Golf - Public Course · 18 Holes · Par 72
St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Tom Fazio did it again - he carved a masterpiece out of a gentle valley that rises and falls from 80 to 200 feet above sea level as it traverses up and down the valley and along a ridge overlooking the clear blue Atlantic Ocean and the mountains of St. Thomas. Like most Fazio designs, Mahogany Run Golf Course is challenging but fair with a fun layout that puts a premium on accuracy over distance. The course is not only challenging but it's aesthetically pleasing with colorful tropical foliage, hillsides dotted with beautiful homes and villas, the clear blue water of the Atlanta Ocean lapping up the sheer rocky cliffs, and several islands jutting out of the Ocean.
Mahogany Run Golf Course is a par 70 layout that is short at 6008 yards but is deceptively challenging thanks to elevation changes, strategically placed bunkers, small greens, narrow fairways, and prevailing Caribbean trade winds. To score well here, don't bite off more than you can chew, favor accuracy over distance (leave the driver in the bag on some holes), and focus on precise approach shots.
The front nine at Mahogany Run Golf Course is regarded as the easier of the two nines, but it's no walk in the park. You'll need to manage elevated tee shots, sharp dog legs, risk reward opportunities, up hill greens, narrow and tight fairways, challenging approach shots, and some small protected greens. Each hole is unique and different and a blast to play, for example:
The back nine at Mahogany Run Golf Course has all of the above plus the infamous Devil's Triangle, which if you survive without loosing a ball, you'll get a "I survived the Devil's Triangle Certificate" from the pro shop. These three holes define Mahogany Run and you'll want to play them again as well as drive some extra balls off the towering cliffs into the Atlantic Ocean 200 feet below;:
When we played in early September, the Mahogany Run greens were in excellent condition had just been aerated so it was had to judge their true speed - we were told that they are normally fast, around an 11 or so. The greens are a variety of shapes and most are very small and challenging to hit and hold. They all have some minor slope but nothing too severe and they were in excellent condition, soft, and ran true. The greens are all protected by mounds, hills and mountainsides, which means you'll need to be comfortable playing the hills and the wind looking for a soft bounce to the green.
The fairways were also in very good condition and most have some slope so be prepared for lots of uneven lies and make sure you consider and manage the slope as will as the hillsides. Some of the fairways are very tight and some are short, meaning you best pull something out of the bag that is accurate or you'll find par to be very difficult.
The bunkers at Mahogany Run were also in near perfect condition with soft thick sand and thin lips. Most of the bunkers are protecting the greens.
Bottom line - Mahogany Run is unique and a blast to play and a must play if you are anywhere near St Thomas. Add it to your bucket list along with a vacation in the Virgin Islands.
Rates: $90.00 to $165.00
Service is very "island" friendly, the pro shop is well stocked, and the range and putting green are adequate. The rental clubs are new Taylor Mades. The bar and grill are well done and the food we sampled was excellent.
Here's How Texas Outside Determines the Scorecard Rating
The Texas Outside rating scale ranges from 1 to 10 – a perfect 10 course would be something like this: links along a cliff overlooking the Pacific ocean and bordered by tall trees; lush fairways on rolling hills with lots of natural hazards; water (which is crystal clear) on most of the holes; immaculate greens (but they are undulating and tough); lots of variety and character (each hole is completely different and includes blind shots, elevation changes, doglegs, and significant challenges); perfectly manicured traps with the whitest and prettiest sand you’ve ever seen; a nice club house with great food and a 19th hole; a GPS; plenty of beverage carts or your own cooler and ice; and it only costs $40 bucks! What this means is that you probably won’t find any 10s in Texas – try Cabo San Lucas, Pebble Beach, or some of the Hawaii courses!
All of the above determines the overall score for the golf course. In other words, we like courses that are pretty, fun, very challenging with a lot of variety, and fairways and greens in excellent condition – all for $40. We also tend to play the courses that are affordable for the masses, which means in the $30 to $80 range. We rate hard and we haven’t found a 10 in Texas yet – don’t worry we haven’t given up and we’re still looking.