The islands known as Nevis and St. Kitts (formerly St. Christopher) make up the smallest independent country in the Caribbean region, both in terms of numbers of people and landmass. The pair are located to the southwest of Hispaniola near St. Barts, Antigua and Barbuda and Montserrat, and less than an hour by plane from Puerto Rico. St. Kitts is one of the islands visited by Columbus, but the English in the 17th century were the first to plant a permanent colony. The economy long rested on sugar and trade, though today the main sector is tourism. Visitors come for the stunning landscapes, which are dominated by volcanic peaks cloaked in thick jungle and fringed by gleaming sandy beaches. Part of the appeal to tourists is also the availability of three golf courses between the two islands, two of which need to be experienced by every dedicated player. The fantastic course at Pinney's Beach in Nevis was designed by the renowned Robert Trent Jones II, and it offers both delights and challenges. Equally demanding is the layout at the recently remodeled Royal St. Kitts Golf Club, where a number of the holes play right along the shore. And back on Nevis there is also some fun to be had on a little 12-holer at Cat Ghaut.