Golf courses in tropical destinations keep getting better. Nowadays, avid swingers will find stellar, designer courses at sun-drenched places throughout the Atlantic, Pacific and Caribbean. All of these layouts are worthy of your bucket list.
Apes Hill Club, Barbados
Barbados’ newest course, Apes Hill, is one of only two on the island to have the “green” status of Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary for its commitment to protecting flora and fauna, conserving water and reducing chemical use (among other initiatives, the greenskeepers use salt to kill the weeds). Perched 1,000 feet above sea level, Apes Hill affords amazing views from every fairway. Banana plantations, outcroppings of coral, stately royal palms, natural ponds and the deepest, most daunting bunkers are all part of the memorable experience.
With Ka’anapali’s “Golf My Way” program, you can buy an 18-hole green fee on either the Royal or Kai courses and then play those 18 holes as you wish over a seven-day period—a great option for keeping both the golfers and non-golfers in your group happy. On summer afternoons, kids play free on the Kai course when with a paying adult.
White Witch, Jamaica
Situated on what was once the Rose Hall sugar plantation, the championship White Witch course is carved through lush mountainous terrain with ocean vistas from almost every fairway. Legend has it the estate is haunted by the ghost of its former owner, Annie Palmer, who allegedly murdered her three husbands. From the elevated tees of No. 1, with sensational views of the Caribbean 800 feet below, the White Witch casts her spell.
Quivira Golf Club, Los Cabos
Opened December 2014 and situated at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, Quivira is arguably Jack Nicklaus’ most daring design. All 18 fairways flaunt views of the Pacific. The layout starts at sea level, scales cliffs, spans canyons and arroyos, meanders through dunes and returns to the sea at the finish.
Green fees at Quivira include more than just a round of play. Your all-inclusive golf day starts with a warm-up on the range and is then made all the more special thanks to snacks and refreshments served at four comfort stations throughout the course.
Port Royal, Bermuda
Bermuda has many super courses, but Port Royal, a public facility, is the island’s top-rated and best value. Several of the Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed fairways provide remarkable sea vistas, but No. 16 is a true drama queen—a par 3 set across the ocean cliffs with nothing but the Atlantic Ocean between tees and flag.
Teeth of the Dog, Dominican Republic
Opened in 1971, Pete Dye’s Teeth of the Dog at Casa de Campo has been ranked “top dog” in the Caribbean and is consistently voted one of the best courses in the world. But beware: Dye transformed a jagged coral reef into a challenging masterpiece that packs plenty of bite.
Read more: The Best of Golf
New and Notable Golf Courses in 2017
Looking for some new greens? These courses in Scotland, Canada and the U.S. are worthy of your bucket list. Take in the striking geography surrounding Streamstrong, challenge your skills at Castle Stuart Golf Links or take a swing by the sea at The Algonquin Golf Course.