Christopher Columbus gave the name Nevis (from the Spanish “nieve” for snow) to the beautiful Caribbean island he discovered just south of St Kitts in 1492, due to the fluffy white clouds that lay above the landmass as he first approached.
Pinney's Beach, named after a local plantation owner in the 19th century, is a fantastic four-mile stretch of white sandy coastline on the west side of the island and it’s where the course at the Four Seasons Resort was laid out in 1991.
Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jnr, the 18-hole layout at Four Seasons Nevis was the first that the architect constructed in the Caribbean – though he has since created courses in Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados and Puerto Rico – and the palm tree-lined fairways are imaginatively routed around the slopes of the dormant Mount Nevis volcano.
With breathtaking views across to St Kitts from many parts of the course, Pinney’s Beach enjoys a number of dramatic changes in elevation over its near 6,800 yardage.
The front nine gently climbs away from the clubhouse then fairways level out across a flattish ridge before plunging downhill again from the 14th hole, providing an exhilarating end to the round.
Nevis is the sleepiest Caribbean island that I’ve ever visited and clearly the island is expecting something big to happen as the road infrastructure is significantly better than any I’ve seen in the West Indies. The island itself was fast asleep when I visited but it was a memorable trip which included a round at RTJ II’s Four Seasons course. I was well and truly impressed with the layout which climbs its way up the foothills of the volcano, through a rain forest and then plunges back down again to the shores of the Caribbean Sea. Where, incidentally, there’s a lovely beach bar waiting with a cold Red Stripe adjacent to the 18th green. The course was thoroughly entertaining and certainly not holiday golf. This is a tough track. Was especially impressed with the 600 plus yard downhill 15th which plays across a deep ravine from the tee where you look down on the treetops below. How much dare you cut off? Well worth making a special trip to Nevis to play this resort course.