Royal Westmoreland Golf Club
Royal Westmoreland is about to become the only resort in the world where Robert Trent Jones Jnr and his brother and nemesis Rees Jones go head to head in golf course design. In a recent interview given to Barbados Sports magazine, Rees stated: “This is the first time myself and Robert will have designed courses that are on the same resort, which is something I am looking forward to”.
To be fair to Robert, he didn’t know John Morphett, the proprietor of Royal Westmoreland, was planning to bring in Rees to design another 18 hole course.
The land that John has recently acquired brings the total estate up to 750 acres and John has some amazing plans to complement the already stunning Royal Westmoreland golf course and resort, including a 100 room hotel, restoration of an old sugar refinery, complete with the original slave bell, into apartments, along with the new 18 hole track.
It won’t be long after Rees has completed the new layout, that I can see Robert knocking on John’s door, wanting to make some tweaks here and there to the original track.
Top: Aerial view of the 9th hole and clubshouse: Above LtoR: 3rd, 7th and 18th holes
That’s not to say the existing 18 holes have anything wrong with them, Ian Woosnam who is a resident here along with a catalogue of other top sports stars and celebrity owners, states: “It’s the best collection of par 3s I have ever seen on one course”, and I must admit I have to agree with the former Masters champion and Ryder cup captain, there is not a weak design among them.
With carries over ravines and coral rock they are stunning and I am still not sure what is my favourite among them, with the 3rd and 15th just piping the 7th and 12th.
But my favourite hole is the 6th - a very short par 4 dogleg left, of only 335 yards, where you aim your tee shot at the coral rock face, left side of the fairway, leaving just a little wedge in to a green that is surrounded by the same coral rock face. It’s like a little amphitheatre and an amazingly beautiful little hole.
The 10this an awesome driving hole from an elevated tee, with a ravine running down the left hand side. But the best, as they say, has to be saved until last and the 461 yard par 4 18th is probably one of the most spectacular finishing holes anywhere. From an elevated tee looking out to the Caribbean the fairway rolls away and down hill on this slight dog leg right. It’s a great driving hole and if you catch the right part of the fairway you can leave yourself with just a wedge in, if not you’re looking at hitting a 4/5 iron in to a tight green protected by a coral rock face and a nice 50/60 foot drop, with the clubhouse behind.
I used to think there is no better way to finish a round of golf than a nice chilled beer with friends or when on a golfing holiday in a beautiful clubhouse with fantastic views of the course you have just played. But that long held belief has taken a bit of a dent since I was in Barbados. Both Royal Westmoreland and the Sandy Lane hotel asked us to try full body and foot massages after playing.
Now I really do love a beer after playing, and like many golfers I will admit to a history of back pain, but the hands of the masseuse revitalising my tired back, limbs and feet, is a feeling beyond that cool well earned beer slipping past my parched lips. I now understand why my partner loves it and sneaks off for pampering every now and again, and why the tour players have them booked after each day’s play. They really do make you feel like new, revitalised and looking forward to the next day’s golf and are something every golfer should try.
Aerial view of the course looking out to the Caribbean Sea