The former Blaauw plantation to the west of Willemstad was transformed into the Blue Bay Golf and Beach Resort in the 1990s and American architect Rocky Roquemore was drafted in to turn a substantial part of the former farm and quarry into a par 72, 18-hole championship layout.
The centerpiece of a 300-acre estate that hugs the southern coastline of Curaçao, Blue Bay presents a serious golfing challenge. A number of fairways feature water hazards – either in the form of the Caribbean Sea by the shore or inland lakes and lagoons – as the holes wind their way over a rolling landscape bounded by residential developments.
Many regard the par three, 6th as the signature hole on the course and it’s easy to understand why. Played from an elevated position, tee shots have a substantial carry across an inlet to negotiate before reaching a distant green perched on the side of the sea – a three on the card will feel like a birdie here!
Located just the north-west of downtown Willemstad the capital city, the course plays along the Caribbean Sea. It is part of the Blue Bay Golf and Beach Resort, once you drive through the gate’s security, it is just a 5 min short drive. You don't have to be staying at the resort to play the course.
Designed by William ‘Rocky’ Rocquemore, he took advantage of the steep elevation to create challenging holes. Especially the signature holes 5&6 which are dramatic as they play down to the ocean.
Blue Bay is not as well-known nor does it get the notoriety as the other 18-hole course on the island Old Quarry. The green fees are cheaper. But that should not stop you from booking a tee time.
The course is still a challenge to play. That could be due to the ever-present wind. So, choosing the right set of tees would be a great idea since the greens are slow and vary in speed from hole to hole. Since the course is close to the ocean, I think that affects the lushness of the fairways. It just means some extra roll.
However, the fairways are wide enough, so even if you are not straight, as a precaution, you should still take a few more balls with you.
I really enjoyed playing there for several reasons:
The pace at the course is quick you won't be playing a 4- or 5-hour round.
Holes 4, 5, 17, 18 offer incredible views as they run toward, along or over, the ocean.
My favourite hole was the par 3 #6, of the holes this is the one I suggest you really stop and take in the beauty of the surroundings. It has you playing over the sea onto a lower green. My recommendation is to hit, hope and have fun.
There is a driving range for you to warm up on, the clubs rental is good, but the golf carts do not have GPS.
The locker room is first class. And when you reach the 19th hole, you will enjoy good food and ice-cold beer.
Dave Elliott is with https://www.caribbean-golf-getaways.com/