Cash, Kia Sportage spice up Sandals Golf and Jerk Festival
From left: Jamaica Golf Association's (JGA) Head of Junior Golf Alison Reid; JGA President Jodi Munn-Barrow; director of golf operations at Sandals Upton Estate Golf and Country Club, Jonathan Newnham; Sandals Foundation Executive Director Heidi Clarke; Care For Kids golfer Zandre Roye; Sandals Resorts Regional Public Relations Manager Lyndsay Isaacs; and Sandals Foundation Operations Director Karen Zacca pose for photographs at the launch of the Sandals Golf and Jerk Festival at the AC Hotel Kingston on Tuesday. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)

The Sandals Foundation has promised a prize of $2 million and a 2023 Kia Sportage should someone achieve a hole-in-one at its Sandals Golf and Jerk Festival this May.

The event, now in its third year, takes place at the Sandals Upton Estate Golf and Country Club in St Ann on Saturday, May 6 and will feature over 100 golfers.

A hole-in-one is a shot from the tee (where the play starts) that finishes in the hole. It is a rare occurrence in the sport, but golfers who are familiar with playing on this course will be hoping to use that to their advantage to try to claim the money and car.

"The course itself hasn't changed much," tournament organiser Jonathan Newnham told the Jamaica Observer at the official launch of the tournament at the AC Hotel in Kingston on Tuesday. "But the clubhouse was obviously renovated. We also flipped the nines on the course to further enhance the guest experience. So instead of finishing number 18, being far away from the clubhouse, we've switched it so number 18 is right next to the clubhouse.

"The whole experience from a golfing point of view will remain similar, if not slightly enhanced, just by its ease of movement and flow from the moment you walk through the gate to the moment you leave."

The golf competition will take a scramble format, with each team featuring four members. One member of each team will be a junior player independently chosen or selected from the foundation's Care for Kids Junior Golf Programme. This is one of this year's two beneficiaries.

The jerk competition will feature 12 teams of two competing for $50,000.

Zandre Roye represents Care For Kids and expects a fun event because of the course.

"I grew up on Sandals' golf course," he said. "It's a fun track, 71-hole par. It should be a great event. It's for a good cause and I like what the foundation is doing."

Roye says while the hole-in-one prizes are tantalising, his priority is giving back to the community on the day.

Sandals Foundation Executive Director Heidi Clarke says the competition allows young golfers the opportunity to play against top players while learning key life values through sport.

"We are proud of our junior golfers who are learning great discipline through the sport and opening avenues to represent Jamaica in the international arena," she said. "We want to provide them and other young golfers a place at the table to showcase their skills and compete with the best of the best."

This year's other beneficiary is the Port Maria Hospital, which Clarke says will receive an upgrade to its security systems.

"We work alongside a lot of the hospitals in Jamaica, but of course, along the north coast is a priority as well, because often times out of town is a little forgotten," she said. "We have been a partner of Port Maria, so we liaise with them, their stakeholders, their board, and their team to see where their needs are and where there are gaps. They're always trying to enhance the environment for their patients and their employees.

"This year they saw security as something that needed to be looked at. You think about a hospital and you think about a vulnerable and emotional environment, so it's really a place where with more cameras and more security they're able to monitor areas like Accident and Emergency, personal data of patients, to ensure that the equipment is safeguarded, and that hospital regulations are being followed.

"For us, it's about how we're able to help to build that capacity for them and working alongside them with the gaps that they see. They're really the professionals and they're really doing an incredible job, the medical team down there."

United States-based golf and utilities company Tropicars will be providing $4 million, with half going to whoever can claim a hole-in-one and the other going to the charities. The Sportage has been provided by Kia Motors, a member of the ATL Automotive Group.

Golf teams will pay a fee of US$500 but get a 10 per cent discount if registered before April 16. Teams competing in the jerk competition will pay a registration fee of $10,000.

Rachid Parchment

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at


  1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper; email addresses will not be published.
  2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.
  3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.
  4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.
  5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed:
  6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email:
  7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

Which long-term investment option is more attractive to you at the moment?