Royal Westmoreland - Barbados

Royal Westmoreland,
St James,

  • +1 246 422 4653

  • tbc

  • Robert Trent Jones Jnr

  • Roger Beale Jr.

Visit for a golf holiday at Royal Westmoreland

As you soon as you drive – by car – through Royal Westmorland’s gates, you can’t help but notice the luxurious colonial-styled houses. These exclusive properties currently range between $700,000 and $10M US dollars and the majority are European owned. Owners include cricketers and footballers from the UK, (Americans tend to favour the equally exclusive Sandy Lane property which is located further south on the popular island of Barbados).

Royal Westmorland is set in the parish of St James and Robert Trent Jones Jnr designed the course, which measures 6,870 yards from the championship tees and par is set at 72. Routed over the island’s higher ground, every hole has a view of the Caribbean Sea and each hole is beautifully manicured and features undulating fairways.

The first few holes ease you in gently, but by the 4th you start to notice the sheer number of well-placed bunkers – in all there are 98 to avoid before reaching the sanctuary of the plush clubhouse.

Considerable use has been made of the natural environment, with the 5th and 6th holes utilising an old coral stone quarry to great effect. The latter, a par five with a well-hidden green that requires two strong shots to even see it.

The par three 7th is my personal favourite, featuring a 150-yard carry over water. I was happy to see my ball land on the other side but happier still to see it roll to within a foot of the pin for and a subsequent simple birdie. The front nine finishes with another tight approach and a watery grave for anything short and right.

The Halfway House was well-stocked and brought welcome rest and sustenance before taking on the back nine.

The par four 10th is a sharp dogleg with excellent use of the rolling land, culminating in a raised green. The 12th, another par three, challenges the lowest of handicaps with its tight green bordering a ravine. It certainly put a blot on my scorecard, but I blame being distracted by a large family of green monkeys playing under some greenside trees where I'd parked the buggy!

Resident, Ian Woosnam, declares the course has some of the best par threes he's ever played. Certainly they seem to get longer and tougher each time you arrive at one. He also suggests that one of the delights of the course is that it demands the use of every club in your bag.

The last third of the course features a number of elevated tees, gorgeous views and tight fairways. By the time you reach the 18th and drop your approach shot to a well-protected green, you know you've played a very special golf course.

As is often the case in Barbados, the weather can change quickly. We experienced overcast cloud & heavy rain (albeit briefly) in the first few holes. Glorious sunshine followed, then high winds on the back nine as my card faltered.

My only minor criticism was the greens on the back nine which were being treated in preparation for the annual Barbados Senior Open a few weeks after our visit. I’m sure the work was needed and well done to the winner Sam Torrance. GPS tracking in the buggies would have been useful, but yardages are on most fairway sprinklers, which are plentiful.

The clubhouse is elegant, cool and very comfortable with sweeping views over the course. The Pro shop is well stocked and all the staff were friendly and very helpful.

The aforementioned Sandy Lane may grab the headlines and the Yankee dollar (not least for Tiger's wedding), but everyone I spoke to felt Royal Westmoreland offered more of a challenge to the seasoned golfer.

Article by Simon Kingham.
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Reviews for Royal Westmoreland

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Description: Royal Westmoreland is one of the best residential and golf club communities in the Caribbean and offers fabulous ocean views from every hole. Rating: 4.7 out of 6 Reviews: 3

One of the best collection of par 3s i have played anywhere in the World! 300 courses Worldwide and definitely in my top dozen ever!
6 / 6
Royal Westmoreland
September 29, 2015

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I played Royal Westmoreland a couple of weeks ago during a holiday in Barbados. The approach to the course through the ‘estate’ is of course impressive and the clubhouse looking out over the course provided a wonderful, relaxed but stylish feel. The staff I encountered were friendly, polite, relaxed (there’s no such thing as a stressed Bajan!) and helpful. By the way, the clubhouse overlooks the par-5 9th fairway and green so I wonder if the course layout has been swapped since the previous reviewers visit? I had played the Country Club course at Sandy Lane a few days earlier so was able to compare the two (see my review of the Country Club course for more info). Royal Westmoreland, as is the case of a lot of ‘resort’ courses is generous from the tee but does require good approach play to make a score. There were a few holes that required a carry to the fairway but most of these provided a safe side and a risk side requiring less or more carry to the fairway. On the front nine a number of holes took advantage of a natural rock-wall sided ‘valley’ to add interest to the holes. The greens when I played were in a smooth and consistently good condition however they were a bit slow for my liking. All in all though this is a cracking course that will test you without ruining your day(!) and in general is a tougher test than the Sandy Lane Country Club course. In reality there are better courses in other parts of the world that don’t get any where near charging the $250 green fee but if you are on Barbados then that’s the going rate, and we only live once!
4 / 6
Royal Westmoreland
February 23, 2011

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Royal Westmoreland is a well-established course on Barbados and may be known to UK golfers through a Seniors event which used to be held there. It is a course set in a holiday community, high up on the hill overlooking the ocean in the distance, and with plenty of elevation changes throughout the routing. The design is of largely generous driving areas, but strategic bunkers and water hazards if you miss the line. The greens are mostly large and undulating, with plenty of bunkers, but are fair and playable. There are a few drives with a carry needed to reach the fairway, or par-3s with a lot of gunk to carry, but they should be within the capability of a middle handicapper. A lot of length is not needed, but crisp iron play will help. It will not feel like a slog, but a round with a lot of variety and changes in elevation and playing direction. The clubhouse is a feature of a visit, with nice views back up the 18th, a good par-5 which offers a chance of a finishing birdie. Ian Woosnam supposedly has a house overlooking the hole. If true, he has chosen well.
4 / 6
Royal Westmoreland
January 20, 2011

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