Will these two Caribbean golf courses stuck in limbo ever become reality?



When Irie Fields at Kittitian Hill opens, it will feature magnificent views. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor )
Irie Fields at Kittitian Hill is attempting to become the world's first all-natural golf course. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor )
Irie Fields at Kittitian Hill sits on the northwest side of St. Kitts high above the water. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor )
There is no official timetable when Irie Fields at Kittitian Hill will open on St. Kitts. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor )
The 18th hole on Irie Fields at Kittitian Hill bends through bunkers. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor )
This par 3 on Irie Fields at Kittitian Hill features views for miles. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor )
Belle Mont Farm is the first resort to open at Kittitian Hill, site of the Irie Fields golf course by Ian Woosnam. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor )
An infinity pool with a swim-up bar at the Belle Mont Farm at Kittitian Hill delivers fantastic views. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor )
When the Irie Fields course opens, golfers will fall in love with the Belle Mont Farm at Kittitian Hill. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor )
Farm to table takes on a whole new meaning at Belle Mont Farm at Kittitian Hill in St. Kitts. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor )
Sandy Bank Bay is home to the Pavilion Beach Club at Christophe Harbour, a real estate development that already has a marina for super yachts and will be a future home of a Tom Fazio golf course. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor )
The beautiful Pavilion Beach Club at Christophe Harbour is only open to members, but guests can make dinner reservations with 24-hour notice. (Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor )

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.

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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.

Feb 21, 2017

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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.


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