The Soulhaus

Paradise Found on the Green

Category: Lifestyle, Travel

Nestled in the foothills of Norbrook, one of Kingston’s most upscale residential areas, Constant Spring Golf Club is one of the oldest golf courses on the island of Jamaica. The course was designed and constructed on an old sugar plantation in 1902 by Scottish-Canadian architect Stanley Thompson, who also built the Manchester Club in Mandeville, Jamaica. Originally, the course was only nine-hole, but was updated into a challenging eighteen-hole play in the early 1930s. The Caribbean has a rich history of hosting professional golf matches dating back to the 1960s. While the Dominican Republic rules the Caribbean with more seaside golf than any other island, Jamaica’s Constant Spring Golf Course boasts a challenging series of narrow fairways, well-placed bunkers, gullies, and ponds. 

There is something intriguing, yet exclusionary, about a golf course — perfectly manicured blades of unending grass underneath a sea of white polo shirts and khaki shorts. Golf clubs are usually a symbol of formality and tradition. Golf transcends its status as just a game, and can be seen as a catalyst for improving the quality of life and building sturdy relationships amongst friends and colleagues. It has been said that the biggest business deals are made on the green. Very few activities allow four to six hours of uninterrupted time to observe current or potential clients’ strategic mindset and ability to navigate challenges.

Inside the Caribbean’s rich history of professional golf, Marleisse Stephens visits one of the oldest golf courses on the island of Jamaica, The Constant Spring Golf Club and Clubhouse Brewery.

There is something intriguing yet exclusionary about a golf course; perfectly manicured blades of unending grass underneath a sea of white polo shirts and khaki shorts.

The Clubhouse Brewery & Tap Room is where businessmen and businesswomen fraternize over a cold drink after navigating eighteen holes. The brewhouse is paradise found against a backdrop of rolling greens and mountain breezes of the lush tropical environment. The brewery is a new adventure on the green at Constant Spring, owned and operated by seasoned spirits executive, Cedric Blair. Blair is a Jamaican businessman who spent decades balancing borders while managing the robust Red Stripe portfolio at Diageo for 14 years. Blair led the turnaround of Red Stripe’s business to transformational results and an $800M USD valuation for Heineken in 2015. Blair delivered strategic initiatives that quantifiably enhanced Diageo’s responsibility and sustainability agenda in Jamaica, which provided 11,000 Jamaicans first-time employment. His latest project, The Clubhouse Brewery, puts a pause on tradition and gives room to widen the scope for more diverse and contemporary flavors.

Blair opened the doors to “Clubhouse” (as locals affectionately call it) in 2021 and has thoughtfully developed an energy and atmosphere that is refined, yet filled with the welcoming signature spirit of the island. While golf clubs are known to be exclusionary and tightly wound, Clubhouse offers a more warm and accessible spirit at the end of the green. The master brewer, Davion Francis, curated a bespoke series of brews ranging from pale ales, IPAs, porters, stouts, and pilsners — all handcrafted in Jamaica. While most of the world’s leading beers are mass-produced — thereby delivering familiar flavors — Clubhouse Brewery’s range of palate-pleasing brews present the option to explore a wider array of flavorful beers. Furthermore, the head chef, Kamoi Atemu, developed a playful menu comprising contemporary Jamaican fare that pairs well with Clubhouse Brewery’s unique selection.

The Clubhouse at Constant Spring is one of many indicators that efforts are being made to implement continued value and intention in the city of Kingston. Kingston is the business and commerce hub of Jamaica, and arguably the entire Caribbean region. Ken Jackson, an entrepreneur and first-generation Jamaican who returned to the island in 2019, is focused on connecting members of the diaspora with real estate opportunities in Jamaica.  While Jamaica’s real estate is generally more affordable than other Caribbean islands, it isn’t expected to  be for long. 

“A lot of recent developments happening on upper Constant Spring Road and future developments will continue to transform Kingston into a hub for both commerce and leisure, with many different franchises moving into the neighborhood to capitalize on the residential boom,” says Jackson. Team Yaadie LTD, Jackson’s real estate marketing firm, specializes in connecting members of the diaspora, whether abroad or a “yaad”. Real estate has always presented earning and investment opportunities in any city, and is still one of the most tangible ways to build long-term security and generational wealth in an ever-changing economy. The Jamaican market, specifically, presents an open-door opportunity for many young people looking for an entry point to investing in a year-round passive income source.

Photographer Destinee Condison captures Kenny Jackson and Marleisse Stephens touring The Clubhouse Brewery at Constant Spring Golf Club.

Term Explained: “yaad” is a term in Jamaican patwois meaning “yard” referring to the place where one lives or used synonymously when referencing the entire island of Jamaica by Jamaicans.

Article Sources: Stanley Thompson, Wihcon, Jamaican Hotel History, Jamaican Observer, Diageo Annual Report, Jamaican Patwah