St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
Carambola Golf Course
72 Estate River, Kingshill, VI 00851 (340) 778-5638 Fax: (866) 279-6711
The par-72 private Carambola golf course located within the tropical forest of St. Croix, US Virgin Islands was built by Laurence Rockefeller as the centerpiece of a luxury Caribbean resort complex. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., one of the most highly respected designers of the 20th century, Carambola opened in 1966 to rave reviews and was considered by the master designer himself to be one of his finest courses.
Given the beautiful weather year-round, the course is open all year long. Lessons and carts are always available. Closed Mondays. Tuesday through Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm. Saturday and Sunday 7:30am to 4:30pm.
Course Designer: Robert Trent Jones Sr.
Slope: Men – 135 Ladies - 128
Course Rating: Men – 74.2 Ladies 71.7
Type of Grass (fairway and green): Bermuda (both)
Number of members: +/- 100
Number of rounds of golf per year: +/- 10,000
Offer an Association: St. Croix Golf Association / USGA
Practice facilities available: yes
Instructors available and any awards they have won: yes
Wildlife on the course:
Fish, turtles, mongoose, osprey, pelicans, egrets, iguana, ducks…no snakes!
#2:– Par 5 - A relatively short downhill par 5, the second hole has so many playing options that any score is possible. The drive must find the fairway and not the looming bunkers both right and left. The longer hitters can take a chance and drive over the right side bunkers to a flat area where a truly scary shot awaits. If the approach shot goes over the green, the payer is faced with chipping back downhill and the ball can enter the pond from the other side. The pond in front of the green indicates Jones desire to introduce “Penal” to his design.
#13 – Par 4 - 470 yards downhill, into the prevailing wind, dogleg right, out of bounds left and two severe swales running across the fairway. If the tee shot goes too long it ends up at the bottom of the first swale, leaving no clear look at the green. Even the longest players are faced with a long iron or even a fairway wood for their second shot.
#18 – Par 4 – The finishing hole at Carambola from the back tees is something to behold and play. At 460 yards, this par 4 is everything any player could want. A sharp dogleg with a red hazard running down the right side and bunkers punching in from the left, this generous landing area just appears narrower from the tee.
#4 – Par 5 – When a new set of back tees are introduced during the upcoming renovation, this hole will be considered one of the finest par 5’s in the world.
#17 – Par 3 – Jones has always been known for his strong finishing holes and Carambola is no exception. The last par 3 on the course plays anywhere from 175 to 200 yards depending where the pin is placed on the largest green on the course. Over water is part of the charm, but then Jones used a classic Mackenzie trick. By utilizing a cliff effect and by placing the green into the cliff, Jones made it look like it was an uphill shot. In reality, it is dead flat. The bunkering behind the green shapes the hole and when the hole is cut back right, the approach can seem intimidating. Not long by today’s standards, the design is timeless.
HOW TO GET THERE:
Plane: American, Delta, Cape, Seaborne