ST. KITTS and NEVIS -- The future of golf is bright on St. Kitts -- if you're willing to have a little patience.
Development in the Caribbean is expensive and moves slow. If a resort or course plans to be open by a certain date, you can almost certainly expect some lag time -- six months to six years or more -- before anything comes to fruition. This holds true for the island's latest luxurious developments involving golf -- Irie Fields at Kittitian Hill and Christophe Harbour.
I've been hearing about Christophe Harbour since I met "Buddy" Darby, the man behind the vision, nearly a decade ago at Doonbeg, the golf resort he built in southwest Ireland now owned by Donald Trump. Christophe Harbour has delivered on its promise of a marina for mega yachts, a few spectacular homes and the beautiful Pavilion Beach Club on Sandy Bank Bay, but its Tom Fazio course shows no signs of being ready for guests at the nearby Park Hyatt St. Kitts, which is scheduled to open this summer. The 126-room hotel along the shores of Christophe Harbour's Banana Bay overlooks The Narrows, a strait separating St. Kitts and the volcanic island of Nevis.
Kittitian Hill, meanwhile, is much closer to coming to fruition but faces major hurdles of its own. The entire development on dramatically elevated acreage on the northwest side of the island is all about being all natural and organic, from the food served to the golf course designed by Ian Woosnam. The Guesthouses and Farmhouses of the Belle Mont Farm resort are simply exquisite. Private plunge pools and open air bathrooms with outdoor showers and tubs serve up views of the Caribbean Sea to die for.
The golf course -- deemed the world's most edible -- is somewhat playable, but without the use of chemicals or pesticides, it is stuck in limbo. The greens are unputtable, and during my tour management wouldn't give a definitive answer when the course could open. There are concerns that Kittitian Hill founder Val Kempadoo's dreams of an entirely organic golf course are entirely that … more dream than reality. For sake of the future of golf on St. Kitts, let's hope not.
All of these photos were taken in February 2016 during my brief tours of both properties.