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Golfing in Antigua

Antigua is one of the most beautiful of the Caribbean Islands, as famous for its History (Nelson was based there) as for its 365 white sandy beaches.

Like all Caribbean Islands, Cricket is the national game though football is rapidly catching up - and the locals, seemingly all of them being experts, treat their players as the European youth treat their pop idols.

To the visitor, the Water Sports are probably the greatest attraction and Antigua is certainly a wonderful haven for the sailor be he an International Yachtsman, a Tycoon with his 150 foot toy or the enthusiast with a 10 foot dinghy. Antigua Sailing Week, centred around Nelson's Dockyard and English Harbour, is a Mecca for the sporting yachtsman.

However, the sport that is really taking a hold on the Island is Golf The benign climate with an average year round temperature of 85 degrees, gentle breezes (hurricane season excepted!) and glorious views make the Island's Courses virtual paradises for the Golfer.

The Island boasts three courses - the Mill Reef Club (nine-holes but for members only), Jolly Harbour and Cedar Valley.

Cedar Valley Golf Club is an 18 hole, par 69 Championship course of 5,932 undulating yards. It has hosted the Eastern Caribbean Golf Championships and is the venue for the Antigua Open which attracts most of the Island's top golfers. There is a pleasing variety of holes from the exhilarating par 4 fifth from its lofty tee, over the hungry lake of the par 3 eleventh, through to, and not forgetting, the almost impossible par 5 ninth!

Jolly Harbour Golf Club is a newly reconstructed par 7118-hole championship course. It is adjacent to the thriving Jolly Harbour Marina with its shopping mall, restaurants and access to a superb beach. The course is set in a tropical parkland and incorporates a number of lakes (though these may well be dried out by the ever present sun when you play).

The Green fees for both clubs are very fairly priced at about US$35.00 a round plus about US$20.00 for a Buggy.

Yes, the golfing holiday-maker would do well to take a trip to Antigua to enjoy his or her game in idyllic surroundings, warm sun and cooling breezes.

Antigua provides the full range of Hotel accommodation and many of them have adopted the all--inclusive basis which does, certainly, provide wonderful value for money. Many visitors prefer, however, the freedom of a hire car with the ability to enjoy the excellent variety of Caribbean Restaurants - before or after the Game.

Of all the Hotels, perhaps the St James's Club offers the most - with the choice of rooms, suites or delightful Villas set in 100 acres of tropical gardens. The hotel boasts floodlit tennis courts, water Sports, a croquet lawn, a fitness centre, a creche, three restaurants and a Casino, everything but a Golf Course.

All Travel Agents will have full details of this and all other Hotels on the Island and Golf Today is able to introduce golfers to Villa Owners direct if they so wish.

We strongly recommend Antigua as a holiday destination that all Golfers should bear in mind.