The ghost of Annie Palmer, White Witch of Rose Hall still lurks, threatening to make your golf ball disappear at the slightest provocation, just like she used her magic to make three husbands disappear. The course at the Hilton Rose Hall, is a combination of mountain, and seaside, and is built on the old sugar plantation of Rose Hall.
Exceptional is the first word that comes to mind, resort courses have to provide all the bells and whistles to make a great golf course, and condition is the bedrock that great courses are built upon. The rough is not deep, so for Bermuda grass it is very playable, the fairways are perfect, and the greens were a great speed, something possible with some of the newer strains of Bermuda. Our caddy, Wesley, just had to mention on the 18th that I had not been in a bunker all day; well I, of course, had to correct that and dumped my wedge shot short of the green. The bunker was firm with just enough sand to hit a proper bunker shot.
Rating TTTT 1/2 Green Speed Fast
I love courses that start with a par 5, and Cinnamon starts with a pretty simple one, not overly long playing downwind, with a big bunker left of the fairway, OB right will punish you, but hit it decent and you can get your round off to a good start. The fairways are wide but on many holes, miss that fairway, and you are in the jungle. #5 is a great hole, downhill to the sea, with the trade winds blowing across the hole, followed by a par 3 over a corner of the sea, but the heart of this stretch is the par 4 7th, a stream runs up the right, on the downwind side, and cuts in front of the green, this hole can wreck a score. The back nine is regarded as the harder nine, could be, but I was even through 8 holes so while demanding was playable. 10 is a short downhill par 4, a 200 yard shot will roll out leaving you a short pitch, just keep it straight. The 14th is known as the Johnny Cash hole, and off to the right of this bobsled run fairway, is his Jamaica home. Listen to your caddy here, the farther right you hit your tee shot, the farther left it ends up, a slight fade up the center is the play. James Bond is the next hole, a downhill par 3 over a pond, but then name comes from a now dry waterfall that was in the movie “Live and Let Die” it is sad that they dammed up the waterfall, but the hole is still stunning. The course ends with back to back par 5’s with plenty of trouble. 18 has a stream in front of the elevated green, going for this in two is a daunting and probably foolish endeavor. The greens are fair, and not overly sloping, rewarding good shots. Keep your tee shots in play and you will have a great day, if not the White Witch of Rose Hall will haunt you.
There is a range, a huge practice green, and a pro shop stocked with plenty to take home, including a few Cuban cigars. There is a drink cart, and I guess you can order sandwich’s and have them delivered by the cart. Each resort twosome has a concierge caddy, to help with the line of play and reading the greens, as well as some local history.
This week was my first experience with a caddy, and they were great, confirming my ideas on how to play the various holes, but then I have a knack for seeing the correct way to play a hole, the only time my thoughts were not the same as Wesley was on 16, and I hit it through the fairway, but made a solid recovery much to Wesley’s surprise. The course is stunning, and solid. If you stay at the Hilton, they have a shuttle to the course, and to the Three Palms restaurant. Cinnamon Hill is rated one the top 3 courses in Jamaica, and is certainly one of my top courses.
For more information, visit the website: https://rosehall.com/golf/cinnamon-hill-golf-course/
My wife likes to take a whole lot of pictures, so for more of Cinnamon Hill visit:
For tournament results and information visit neohgolf.com