courses and resorts? Well, the resorts are, of course, world-class; many of the golf courses were designed by some of the greatest names in the business: Palmer, Nicklaus, Dye, Robert Trent Jones, Von Haage, each is unique in its own right.

Green fees range from around US$30 to $200, depending on the course, resort, the time of year, and so on. At most resort courses, the fees are part of the all-inclusive rate. If you are playing on a resort course and not lodging at the resort, there may be an additional visitor fee.

How to Get There

You fly into Montego Bay: Sangster International Airport (MBJ) is the leading tourism gateway to the island of Jamaica.

And there are a great many more opportunities for great golf all over the world. Favorite locations include Scotland, Florida, the American Southwest, Bermuda, the Bahamas, all over the Caribbean and Mexico and many more.