Sixty winters ago, spy novelist Ian Fleming moved to Jamaica, where he would hole up to write all of his James Bond thrillers. We know of Fleming’s zeal for golf—he was en route to accept the Royal St. George’s captaincy when he suffered a fatal heart attack. But with deadlines pending and only one nine-holer on Jamaica, he was a challenged Caribbean golfer. Cut to: twenty-first-century island real estate opportunities. Home-buying here still takes some pioneering spirit, but such matters as security, world-class golf courses and rental income are all firmly in place. Having recently toured the region by hovercraft and Aston Martin DB5, we offer these suggestions for Caribbean golf living.
THE TRUMP VILLAS AT CANOUAN ISLAND
Canouan Island, Grenadines
The overlooked island suddenly boasts an international profile now that Donald Trump has bought into a twelve-hundred-acre parcel on the northern shore. Its attractions include a Jim Fazio golf course ("tough to build, gorgeous to play," croons Trump), a modern casino and a 156-room Raffles Resort that supplies the island’s nightlife. If you can get your accountant to approve it, there’s a Trump Villa (one of only 135 planned) waiting for you. The property shown occupies a one-acre lot and comes with an infinity pool and multiple verandas facing the sea. Visit trumpvillas.com.
BEDROOMS: Four. BATHS: Three and a half. SQUARE FEET: 3,980. PRICE: $3.75 million.
ABACO CLUB ON WINDING BAY
Abaco, the Bahamas
It was a nongolfing Brit, resort builder Peter de Savary, who made sure the golf was done right at this reassuringly relaxed Bahamian community 170 miles east of Palm Beach. Tom Mackenzie and Donald Steel had loads of linksland to tack across and tropical winds aloft to add shot-making complexity. Along with the golf, de Savary established a spa, a bayfront pool complex and an equestrian center, all along two-plus miles of epic shoreline. His favorite amenity is a thatched open-air beach bar. The island itself is a sociopolitical success story: Natives and newcomers coexist calmly and seem to work together. Last year’s deal with Ritz-Carlton has stepped up the sales activity, so don’t dither. Cabanas and cottages can be rented for one-time visits. The pictured home is a cliff cottage that overlooks Winding Bay and is fully furnished, down to the artwork, books and board games. Visit theabacoclub.com.
BEDROOMS: Three. BATHS: Three. SQUARE FEET: 2,402. PRICE: $2.3 million.
CASA DE CAMPO
Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic
Instead of Dye Fore, they might have chosen Dye Another Day as the name of the "sequel" course to Pete Dye’s renowned 1971 Teeth of the Dog design: Those layouts plus his Links course have solidified Casa de Campo’s allure for the serious worldly golfer. The resort’s real estate company operates a club that does it all for villa owners: help arrange their stays, maintain their homes and grounds and oversee rental transactions. The pictured home is a massive, fully furnished villa that features a private pool, fairway views and easy access to the resort’s marina, which opened in 2001. Visit casadecampo.com.do.
BEDROOMS: Four. BATHS: Four. SQUARE FEET: 10,523. PRICE: $1.7 million.