More than half a century has elapsed since the much-travelled British architect Commander John Harris set out the Runaway Bay golf course in 1960 and it’s still a challenging layout, especially since former par fives at the 12th and 14th were converted to long par fours, bringing the par down to 72.
The course is situated in St Ann parish, less than a mile inland from the north coast of Jamaica, operating under the Jewel Resorts banner. The construction of a tunnel in recent times has resulted in improved access to the facility, allowing golfers to bypass traffic on the main road that runs along the perimeter of the property.Notable holes on the front nine include the 408-yard 5th and 170-yard 6th, which lie on opposite sides of a narrow gorge. On the back nine, the uphill, 200-yard 11th and 148-yard 16th – played downhill across a little gully – are tough par threes that rarely yield birdies.
Older course with multiple doglegs in both directions. Took the opportunity to play with a caddy that helped immensely in club choice and green reading. Traditional resort type challenge as most of the players are guests of the resort or private members.
Wind is fairly strong all day and the course tends to dry out quickly. Holding greens is problematic with firm conditions and weak Bermuda grass. Not overly long the course is more more entertainment than for a strong challenge.