I golfed at Negril Hills the first time we went (3rd trip coming up in May!). I didn't bother to bring my clubs for just one round, so the free round ended up costing me @ $90. They'll hit you for a cart rental and a caddie. The course isn't that great if you're used to the well manicured courses at home. It's like a well worn muni. Golf early because it gets so darn hot!!
Each time we go, my husband plays early and is back for lunch. He golfs a lot and enjoys Negril Hills. Kevin has been a terrific caddie there. Nick does play almost every morning, so he brings his own clubs.
My buddies and I love to golf and we played twice when we were down there in Dec '08. Two of us took our clubs and were glad we did because at that time the rentals weren't too good. Our buddy who rented is a 7 handicapper and had a tough time with the course rentals. He rented a private set from his caddie for the second round and enjoyed it much more. We had a great time walking the course with the caddies and passed on the cart which is about $37. You can share the cost with another rider. The round really doesn't have to cost $90 if you're in shape or share the ride. We played in the morning and got back to CSA for lunch and had a round of Red Stripes followed by a copious amount of Hummingbirds. Boy that was fun and the next time we go in 2011 we'll play golf again for sure. We got our golf fix in and the women enjoyed their alone time at the spa or on the beach so everyone was happy. Ask for caddies Ronnie or Nevel and tell them Steve from NY says hello. Here's a few pictures to spark your interest.
It is unlikely that you would have seen the Negril Hills course on your way in or out of the resort. It is up toward the cliff area and inland a little ways. You may be thinking of the Tryall Courst perhaps. Negril Hills (IMO) is a bit rustic compared to Tryall and compared to most courses back in the US. It is a fun round of golf though and if you are a golf nut who wants to play on vacation then Negril Hills will fill the bill.
Yes, it was worth hauling my own clubs all the way to Jamaica because I had read the rentals were not all that good. I will do it again next year for sure. The course was fun and challenging. Played every other day, caught the 8:00 shuttle and by the end of the week I was finishing my 18 holes and catching the 9 hole shuttle back to CN before noon. Walked the course each day, easy walk and relaxing. Kids selling golf balls at the par 3's or betting you a dollar you can not put it on the green. That was fun, beat them every time but I let them keep their golf balls. My caddie, Ronnie (Ronika) was awesome, I learned after the first day, listen to your caddie. $14.00 to the club house to have a caddie, tipped her $20 for 18 holes, bought her and I a water on the front and back, tipped the beverage cart a couple of bucks. The round probably cost me $44 each day. Not bad, a great way to start the day and the pool bar felt great by the time you get back to the resort.