The Tryall Club is located on the shores of the Caribbean Sea, approximately twelve miles west of Montego Bay on the northern coast of the Island of Jamaica. The Plantation consists of 2,200 acres of land, which had been owned by one family for over a century. It is an area of scenic beauty, fronting one and one-half miles of the Sea, and having a wide variety of beautiful trees. The Flint River, fed by springs from the mountains, runs through the plantation for some four miles.
The origin of the name Tryall remains obscure. There is no doubt that The Tryall Club, situated in the parish of Hanover, was an important plantation, by the latter part of the 18th Century. It was also the site of a coastal fort constructed by the English as a protection against Spanish or French invaders and pirates. The Tryall Fort was one of a series, running from Fort Charlotte in Lucea, to Point, to Tryall, to Round Hill and to Montego Bay. There is evidence that, earlier the Tryall Club''s lands were occupied by the Arawak Indians, the true natives of the Caribbean, and that Barnes Hill was an Arawak burial ground.
During the latter part of the 19th Century, the Tryall property was purchased by Eugene Browne. Nothing is known of the previous owners but they were probably absentee English landowners. Browne is a well-known name in Jamaica, and the Jamaican family who owned Tryall is a distinguished one. The ancient Anglo-Irish family of Browne had produced by 1834 a Governor and Vice Admiral of Jamaica, the 2nd Marquees of Sligo. Eugene Browne purchased Tryall with the intention of planting coconuts. Once the canes had been reaped on the level lands, the palms were planted so that by the time the next cane crop was due the young trees were tall enough to offer no problems to the cutters. The last cane crop was taken off in 1918; since then, coconuts were the property's principal source of income. At its peak (1933), the property produced one million coconuts a year. It was a unique trade with small farmers coming in from the surrounding villages by mule cart, donkey, or on foot to purchase 50 or 100 nuts. They would husk the nuts, remove the meat for boiling to make oil, some of which they sold. The trash was used to feed pigs.
In the mid-1930s, the bottom dropped out of the coconut market and the Browne family was obliged to seek other avenues for financial survival. The Great House had already become a sightseeing centre for the ever-increasing foreign visitors; and it was decided to take advantage of this and turn it into a small guest house. The venture prospered, catering particularly to British colonial officials and civil servants on leave from Kingston. In 1939, with the advent of the Second World War, Tryall was obliged to close and did not open again as a Guest House until 1949.
In 1957, a group of Texans purchased Tryall from the Hon. William Delisser, Custos Rotulorum of Hanover, and one of its most distinguished sons. Mrs. Delisser was herself the daughter of Eugene Browne. The concept was the brainchild of Ted Law from Houston who, whilst holidaying at a local hotel, would go to Tryall for afternoon tea. Tea, in those halcyon days, was a ceremony of some distinction with Ida Delisser presiding over a silver tea urn and dispensing wafer thin cucumber sandwiches. Visitors found the atmosphere old fashioned, charming and part of the colonial heritage.
The original Board of Governors of Tryall Golf and Beach Club was composed of: Hon. John Pringle, Paul M. Raigorodsky A. Pollard Simons, Theodore N. Law and J. Fred Schoellkopf. Jr.
Within a few years, Pollard Simons emerged as the majority shareholder and retained control of Tryall until his death in 1975. The 18th hole Par-71 Championship Golf Course was constructed under the supervision of golf course architect Ralph Plummer. On the death of Pollard Simons, the Tryall Homeowners purchased the property and this remains the position today; i.e., each Homeowner is a proprietary member of the Club. There is at present over 60 proprietary members, the majority are United States citizens.
The Club has a distinguished membership, which maintains the traditions of The Tryall Club. It is the major employer in Eastern Hanover and is closely involved in the life of the Parish. Through its Charitable foundation, Tryall Trust, the Club has been instrumental in promoting and financing health clinics, basic Schools, hospital wards, and sports facilities in Hanover. There is a mutual feeling of trust and respect between the Club, its employees, and the citizens of Hanover, Tryall Club members are proud of The Club's association with Jamaica.