All At Sea - The Caribbean's Waterfront Magazine
Nancy Terrell -- May 2007 Issue
Golfing while Sailing - A Perfect Holiday
We all know that tourists come to the Caribbean to sail & snorkel; sail & dive; sail & party- but who would have ever thought that visitors could sail throughout the Caribbean on a golfing tour? Danish sailor and golfer Ulla Gotfredsen has actually visited every golf course in the Caribbean.
"Most of the Caribbean islands are fairly small and can only support one or two golf courses. A lot of visitors want to play more than one course when they're on a holiday. Normally doing that would entail spending every other day in an airport—packing, unpacking and repacking.” Instead, Gotfredsen suggests, visitors can charter a yacht, then “sail from island to island with the wind at your back and golfing on your mind."
The Caribbean does have some of the most beautiful golf courses in the world and to combine them with splendid sailing conditions, crystal blue waters, and a crewed yacht would, indeed, be quite a vacation. Charters can begin in the USVI at St. Thomas, for the challenging Mahogany Run course, stop for a break in St. John, then take a day for sailing down to St. Croix. There, golfers can play three courses: The oceanfront 18-hole Buccaneer Resort, the tournament quality Carambola Resort Golf Club, or the whimsical 9-hole Reef Golf course, “easternmost golf course in the United States.”
Another day of sailing can culminate in the “Spanish” Virgin Islands. A golfing enthusiast could anchor at Vieques, sample the local culture, sail on to Puerto Rico, and then play the challenging El Conquistador and the Dorado Beach golf courses.
Another option is to charter a yacht further down island and start your vacation by playing Cedar Valley and Jolly Harbour golf courses in Antigua; spend a day sailing to Nevis and then play a round of golf at the beautiful Four Seasons Resort. The following day a suggestion for a real challenge would be to sail or ferry to nearby St. Kitts where an avid golfer can battle winds and 88 bunkers, at the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club. Wanting even more, aficionados could continue on to St. Marten and finish on the newly opened Jack Nicklaus course in Anguilla. A schedule like this makes even me want to take up the sport.
Gotfredsen (www.amazingcharters.com) points out other obvious benefits for golfers going the charter route. “On board chefs are available for special dietary needs as provisioning is individually designed for the guests’ personal lifestyles. There are activities for everyone—sightseeing, a trip to the local spa, or just limin` back and enjoying the luxury and fantastic service on board a yacht. At the end of a day, with everyone having done what they wanted, the golfing family would enjoy a perfect sunset with their favorite sundowner.”
For a complete guide, find “Golf Courses of the Caribbean” by David Rowlands, M.D. Actually, this concept is so simple I wonder why it has not been thought of before. And it’s one golf-loving sailors can experience on their own boats—just stow the clubs on your next cruise. In m