By Alexander Britell
MONTEGO BAY — In years of golf lessons, no one had ever asked me that.
It was a humid morning in Montego Bay at the Tryall Club in Montego Bay, Jamaica’s destination golf resort and among the best in the Caribbean, and I was taking a lesson with Ewan Peebles, a Scottish transplant who has been in the country since 2002.
The question was simple.
Ewan, Jamaica’s top golf pro, had asked me to explain to him what he had just taught me and how to execute it, as if he were the student.
It seems so simple, so obvious, but in all my previous instruction I had never been asked. And it made me think about what I had just learned in a totally new way.
The reality is not all golf pros are created equal — too many go through the motions, regurgitating tips that may or many not sustainably work.
Peebles is different — he has a quiet demeanor, quickly analyzing your swing and approach without needing to say too much, and offering easy-to-understand, discrete, replicable solutions — the kind of golf instruction that lasts.
But that’s the kind of instruction you get at Tryall, which has long been a bit of an in-the-know spot for golf lovers, just as Jamaica and the wider Caribbean region have been.
Tryall, whose Ralph Plummer-designed, 18-hole, 6,836-yard course has undergone a major transformation in the last few years, is looking to make that the point to golfers abroad, something that Jamaica itself has begun working on.
And it’s easy to explain.
Playing golf in Jamaica is a wonderful experience — from the windy challenge of seaside courses to the fact that you’re always joined by an expert caddie — a rarity at a public course. (I played as a single, meaning my round turned into a full-fledged playing lesson of its own).
It all adds up to a world-class golf resort, whether you’re looking to improve your game, go on a golfing getaway or just fit in a round on a traditional vacation.
“People don’t realize how good of a golf destination Jamaica is,” Peebles tells me on the putting green.
And that’s all the explanation you need.