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The Oldest Golf Club In The Western Hemisphere
Manchester Golf Club Jamaica

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Manchester Golf Club Jamaica | (Photo Credit: Jamaicans.com)Manchester Golf Club Jamaica | (Photo Credit: Jamaicans.com)

by Venesha Johnson | Associate Writer

Despite being one of the most popular sports around the world, golf has never been the sport of choice for the average Jamaican. We much prefer sprinting, football, netball, cricket and even basketball. It is often seen as a sport for the rich and famous and so, even golfing competitions are not mainstream events.

But although the golfing community isn’t large, it is enough for Jamaica to have some of the best and most historical golf courses in the world.

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In fact, when one thinks of golf courses in Jamaica, two of the first places that come to mind are the Tryall golf club and the Half Moon Hotel golf club. So can you imagine my surprise when I learnt of one in Manchester, plus the surprising history behind it? Well, I am here to share my findings with you.

About Manchester Golf Club Jamaica

So, the Manchester Country Club was built over a century ago amid the undulating hills of Manchester. It is located in the ancient resort town of Mandeville, more than 2,000 feet above sea level. This is Jamaica's oldest course, as well as the oldest in the Western Hemisphere! How surprising is that!

It’s attracting more golfers to the island of Jamaica and Mandeville. It is set on 55 acres and features nine greens and 18 tee boxes for a total of 18 holes. The Manchester Golf Club was created in 1865 in the rolling hills of Manchester, Jamaica, and a course was built on the grounds soon after the Scottish invented golf.

Where is the oldest golf club in Jamaica?

As I just mentioned, the Manchester Golf Club is the oldest in Jamaica and was built over 100 years ago. Not only is it the oldest in Jamaica it is also the oldest in the Caribbean.

What is the oldest golf course in the Western Hemisphere?

The Manchester Golf Club having been built over a decade ago is also recognized as the oldest in the western hemisphere.

The History Of The Manchester Golf Club Jamaica

The Manchester Club, founded in 1865, is thought to be the oldest surviving club in the Western Hemisphere. It was even founded before the Royal Montreal Club, which was founded in 1873, and the Quebec Golf Club, which was founded in 1875.

The Royal Blackheath Golf Club of England, founded in 1766, was the first club outside of Scotland, followed by the old Manchester Golf Club, which was created on the Kersal Moor in England in 1818.

Manchester is where golf started in Jamaica. So, some of the planters who came to Jamaica from England claimed to have played golf for many years on the pastures surrounding sugar estate properties without ever thinking of forming a club or building a real course.

The game was first seriously taken up in Manchester, under the supervision of Dr. Nicholls, and a nine-hole course was put out near Brumalia.

After a tumultuous history, the club was absorbed by the Manchester Club, under whose aegis, the game was given a fresh lease on life. It began as an all-male club, following the tradition of a British Gentlemen's Club.

So think posh! Existing members had to propose and second new members, and a quorum of six members was required to propose. The white ball/black ball system was used to draw the lots: six white balls would accept membership, while five white and one black ball would deny membership.

On the next site where Scotia Bank currently has its multi-million dollar headquarters, a nineteenth-century clubhouse was previously located.

Many inhabitants of the town opposed it when it was revealed that the 100-year-old building will be demolished to make room for a Scotia Bank construction. The neighbours maintained that, despite its need for urgent repairs, the clubhouse was historically significant.

Despite numerous objections, the transaction was completed, and the original clubhouse was demolished and replaced in the early 1990s. The new house is now located on the Manchester Club's remaining property on a low hill, near the course's middle.

Many people believe the relatively modern edifice nevertheless has an old-world vibe to it. Championship boards and plaques with the names of prior presidents dating as far back as the 1920s can be seen on display there. In addition, there is an old guest book with autographs dating back to 1910.

So, now you know of the Manchester Golf Club Jamaica and I'm sure you would like to visit! Be sure to see all Manchester has to offer in restaurants, villas and hotels too.

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Return to Jamaican Golf Courses from Manchester Golf Club Jamaica 
Return to My Island Jamaica Homepage from Manchester Golf Club Jamaica

References & Sources For Manchester Golf Club Jamaica

  1. Manchester Club Golf Course, http://www.jnht.com/site_manchester_club_golf_course.php
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