TIPS FROM THE TEE
ith three internationally-acclaimed championship courses to tackle, Rose Hall offers golfers 54 challenging holes framed by scenic backdrops for a round of golf or three. Tame the White Witch golf course, conquer Cinnamon Hill and master the Half Moon course with our golf pros’ tips. Seasoned Rose Hall golf professionals Ewan Peebles, Robert Ames, Mike Cole and Kevyn Cunningham share their expertise for playing each of these spectacular courses with you. W
THE WHITE WITCH “The Witch” taunts golfers with dramatic changes in elevation and holes ranging from 120 to 550 feet above sea level. Winding through the vast mountains and lush valleys of Rose Hall, the White Witch Golf Course features stunning views of the Caribbean from 16 of its 18 holes. The course is alluringly dangerous and unpredictable - just like its namesake, the bewitching Annie Palmer, who owned the 5,000- acre sugar plantation on which the course is built. Designed by Robert von Hagge and Rick Baril, this par-71, 6,719-yard course is as stunningly beautiful as it is challenging.
MIKE COLE’S TIP ON HOW TO PLAY THE 1ST HOLE
“As you walk up to the 1st tee at the White Witch, you are confronted with a quandary. Enjoy the spectacular view overlooking the Caribbean Sea or concentrate on the daunting task of the challenge, before you play this spectacular 550 yard par 5. The left center of a fairway 250 feet below you is the target for your tee shot. From there, the green is 50 feet above you and approximately 240 yards away from you, uphill and into the wind, which makes getting home in two difficult on most days. A layup to the 100 yard marker will leave you a relatively flat lie for your approach shot. Play this one as a three shot hole. Drive-in play is paramount. If you go for the green in two, the risk is much greater than the reward. Take the par and be happy to have finished this spectacular opening hole.”
To contact Mike Cole at the White Witch Golf Course, Tel: 518-0174
CINNAMON HILL Named for the long-time home of the late Johnny Cash and his wife June Carter Cash, Cinnamon Hill is built on what used to be a 400-acre sugar plantation. The course meanders through lush mountains out to the coast, where players are close enough to feel the sea spray on their faces. Home to some of the area’s most striking historic remnants, the Cinnamon Hill Golf Course begins in the shadow of the Rose Hall Great House, winding past a plantation-era graveyard to follow the remains of an old aqueduct down to the ocean. Originally designed by Hank Smedley and revamped in 2001 by Robert von Hagge and Rick Baril, Cinnamon Hill’s par-71, 6,637-yard course was designed with the resort player in mind. With its beach-sweeping front nine and the back nine snaking up into the mountains, this beautiful course offers a vast array of fabulous mountain, island and ocean views.
ROBERT AMES’ TIP ON HOW TO PLAY THE 5TH HOLE
“As you stand on the 5th tee at Cinnamon Hill, you are mesmerized by the majestic site and the 458 yard par-4, dog leg left in front of you. While you hit your driver aiming at the left fairway bunker, trade winds blowing from your right, you know the challenge begins with your second shot. The green is framed by mounds on the left, palm trees to the back and the Caribbean Sea just 2 yards off the right edge of the green. You have two choices; play your shot out right and let the trade winds move your ball onto the flag or aim at the middle of the green and play a cut shot against the wind. You are now on the green, but the challenge has not ended as the green slopes ever so gently from left to right. With this putt, rely on your expertly trained caddy to assist. He knows every break on every green. A picture does not do this hole justice, so come see it for yourself. If you need another challenge, we have 17 other holes to test your golf game.”
To contact Robert Ames at the Cinnamon Hill Golf Course, Tel: 953-2650 ext. 89.
JAMAICA TOURIST 4
HALF MOON GOLF COURSE Designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. in 1964, the Half Moon Golf Course has an international reputation for being both challenging and beautiful. A member of Jack Nicklaus’ “Great Golf Resorts of the World”, this highly walkable 6,585 yard course wraps around meadows and is surrounded by mature palms, providing an unforgettable experience for the young and the young at heart.
EWAN PEEBLES’ TIP ON HOW TO PLAY ‘INTO’ THE JAMAICAN WIND
“When playing golf in Jamaica, you will generally encounter stronger winds. Your ability to manage your swing and game in these winds will often play a significant part in determining how well you score. Typically, you will experience 20-30 mph winds, which will impact both the distance and direction of your shots. When the wind is ‘in your back’, your shots will fly further than normal allowing you to reach long par 4's and par 5's that may otherwise be out of reach. However, it is when the wind is ‘in your face’ that most golfers tend to struggle. First and foremost, understand that you cannot beat the wind, only manage it. The key is to control the spin on the ball. Try to resist the natural temptation to swing harder and faster, focus instead on swinging the club at approximately 85% of your maximum speed. This will allow you to maintain good balance and make solid contact. Also, don’t be afraid to take an extra club(s) on your approach shots. Your ego might be initially unwilling to cooperate, but that will quickly be forgotten when your defeated playing partners have to buy the drinks…”
Ewan Peebles can be contacted at the Half Moon Golf Course by calling 953-2211 ext. 6140.
KEVYN CUNNINGHAM, CUNNINGHAM GOLF ACADEMIES Kevyn’s tip on how to achieve a great swing.
“To get the correct sense of how the backswing should start and more importantly, how the hands, arms and shoulders should move in sequence at the start of the swing, imagine you are swinging a bucket full of water (or Red Stripe!!). If the motion is smooth, a gentle blending of the weight movement in conjunction with the shoulders starting to turn, should keep the water in the bucket as illustrated above right.
If you snatch the bucket away with your arms only, using very little body motion, the water will splash out on the ground as you see right. Certainly, as the swing moves into the wrist cocking phase of the backswing, you will want to spill the water. However, at the start, try to feel how your body weight, shoulders, chest and arms should move smoothly in the beginning of a good swing.”
Contact Kevyn Cunningham by calling 361-3330.
Top image: The correct way Bottom image: The wrong way (Photos: Heidi Zech)