St. John golf options may not be what you expected, but updating your itinerary adds a touch of excitement (and greenery) to your vacation.
St. John holds so much allure for travelers who love the great outdoors because it is the definition of nature at its finest — virtually unspoiled by development, with two-thirds of the land area protected and designated as a national park. Hiking enthusiasts, novice and advanced snorkelers, and even city dwellers who need a little bit of peace and quiet love vacationing here.
Because the great majority of St. John is a national park, there’s no room for sprawling, expansive golf courses. Accentuate your trip here by planning an excursion to a nearby island for a day of golfing, and enjoy the rest of your trip immersed in St. John’s natural beauty.
Island hopping: A fun solution to make up for the absence of St. John golf
One of the best things about vacationing in the Caribbean is how easy it can be to set up a home base on one island, and take quick day trips to others. St. John is no exception to this rule, and if you’ve dragged your loved ones along on golf vacations before, they’re probably going to be thrilled you’ve come up with a solid compromise.
Here are three islands (ranked by distance from St. John) that are perfect for a day of golf, but also offer other varied activities for your non-golfer traveling companions.
Golf trip to St. Thomas
There’s only one golf course on St. Thomas — Mahogany Run — but golf lovers agree that it’s a real gem (Michael Jordan, Bill Clinton, and John Travolta have all teed off here). Designed by world-renowned architects George and Tom Fazio, this 6000 yard, Par 70 course can be found on the island’s North side where you’ll find awe-inspiring views.
How to get there: Take the public ferry from Cruz Bay, St. John to Red Hook, St. Thomas. St. Thomas is only 3 miles from St. John, so the ferry takes about 20 minutes. Once you arrive in Red Hook, grab a cab to Mahogany Run, which is approximately 15 minutes away.
Other things to do in St. Thomas: Go sunbathing on Magens Bay Beach, enjoy duty-free shopping in downtown Charlotte Amalie, or visit the Coral World Marine Park.
Golf trip to St. Croix
St. Croix is the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, about 44 miles from St. John, and it’s home to three outstanding golf courses. The Reef Golf Course is a relaxing 9 hole, Par 35 course, with a driving range (plus tennis courts, beach, and a beachside restaurant). Carambola Golf Club is a Par 72 course built by Laurence Rockefeller and designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. And finally, The Buccaneer Resort has an 18-hole, Par 70 course — Senator Edward Kennedy once said of the signature hole (#3), “The only problem with this hole is that it’s so beautiful, you don’t want to leave the green.”
How to get there: Take the public ferry to Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas, and then board a Seaborne Airlines seaplane to make the 25-minute flight over to St. Croix.
Other things to do in St. Croix: Investigate 18th and 19th-century structures at the Christiansted National Historic Site, try your luck at the Divi Carina Bay Casino, or try some samples at the Cruzan Rum Distillery.
Golf trip to St. Martin
The one golf course on St. Martin is the 18-hole, Par 70 course that sits on the edge of Mullet Bay Beach on the Dutch side of the island. The aptly named Mullet Bay Golf Course was designed by noted architect Joseph Lee and has an on-site pro shop to set you up with anything you may need.
How to get there: St. Martin is about 116 miles from St. John, but it isn’t too complicated to get there. Take the public ferry to St. Thomas, and then catch your 45-minute, pre-booked flight (try LIAT Airlines) to St. Martin.
Other things to do in St. Martin: Visit one of the 37 unique beaches, go horseback riding in the ocean water, or have an unforgettable meal in Grand Case, known as “The Gourmet Capital of St. Martin.”
Stay in St. John, golf around the Caribbean
St. John golf may not be a “thing,” but it’s still one of the most beautiful Caribbean islands that offers the ideal setting for some R&R. When you book a villa in St. John, you’ll have your own private oasis, far away from tourists, and perfect for enjoying a low-key way of life.
Best of all? Your WIMCO Villa Specialist doesn’t just make your villa arrangements — he or she can also book any travel or day trips to neighboring islands for golf excursions — which means the only thing you’ll have to worry about ahead of time is working on your swing.