The White Witch Golf Course in Jamaica: Wicked and wonderful

MONTEGO BAY, Jamaica -- Legend has it that Annie Palmer -- the "White Witch" of Jamaica's Rose Hall Estate who supposedly murdered three husbands and countless lovers -- was wicked and beautiful.

The same adjectives apply to the White Witch Golf Course, a hauntingly gorgeous Robert von Hagge design set on 200 acres of the 4,000-acre Rose Hall Plantation 20 minutes east of Montego Bay.

The relentless jungles of the 6,758-yard, par-71 course treat golf balls with callous and disdain, discarding them like Palmer did husbands. Palmer's ghost is said to haunt the grounds and 19th-century Great House, so blame her for any bad shots throughout the round. No matter how poorly you play, the beautiful views of the Caribbean Sea tend to melt away any hard feelings toward Jamaica's premier course.

The White Witch, floating high in the hills above the shore, starts off with one of the best opening elevated tees in golf. The drive on the 550-yard par 5 will feel like it's in suspended animation, flying for a few seconds before dropping downhill against the backdrop of the sea. The faraway panoramas of the water rarely disappear, even when players venture deeper inland into the jungle.

The par-3 17th tee returns again to stare directly at the sea, creating the kind of perfect setting that explains why so many men became victims of Palmer's deadly good looks.

Nov 10, 2014

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Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.