Apes Hill Barbados: A golfer’s perfect Caribbean getaway

What seems like a distant tropical paradise is closer than you may think. With some of the most beautiful golf courses, miles of golden beaches, and acres of rainforest to explore, is Barbados the ultimate golfing getaway?

A bucket list location for many of us, Barbados really is as beautiful as they say. It is a destination best known for its tropical beaches, fantastic surf, and as the birthplace of Rihanna, but not necessarily for its golf courses. But oh boy should it be! The island is hiding some of the best golfing gems the Caribbean has to offer.

This golfing utopia is closer to home than most of us think. Located in the southeast of the Caribbean Sea, Barbados is only a mere eight-hour flight across the Atlantic from London’s Heathrow Airport. For many, this wouldn’t even be classed as a long-haul flight.

View of the Scotland District in Barbados

With beautiful beaches, amazing people, stunning golf courses, and some of the best food and drink the Caribbean has to offer, the question should be why haven’t you visited here already? Well, thanks to the reopening of Apes Hill, it is now easier than ever. With the rise of Barbados in the world of golf the only thing the island seemingly lacked was a home away from home for you and your fellow golfers. Now Apes Hill can be just that.

The island is roughly 20 miles long and around 15 miles wide, meaning there is not much room for anything, let alone five world-class golf courses. One of them is Apes Hill. A quick 30-minute drive up the island from Bridgetown and set some 1,000 feet above sea level, Apes Hill is nothing short of breathtaking. Overlooking the Scotland District and out to both the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, from here you can understand why people love this place.


You may go for the golf but this is much more for me. Apes Hill reassured me why I love the game we all play. It helps you understand that golf’s not always about shooting the best score, but more about the course itself and the people you get to share that with. Allowing yourself to be consumed by your surroundings and embrace the outdoors is something this course does so well. Apes Hill is the venue where I could play out the rest of my golfing life in bliss, never getting bored of its sheer beauty.

Apes Hill 5th Hole

When winding through the forests at Apes Hill make sure to keep an eye out for the animals above. Sustainability has been at the forefront of this Apes Hill rebrand and what better way to do that than incorporate the beautiful ecosystem that it’s part of?

Green Monkey's at Apes Hill

Nothing has quite taken me back as much on a golf course as teeing off next to a troop of Green Monkeys. Your visit to Barbados wouldn’t be complete without catching a glimpse of them. Avoid provoking these beautiful beasts; they can be rather pleasant, but always be cautious. If you’re lucky enough, keep your eyes peeled as you may even see the tiny blue babies clinching onto the mother’s chest.

As well as the monkeys, Apes Hill has a whole load of wonders to lay your eyes upon. The natural rock formations are subtle reminders that Barbados was once submerged deep under the surrounding ocean.

The Bearded Fig Tree is Barbados’ national tree and can be seen across the Apes Hill estate. Most popularly on the drive up to a collection of the course side properties.

Apes Hill Baobab Tree

Keep an eye out too for the Baobab trees, trust me you can’t miss them! They live for centuries and two of the largest in the world are right here on the island. The oldest and by virtue the biggest lives in Queen’s Park, Bridgetown, and is more than 1,000 years old.

We were accompanied on-site by Ed Paskins, the Golf Course Superintendent who is a first-class character and very knowledgeable Kiwi. Apes Hill are lucky to have him on the team. Ed and his crew are in charge of and should be immensely proud of the irrigation system implemented around the property.

Apes Hill Reservoir

Barbados is an island paradise surrounded by water but funnily enough, it can become rather scarce of the stuff. So, Apes Hill came up with a solution. That was to support the golf course with a 58 million-gallon water reservoir. It supplies irrigation to the championship course, the Par-3 course, and the practice facilities among other things.

Although not yet fully recognized as a resort, they have been getting credit for the amazing work they’ve already done. At the 2023 World Golf Awards, Apes Hill won the World’s Best Eco-Friendly Golf Facility, as well as sweeping up three more awards for the world’s Best Golf Real Estate Venue, the Caribbean’s Best Golf Course, and Barbados’ Best Golf Course.

Apes Hill Practice Facilities

Before you hit the course why not hone in on your skills off the course, in the best golf performance center in the Caribbean? Golf is a confusing game at the best of times but with this state-of-the-art facility, it can make life on the course so much simpler. What this setup allows is for you to learn the game just as a professional would with video analysis, power plate mats, and an interactive putting studio. Believe me, you won’t want to miss that!

Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or like to think of yourself as an expert, Apes Hill’s PGA-certified coaches are on hand to tailor each session to your specific needs. So whether you require some new clubs, a swing analysis, or would like to simply make a few more putts Jodie and the team are on hand to do just that.

Ron Kirby at Apes Hill

When redesigning the course, Apes Hill put their faith in the late Ron Kirby who sadly passed not long after the course’s completion last year. Ron can certainly be proud of the quality of what is now Apes Hill’s 18 Hole Championship Course. He was able to incorporate the natural beauty of its location whilst enriching the natural charm and spectacular views of the island below.

As one of the Caribbean’s finest golfing venues Apes Hill has it all. Whether you’re on an elevated tee box, in the middle of the fairway, or up by the green, you’re presented with breathtaking views everywhere you go. It’s easy to fall in love with a course that has no dull points from the first tee to the final green. Every hole is different and has its own little bit of character etched into the Barbadian landscape.

Signature Holes

Apes Hill Hole 2


A tricky 1st hole at Apes Hill is followed by this stunning risk-reward par-4. A hole that stretches to just 255 yards, on the face of it seems easy, but be warned don’t get too complacent or else you may find yourself carding a big score.

Apes Hill Hole 12

(Apes Hill’s – Amen Corner)


Described by Ron Kirby as one of the most stunning runs on the course. Apes Hill’s Amen Corner could be argued, certainly by me, as one of the best stretches of holes on the island. Starting at the gorgeous Par-3 12th, a mere 235 yards from the farthest tee and usually into the wind makes hitting the green that little bit more rewarding.

This is many golfers favorite hole and I can see why. What makes the 12th so special is the sweeping views of both the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean from one of the best vantage points at Apes Hill. As anyone who’s played here will tell you, the distant crashing of the waves and the refreshing breeze is an experience where you can say, you had to be there.

Apes Hill Hole 13


Described as one of the best Par-4’s on the island, number 13 is one of the best and most challenging holes I’ve played anywhere let alone in Barbados. The tee shot is that of nightmares, if you can keep it straight, you’ll be rewarded with a second shot at the green.

Make sure to show the hole some respect, a shot left or right will have your ball swinging with the monkeys. Be careful of the wind on your second shot, as you pass the trees because it sneaks up on you and can have your ball flying in the opposite direction.

Apes Hill Hole 14


Just wait till you see the view from the green! After playing this hole a few times I still struggle to understand how Kirby envisioned it. This beautiful hole with its stunning rock formations wandering through the hillside is just something to admire. Whether you’re having the round of your life or in need of some new balls from the pro shop, hole 14 brings a sense of euphoria to boost any occasion.

This tree-lined hole has some of the best views in golf, this undulating dog leg left is a challenge off the tee. However, with some accuracy, you can be rewarded nicely with a short shot into the green. The magical view from the putting surface will distract you from reading any of your playing partner’s putts as you take in the landscape of the Scotland District.

Apes Hill 16th Hole


What a beautiful way to wrap up the Par-3’s at Apes Hill, known as “The Cave” The 16th is certainly one of the best holes on the course. Kirby designed the hole to focus on one of the oldest caves on the island, as it encompasses a bit of Barbados history at Apes Hill.

A challenging hole from any tee box, with danger everywhere you look. The water features heavily in this amphitheater and will swallow up any poorly struck tee shots. When and if you do hit the green, don’t be fooled as it’s much bigger and trickier than you think.


Apes Hill Courtyard Villa

Along with the recent updates to Apes Hill have come some of the most gorgeous course-side properties I’ve seen let alone stayed in.

Our stay in the Courtyard Villas was sensational from check-in to check-out. Built down the side of the par-5 18th these two-storey three-bedroom villas overlook the fairway with stunning Caribbean sea views. With private gardens and 30ft long plunge pools, the villas are a perfect example of the indoor-outdoor lifestyle that Apes Hill features across the estate.

Each villa has a four-seater golf cart which resembles something more of a monster truck than your average electric buggy. The contemporary and opulent style of each villa features across all the developments at Apes Hill with opportunities available for whoever is fortunate enough to get their hands on one.

At the moment, guests can rent the Courtyard Villas for in and around $1000 a night depending on the time of year. On the face of it, this seems a lot but when you dig a little deeper you’ll find this is a very good deal. Barbados can get rather expensive so when you consider the quality of the property and how many people the villas accommodate you’ll find that less than $200 a night each sounds much more reasonable.

Apes Hill Mid Ocean Villa

It won’t be till completion in 2025 that Apes Hill is fully realized as a resort. Until then though, they have plenty more on the way. Many of the villas across the estate are yet to be built. Seventeen, somehow more luxurious, 4-bedroom hilltop villas overlooking the Par-3 course and the 19th hole, conveniently located just a stone’s throw from all the resort facilities.

When completed the guests will have a choice of the courseside villas or a 30-room beach resort, spa, and beach club on the waterfront. It will be located just five minutes down the road in Hole Town. Until then guests will be able to benefit from the use of the beach club at the Fairmont Royal Pavilion Hotel just down the road.

When looking to stay or buy a property somewhere like Apes Hill, the amenities and activities on offer are as important as anything else. In my eyes and many others, Apes Hill offers up plenty of things to do and at the same time things not to do.

Apes Hill Tennis Court

If you want to live a laid-back life by the pool, on the beach, or at the villa you can do just that. You can also do quite the opposite with the two tennis and eight padel courts, state-of-the-art gym, and acres of forest to hike through with 100ft trees, green monkeys, and plenty of fascinating flora and fauna.

Golf in Barbados

Thanks to the central location of Apes Hill, Royal Westmorland and Sandy Lane are less than a 15-minute drive away. The perfect base for your golfing getaway with some unbelievable courses you must play.

Sandy Lane is one of the world's best golf resorts

Sandy Lane

From hosting Tiger Woods’ star-studded wedding back in 2004 to having 3 of the most iconic courses in the Caribbean. Sandy Lane is yet another ultimate destination for golf. Sandy Lane is true, as they say, Elite, Exclusive, and Legendary. Getting a tee time here can be like stumbling over a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. If you’re fortunate enough to tee the ball up at Sandy Lane it’s certainly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The Old Nine

Constructed in 1961, The Old Nine is a Par-36 3,345-yard course that meanders through the Sandy Lane estate. Tucked away in the corner of the grounds is a spectacular old clubhouse perfect for some putting practice and a rum punch in its tranquil setting.

Green Monkey

Course designer Tom Fazio made this course back in 2004 using dynamite to carve out the limestone landscape. Back then it was considered to be the world’s most expensive golf course ever built. With a total of 22 acres, Green Monkey is one of the most gorgeous courses you will lay eyes upon.

The Green Monkey is a Par-72 golf course at 7,389 yards, with beautiful Caribbean sea views, luscious greens, and immense rock faces. However remarkable the golf course is, not many people will have laid eyes upon it. With just 10 tee times a day, the course is described as a ghost – often spoken of, but rarely seen.

The Country Club

The first of Tom Fazio’s designs outside the US was The Country Club Course at Sandy Lane. A nice opening introduction to golf on the island of Barbados. With wide fairways, tricky greens, and breathtaking views, the Country Club offers golfers an amazing Caribbean golf experience. Composed of five par 3s, eight par 4s, and five par 5s, the course has a little bit of everything.

Royal Westmorland 18th Hole

Royal Westmorland

Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jnr, the stunning Royal Westmorland is a superb venue. A destination where you can enjoy luscious fairways and well-manicured greens all whilst basking in the Caribbean sun. Amid the wonderful estate sits this Par-72 7,045-yard golf course, sure to test the ability of any golfer. Hidden gullies, runoff areas, deep bunkers, and tricky greens make the course at Royal Westmorland a true test of golf in Barbados.



Barbados holds a world-renowned reputation for sun­kissed beaches, lush landscapes, and near-perfect weather all year round but let us not forget that this is the birthplace of Rum! It may be your favorite drink behind the bar but have you any idea where it came from and what has gone into making the fine spirit?

Rum is the essence of Barbados, the Mount Gay Distillery has been around since 1703 it is believed to produce the oldest rum found anywhere in the world. As you will find out, the Barbados Rum is the best in the world. After a rum punch, or two, trust me you will understand where the Barbadian spirit comes from.

Cricket at Kensington Oval


On the edge of Bridgetown sits this iconic sporting venue, The Kensington Oval. One of the 2007 World Cup venues, regular host of CPL (Caribbean Premier League), and host of test matches for the West Indies, England, Australia, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, and South Africa. 

Whilst on the island I was treated to one of the best sporting spectacles I’ve seen with my own eyes. A CPL cricket match between the Barbados Royals and the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots at the Kensington Oval. I watched the Royals chase down an unlikely 220-point deficit thanks to the big Rakheem Cornwall who had other ideas. Cheered on by the carnival atmosphere he proceeded to blast an immense 103 runs bringing it home for the Royals.


This gorgeous city is the largest in Barbados, thus the capital of this vibrant little island. A unique blend of African, American, and British heritage comes alive here. The people here are arguably some of the happiest individuals on the planet. Bridgetown has a population of roughly 290,000. Tucked in the island’s southwest corner, the city is home to some of the most stunning colonial architecture.

Bridgetown is riddled with history from centuries passed, with marvelous parliament buildings, and its very own Trafalgar Square which dates back to the 1800’s. The historic Garrison is a UNESCO World Heritage site, with buildings dating back to the 17th, 18th, and 19th Century.

Bathseba Beach Barbados


A surfer’s paradise, with golden sunrises, crashing waves, and panoramic ocean views, Bathsheba is a must-visit. Although not perfect for a casual swimmer, this is a beach of action, always moving with the beautiful ambiance of crashing waves. The beachfront is calm and rarely spoilt by the sound of a screeching engine.

Although off the beaten track the village has lovely restaurants (with unbelievable seafood), shops, and hotels perfect for a Caribbean escape. If you need somewhere to disappear, take in the Barbadian sun, and watch the surf Bathsheba is that place.


In my little time on the island, I was nothing short of blown away by the quality of the food on offer. From the beachside views of Sea Shed to delicious home-cooked marlin at Scotland View, and not to forget the Bajan Fish Cakes at Apes Hill.

Although seafood sits prominently on most menus, trust me there is something for everyone on the island. Whether you like fine dining or home-cooked food it is all amazing. You must try the Bajan Fish Cakes and not to forget the Bajan Pepper Sauce! It certainly comes with a kick so be warned but it’s flavourful and brings some excellent flavor to the plate.

About the author

Will Shreeve-Peacock is a golf equipment writer for Today's Golfer.

Will Shreeve-Peacock
Golf Equipment Writer

Will Shreeve-Peacock is a golf equipment writer for todays-golfer.com, specializing in golf shoes, GPS watches, rangefinders, and training aids.

He has a degree in journalism from Sheffield Hallam university and four years of experience working in golf retail with American Golf. Will was part of the sales and fitting team, making him the perfect man to review golf equipment.

Trained by a range of manufacturers, including Titleist and TaylorMade, to enhance his product knowledge, Will has all of the skills required to recommend the perfect equipment for amateur golfers.

Will started playing golf more than a decade ago at Thorney Lakes Golf Club, Cambridgeshire and is now a member at Burghley Park Golf Club in Stamford, Lincolnshire. His handicap index is 5.8, largely thanks to his scratch-standard short game.

Away from golf, Will enjoys going to the gym, cooking, spending time with his friends, and watching his beloved Manchester United.

Will uses a Cobra LTDx DriverCobra LTDx 3-WoodTaylorMade P790 2-ironCallaway X Forged 18 Irons (4-PW)Wilson Staff Model Wedges (52°, 58°)TaylorMade White smoke IN-12 Blade putter and the TaylorMade TP5x Golf ball.

When he’s not testing golf shoes, he chooses to wear FootJoy Hyperflex or Under Armour Charged Phantom. He uses a Shotscope Pro L2 rangefinder and his favorite ever training aid is the PuttOut Pressure Putt Trainer and mat.

You can contact Will via email or follow him on Twitter here.

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