Apes Hill Barbados ready to showcase the very best of the Legends Tour

European over-50’s circuit tees off for 2024 on the Caribbean’s new golfing masterpiece

Apes Hill Barbados
(Image credit: Russell Kirk/Azalea)

It’s rare to see a golf tournament undergo a shake-up like the one the Legends Tour received in 2020. 

The European over-50’s tour was renamed, rebranded and restructured, branching out to new host venues and redefining the way fans experience the action. Now on the verge of a fourth year, the Legends Tour is heading to Barbados to kick its most expansive season yet - which includes the PGA Seniors Championship at Trump International.

Arguably the most exciting addition for 2024 is the season’s curtain-raiser, the inaugural Barbados Legends hosted by Ian Woosnam – thanks in no small part to its location. It’s hard to imagine a more fitting place to begin a record-breaking year than at one of golf’s most talked about developing destinations. Apes Hill Barbados may have sat atop the famous island since 2009, but thanks to lucrative investment over the last five years the venue that stands there today is a completely different animal.

Apes Hill green

(Image credit: Russell Kirk/Azalea)

It goes without saying that for the field in next week’s event – which includes Major winners Shaun Micheel and Michael Campbell – the biggest news is the new-look course. In his final design before his sad passing last year, the late Ron Kirby – whose previous design work includes the iconic clifftop links at Old Head in Ireland - was tasked with turning the layout into something that would attract players from across the world.

It’s safe to say he delivered. His course received such rave reviews upon reopening in November 2022 that selection to host prestigious events was viewed as only a matter of time.

While Kirby always implemented a wide range of teeing options so that players of all skill levels could enjoy his work, don’t be fooled into expecting an easy round for the Legends - the tee boxes used in tournament play have plenty of bite even before the wind starts swirling. Vistas across the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean alike only add to the drama, automatically making Apes Hill maybe the most picturesque course on the Legends Tour circuit.

Apes Hill sunset

(Image credit: Russell Kirk/Azalea)

One player who knows these fairways better than anyone is 1991 Masters champion Ian Woosnam. ‘Woosie’ has made no secret of his love of Barbados, where he and his wife have owned a home since the mid-90s, and he is a familiar sight on the fairways of Apes Hill (now as an official ambassador for the venue). When he was announced as host of the first Barbados Legends, it came as a surprise to nobody.

“It’s a real honour to host a Legends Tour event here, on a course I know so well and in a country that has come to mean so much to me,” said Woosnam, who further wrote his name into golf’s history books when he captained Europe to a commanding Ryder Cup victory in 2006.

“I can’t think of many courses more suited to a big occasion than this one. The views are stunning, and even without the views every hole is memorable. Knowing so many of the Legends Tour players from various points in my career, I can promise that they will love the course and the whole experience of playing at Apes Hill.”

Ian Woosnam Legends Tour

Ian Woosnam in Legends Tour action

(Image credit: Azalea)

Since reopening two years ago, Apes Hill has continued to lay a marker to be the best new golf resort in the Caribbean.

However, when the dust has settled, players may want to stick around at Apes Hill for a while longer and soak up everything else the resort has built since 2019. Recently, that includes a new par-three short course, dubbed ‘Little Apes’, with holes on Little Apes are inspired by famous par-three holes from across the world.

Another new addition is the ‘19th hole’ - not a bar, but a challenge that the legends will be intensely familiar with. Inspired by the iconic 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass, this bet-settling finale serves up an island green that has already shown an aptitude for swallowing wayward golf balls. Players could also arrive early to take advantage of the resort’s Performance Centre.

Like everywhere the Legends Tour goes, the venue will come alive with competitive buzz for the first week of May. It couldn’t be more different from the laid-back, carefree lifestyle Apes Hill residents are accustomed to. When the last putt drops and the winner is confirmed beside the brand-new clubhouse, it will certainly represent the latest milestone in the lightning-quick growth of this impressive new venture.

Five years ago, the course was about to be completely redesigned, and in a matter of days it will host its first championship. 

The leading website from the world’s oldest golf magazine, we’re the go-to destination for amateur and keen golfers alike who are keen to up their golfing game. As well as expert course reviews, news and tips to improve your handicap our golf-focused travel content will help you pair teeing off with your travels in some of the best destinations around the globe.