Tee-off Virgin Islands’-style amidst a dramatic backdrop of sun, sand and sea.Configured by world acclaimed designers and putted-on by presidents, courses on St. Thomas and St. Croix cater to golf enthusiasts who love to `play a round’ while on vacation
St Thomas Golf Course: Mahogany Run
This Tom Fazio-designed, par-70, 18-hole course overlooks the Atlantic ocean with a view of the neighboring British Virgin Islands beyond. Most spectacular is the Devil’s Triangle – a trio of holes so challenging that golfers who play through them without a penalty shot earn a prize in the pro shop. Overall, the course has rolling hills, tropical valleys and greens that are really green, thanks to a recently completed multi-million dollar renovation which included a brand new irrigation system, recently regrassed greens and renovated bunkers.
St Croix Golf Course
Call for tee times or come by to play, availability is excellent. Informal scratch tournaments held throughout the year give visitors a chance to pit their skills against local players with hometown course knowledge. Three-day special packages available to golf enthusiasts. Groups are welcome and special tournaments complete with prizes can be arranged. No need to lug clubs from home, Mahogany Run offers Callaway-brand rentals.
Set on the grounds of a former sugar plantation and located just east of Christiansted, the Buccaneer Hotel is an island within an island, offering one of the most extensive roster of activities on St. Croix. The 18-hole golf course takes players over sloping hills, right to the edge of the Caribbean sea.
Golf pro Tim Johnston is on duty full-time. Guests and non-guests welcome. Breakfast on The Terrace, with views to Christiansted Harbor, makes a delightful way to start a round of play. Hotel guests play at reduced rates. One-week golf packages are also available to guests. Discounted 10-play books are available to all golfers.
Carambola Golf Course
Nestled in the valleyed northwestern section of St. Croix, is the Laurence Rockefeller built, Robert Trent Jones-designed Carambola Golf Course. Since opening thirty years ago, the Carambola has been awarded a gold medal by GOLF magazine for being one of the finest golf resorts in the world and has been given a four-star rating by Golf Digest.
The par-70 course winds through a deep valley, full of water hazards in the form of spring-fed lakes. Bright tropical foliage makes for an exotic appeal. The rolling terrain and nearly 100 bunkers provide a stern test for the accomplished golfer, but four sets of tee markers and ample landing areas make Carambola a golf course players of all skill levels can enjoy.
In addition to the 26 quaint two-story red-roofed villas of the Westin Carambola Beach Resort, facilities for golfers include an expanded clubhouse, a practice putting green, a driving range and full-time golf pro, Greg McCulloch. The pro shop has rental clubs and lockers.
Carambola’s New York Deli serves super sandwiches and salads at lunchtime daily, catering to golfers and golf widows alike. Sunday Brunch is an island institution.
THE REEF CLUB
This 9-hole mini-course on the northeastern part of St. Croix has a casual personality perfect for some carefree putting. Friday afternoon scrambles are an event. There’s also a driving range.
All photos on this page are ®Carol Lee 1997