Round two of the Admiral’s Cup Pro-Am begins by boarding a ferry in the downtown capitol of St. Kitts, Bassterre, for a short and gorgeous ride to the sister island Nevis where we played at the Four Seasons Resort. Two large cruise ships had docked overnight. The seaside village and shops were busy with passengers eager to taste and experience the island of St. Kitts. The boat ride highlighted the entire peninsula of St. Kitts with many premium spots for snorkeling and scuba diving. Fishing and sailboats dot the horizons as the view of Nevis is dominated by the rise of Nevis Peak. Shorts and short sleeves were all required passing through the blue waters. The 30-minute ride is a deal for $10U.S. each way. Golfers and spouses were excited for the day of golf and leisure ahead as we docked at the Four Seasons Hotel. We meandered through the impressive gardens and tennis courts to the Pro Shop of the par 71, 18-hole championship course designed by Robert Trent Jones II. The view from the driving range includes orchid trees with fuchsia blooms leading up to the mountain and a sugar mill column for an ancient feel. It takes your breath away. Overwhelmingly beautiful as it runs through the mountain with so many ocean views, this is one of the most beautiful courses that we have ever played. The course rises and falls among the foothills of Nevis Peak with many cart paths dipping into dark rain forests, emerging onto elevated tee boxes beholding the Caribbean Sea. Luxurious island homes are envied as you make your way around the challenging holes daring one to cut the corners of blind tee shots over and around jungle traps. The beauty of the jungle flora is distracting and the monkeys provide comic relief as you ponder shot strategies. Zeke, our tourism ministry partner of the day was our secret weapon. Strategically delegated again by Senator Skerritt as he conducted affairs in Parliament, Zeke’s arsenal was simple course knowledge as his job is to conduct golf tours from St. Kitts affording him frequent course play. Somebody has to do it. He was instrumental in our good round. Various holes were not what they seemed. The slant and slope of each fairway present multiple shot selections. In particular, hole #17, a 419 yard, par 4 downhill blind tee shot requires a long iron or hybrid instead of driver. A concrete ditch that was built for flood control similar to a half-pipe snowboard run is the only unfriendly experience on the islands. It crosses the fairway about 240 yards from the tee box. An unsuspecting player wielding a driver might be surprised to see their ball swallowed by the ditch and delivered to the ocean some 800 yards away.
After the round we were treated to a reflexology session at the Four Seasons Spa. The foot massage was both relaxing and invigorating in the cushioned lounge chairs in a quiet garden setting with a reflection pool, floral landscaping and the towering green Nevis Peak beyond. It was heavenly. Our evening meal at Mango’s was right on the shore of the sea with pelicans diving for their last meal of the day. The sunset was enchanting with glimpses of cruise ships leaving the dock of St. Kitts, on to their next port of call. The fresh seafood and service was delightful, beckoning for a future visit. The strong tropical winds produced a rougher voyage home, but standing on the back of the boat under the moonlight and sea mist spraying around us, we said goodbye to Nevis as we sped away. We didn’t want the day to end so we joined the younger crowd at a local beach bar called Vibes. We shared the day’s round over our new favorite beer, Carib as a reggae band played. The island breeze washed over the open-air tables and the competition for best story began. Our new friends from the Miami team shared a video of Gay Attia attempting to ride one of the donkeys from a seashore vendor. The donkey bit him on the leg and tossed him to the ground. Several attempts and bites later, the newly filmed star will surely become a You Tube hero and definitely the story winner of the night. The soft Marriott sheets, ocean breeze and crashing waves invited Mr. Sandman to our room as we wondered about our tournament position after the second round. What a fantastic day in St. Kitts-Nevis!