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Barbados a top Caribbean golf vacation destination

William K. WolfrumBy William K. Wolfrum,
Green Monkey Course
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The Green Monkey course is one of two Tom Fazio designed courses at Sandy Lane resort in Barbados. (Courtesy Sandy Lane)

Golf travelers around the world have long been aware of the delights that Barbados supplies golfers. This Caribbean Island paradise gives duffers perfect weather to ply their hobby all year long. And with a plethora of world-class Caribbean golf resorts, Barbados is a golf destination that truly shines.

With moonlight cruises, a pulsating nightlife, a brilliant array of restaurants, as well as an endless supply of ocean activities and water sports makes Barbados the type of Caribbean golf trip an entire family can get into. Barbados is fringed by corals reefs and fine, white sand beaches, providing excellent snorkeling opportunities. With numerous unique geographical structures, trips and other such activities are a constant in Barbados, which is as tourist friendly a country as you will find in the Caribbean.

For golfers, however, Barbados is truly something special. Here's a look at some of the best Barbados has to offer.

Barbados golf courses

Sandy Lane Resort in St. James has helped give Barbados a much more well-rounded and spectacular group of golf courses, as it gives guests and golfers a choice of two world-class 18-hole golf courses - both designed by legendary golf course architect Tom Fazio - to go along with its famous Old Nine, which was built nearly 50 years ago and still retain its intimate charm.

As you can see with the choice of Fazio as a designer, when it comes to tourism and golf, Sandy Lane is truly committed and putting its money where its mouth is. The two new courses are part of an upgrade of well over $200 million for the resort, and tourists to Barbados have been enjoying the hard work and dedication.

The two 18-hole courses Sandy Lane has to offer are:

The Country Club: The Country Club course was the first golf course Fazio designed for Sandy Lane. A robust 7,060 yards from the tips, the Country Club is no resort-course pushover. Well-conditioned greens, open fairways with plenty of risk-reward opportunities, and five lakes make this a a challenging and entertaining West Indies creation. Standing on tee No. 5, golfers will get spectacular coastal views, while the finishing hole requires a forced carry over a freshwater lake to get a good score.

The Green Monkey: Fazio's second Sandy Lane course is also the newest at the resort, and the Green Monkey has been drawing raves. The Green Monkey gives Barbados golfers a rugged, yet scenic, trek through the tropical locale. Created out of a quarry, the Green Monkey is one of the most expensive golf courses ever built, and Fazio's team spared no details in creating a masterpiece. You'll be shooting over canyons while enjoying the open, well-manicured fairways on a course that quickly has earned the title as the best of Barbados.

Royal Westmoreland: Another golf resort that has helped the sport thrive in this tropical paradise, Royal Westmoreland offers vacationers extravagant luxury as their every indulgence is met via The Sanctuary and the beauty spa and pampering centre. It's the golf that will grab duffers, however, as the 18-hole Royal Westmoreland course draws raves from all who play.

Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and opened in 1995, the course is set on a plateau 200-300 feet above sea level on the west coast of Barbados. This is not designed to be a shockingly green course, though the tropical weather keeps it that way. More interesting is the, tall brown feather grass and the other natural vegetation. Beware getting too caught up in the beauty of the course, however. Because Royal Westmoreland offers golfers plenty of challenges, including forced carries and elevation changes.

Also playing

Barbados Golf & Country Club: Originally designed and built in 1974 by golf course architect Col. J. Harris, Barbados Golf Club received a complete overhaul in 2000, as designer Ron Kirby remade the course that remains Barbados first public golf course. Playing to 6,805 yards from the tips, the course is challenging enough to have hosted a Champions Tour tournament.

The original trees remain, giving golfers their awesome spectacle, as well as an extra challenge on the course. A series of coral waste bunkers is carved through four holes, adding more difficulty, but also more personality to this intriguing design.

Rockley Golf Course: Playing to 5,610 yards from the back tees, Rockley is a favored course for women and seniors on the island. The oldest course in all of Barbados, Rockley gives players parkland golf at is finest, and despite its length, is a course that requires precise shot-making skills to secure a solid score. Designed to be played by all levels of golfers, Rockley has a reputation as a well-maintained course with excellent service.

Barbados fast fact

Teen singing sensation Rihanna is from Barbados.

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Sandy Lane Resort

William K. Wolfrum keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation. You can follow him on Twitter @Wolfrum.

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