Royal Westmoreland Golf & Country Club, Barbados

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The 18-hole course at the Royal Westmoreland Golf & Country Club is situated on a plateau, facing the Platinum Coast on the western shores of Barbados. Rated number 31 in Golf Digest’s Top 100 Golf Courses Outside the USA, the course stretches over 750 acres of tropical landscape that provides a pleasant setting for golf in combination with the scenic ocean views. Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed the course, taking advantage of the natural elevation changes and lush vegetation of the landscape.

The course measures 6,870 yards from the championship tees and par is set at 72. Routed over the island’s higher ground, every hole has a view of the Caribbean Sea and each hole is beautifully manicured and features undulating fairways. The first few holes ease you in gently, but by the 4th you start to notice the sheer number of well-placed bunkers – in all there are 98 to avoid before reaching the sanctuary of the plush clubhouse.

The Par-3 at the 7th hole features a 150-yard carry over water. I was happy to see my ball land on the other side but happier still to see it roll to within a foot of the pin for and a subsequent simple birdie. The front nine finishes with another tight approach and a watery grave for anything short and right. The Par-4 at the 10th hole is a sharp dogleg with excellent use of the rolling land, culminating in a raised green; the Par-3 12th hole will test even the most skilled golfers with a tight green that skirts the edge of a ravine.

The last third of the course features a number of elevated tees, gorgeous views and tight fairways. By the time you reach the 18th and drop your approach shot to a well-protected green, you know you’ve played a very special golf course.