In October 2015, I surprised my husband-to-be with a 4-day mini-moon to Rose Hall, Jamaica. Two days after our wedding, we flew to Montego Bay and made the short journey to Rose Hall for a few days of sunshine, Red Stripe, and Golf. We were lucky to have beautiful morning weather (it rained every day, on cue, from 1-3pm… t’was the season) which allowed us to get our golf on.
To say my hubby is an avid golfer would be an understatement. Not only does he love golfing, but he’s also quite good. I know there is professional lingo for that – he’s an 8 handicap or something – but I prefer my version of spousal bragging. He’s really good. I was never really attracted to golf for two reasons:
1- I don’t have the patience.
2- I don’t do well with sports where you only have one chance/swing etc.
To further confuse matters, I’m über competitive. I have always joked that I’m too competitive to play sports I’m not good at. Multi-repetition activities are much more my jam – helloooo tennis.
I have a perfectionist complex when it comes to sports, even if it’s something I have little experience in. However, I have really taken to golf since we’ve been together, and I don’t suck, which is key to my continued participation and enjoyment. I was gifted some lessons for my birthday two years ago, and they have really boosted my confidence and consistency. I can drive the ball pretty well, but my
patience short game needs some work. I also get really really nervous when playing with other people, and was thrilled when I learned we would be playing in Jamaica as a twosome, with a caddy.
Course #1 – Cinnamon Hill
What a beautiful day for a beautiful course. I’m glad we started on this course as it was less challenging than the White Witch course. We enjoyed ice-cold Red Stripe beer and delicious Jamaican Patties after the 4th hole, and on the turn. The clubhouse is small but colorful. The pro shop was nicely presented with some fun branded items. We had some drinks at the “19th Hole” after the round.
Caddy: Michael – Was very knowledgeable, but quiet and reserved. He knew the course like the back of his hand but wasn’t as open to offer up suggestions. He responded to our questions very well; it almost seemed like he didn’t want to disturb our game, but we have never played with a caddy so we were eager to make use of him.
Greens: A few holes beautifully cut right along the coast, a few with scenic ruins (an old sugar mill), and a few into the hills.
Signature Hole: 5 – “Majestic Blue” a gorgeous par 4 with somewhat distracting ocean views ?.
Course #2- White Witch
Our second round was at White Witch. What an absolutely breathtaking course. The drive through the gates, up the hill to the clubhouse, takes about 3 minutes during which you can see many of the rolling greens you will be playing on. This course was more challenging than the first, however, I found the back 9 to be slightly more forgiving to my play. The clubhouse was beautiful, perched up high on the hill. The driving range was basically an infinity drop-off, which was incredible. We tried our best to warm up, but I was way too easily distracted by the view.
Caddy: Assani – very personable and energetic, but less golf knowledge than our previous caddy. We had a great time with him talking about Jamaica, and learning about life as a 20-something in Montego Bay.
Greens: Lush rolling hills, major elevation changes with stunning ocean views, some very challenging holes.
Signature Hole: 17 – a challenging par 3 with tons of sand.
Overall, both courses were spectacular and fun to play. I played better at Cinnamon Hill but enjoyed the view more at White Witch. I struggled with the heat and elevation changes at White Witch and found myself super tired and out of breath on some of the holes on the back nine. Our Hotel, the Hyatt Zilara, provided shuttle transportation to and from the course which was about 10-minutes away. We will absolutely be returning to the Rose Hall courses when we return to Montego Bay.