Winding through the Blue mountains of Jamaica’s historic 4,000 acre Rose Hall Plantation, The White Witch golf course is carved out of 600 acres of lush greenery and rolling countryside that feature panoramic Caribbean vistas with breathtaking mountain views.
The course is named after Annie Palmer, the notorious “White Witch,” who was mistress of Rose Hall Plantation in the early 19th Century. She was purported to be beautiful and beguiling—and to have done away with three unsuspecting husbands.
Locals are quick to say that Annee Palmer still haunts the Rose Hall Great House and the grounds of the estate — and maybe she does you have to go there and see the candle light tour.
I certainly blamed her for several wayward putts when I played her namesake golf course, the White Witch.
Play begins with an eye-opener — a 550-yard, par-5, which drops abruptly off the tee to a canted fairway, then climbs steeply past a succession of huge bunkers on the right to a small tabletop green tucked out of sightly off to the right. It is the most daunting hole on the course from the tee, and one of the prettiest I have seen.
The 10th hole is as deceptive as Annee herself, a 621-yard, par-5 doglegging around bunkers on the edge of a ravine. Fortunately it’s downhill off the tee. Cutting the corner, while risky, can pay off with a ball on the green in two if your lucky, despite the hole’s length.
The 164-yard, par-3 14th hole can be as tough as it looks, depending on the wind. The shallow peninsula green lies more than 100 feet below the tee, on the far side of water. The elevated tee provides a great view of the dogleg 15th hole, as well as the fairway of the difficult par-5 16th.
The par-3 17th hole is 161 yards slightly downhill to a small green surrounded by sand bunkers. Unless the wind throws a tantrum, this is not a hard hole. But it is among the most memorable for its beauty — white sand sharply contrasting with rich green turf and the blue backdrop of ocean. A windswept tree silhouetted against the sky provides just the right finishing touch.
16 of 18 holes offer views of the Caribbean Sea. Once you play the course you will want to come back and play it again.