With all but two of its fairways offering stunning views of the Caribbean Sea, the 18 holes at White Witch are carved through acres of lush green vegetation on Jamaica’s Rose Hall Plantation, just outside Montego Bay.
Interestingly, the layout is named after the “White Witch of Rose Hall,” Annee Palmer, who was an early 19th century mistress on the former sugar plantation, reputed to have practiced voodoo, abused her slaves and murdered three husbands!
The course opened in 2000, designed by Robert von Hagge, Michael Smelek and Rick Baril – the design firm was also responsible for the reworking of another old course next door at Cinnamon Hill – and holes are laid out on a wild, rocky part of the estate with intimidating carries and tumbling fairways.
The round begins with an eye-catching par five that gives notice of what lies ahead, plunging from the tee to a fairway that then rises sharply past bunkers on the right to a small, semi blind, pulpit green.
Towards the end of the round, many will remember the stunning par three 17th, where the white sand of the greenside bunkers contrasts sharply against the rich green of the putting surface with a lone tree in the background standing against the blue of the ocean.
The golf experience here is first class, from pewter bag tags inscribed with the visiting golfer’s name to white-suited caddies or “concierges” as they are called. Just don’t blame the ghost of Annee Palmer which is said to roam the estate for any of those three putts.