Top 10 Best Golf Courses in Latin America
Do you know what is the best golf course in Latin America? A little hint. The course is located in the eighth largest country in the world, Argentina. Keep on reading to find more about it and other golf courses!
If you’re interested in the history of golf, you might find it surprising that the sport dates as far back as the 15th century and the oldest golf course still exists up to this day. The Old Course is in St. Andrews, Scotland and it was founded in 1413. However, not all great courses are in Europe. Latin America and golf have history too.
Even if the sport was born in Scotland it managed to cross the Atlantic Ocean and arrive in Latin America, more specifically into Peru’s Lima golf club, founded in the 1920s. Since then, the great and green landscapes of Latin America have opened their doors and hosted more golfers each time.
Join me as I explore the 10 best golf courses in Latin America!
1. Chapelco Golf Club – San Martín de los Andes, Argentina
Chapelco Golf Club is simply an amazing golf club. This is the best in Latin America by far. It is the current Latin America’s Best Golf Club Award and maintained the title in 2017 and 2015 as well. It has also been nominated to win the award in 2016, 2018 and 2019. It is also nominated to win the award this year (2021) as well. All of these honors have a reason behind them.
Chapelco Golf Club is located in San Martín de los Andes is 991 miles (1,596km) (a two-hour plane ride) from Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, but 124 miles (200 km) away from Bariloche International Airport.
Chapelco Golf Club is a 7,168-yard course, 72 par, with 18 holes and deep greens. It is surrounded by mountains, creeks, and local animals, a very natural-looking course. The course was designed by the famous golfer Jack Nicklaus and his son, making it the very first Jack Nicklaus golf course in South America. The court has a practice field, putting green, chipping green and driving range, according to Chapelco’s website. It is open all year round and next September the course will host the Latin American PGA tour. The course is located inside Chapelco’s resort, a 5-star hotel.
2. Bahia Course – Punta Mita, Mexico
Bahia Course is located in Punta Mita in Riviera Nayarit, 516 miles (831 kilometers) away from Mexico City, an 11-hour car ride. It is part of the Four Seasons Resort in Punta Mita.
Bahia Course won Latin America’s Best Golf Course Award in 2018 and was nominated in 2016 as well. Not only that, but it is a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course. The best in North America. It’s a 72-par, 18-hole and 7,035-yard golf course. It is also classified as a championship course. It is open from 7 am to 7pm.
The course offers a challenge for golfers. But it also offers astonishing views of Bahía de Banderas (Banderas Bay) and a hole on the beach close to a famous surf spot in the Mexican Pacific Ocean. Additionally, if you decide to play between December and April you might even spot humpback whales while playing.
3. TPC Danzate Bay – Baja California, Mexico
TPC Danzate Bay was designed by Rees Jones. This golf course is located in Baja California Sur, Mexico. This 18-hole, par-72 golf course won Mexico’s Best Golf Course in 2020 and Latin America’s Best Golf Course in 2019. It is currently nominated for that same award.
The course starts in a terrain located in a desert terrain and takes you to Sierra de la Giganta mountain range, with a view from the ocean all along. It has valleys, creeks, dunes and hills throughout its 7,237 yards.
The 17th hole in this course is considered one of the most gorgeous in the game, preached by its very own creator, Rees Jones. It is surrounded by a horseshoe shaped bunker, but 250 below the waves of the Sea of Cortez hit the cliffs. This special hole is a par-3 hole and it covers 178 yards.
4. La Iguana Golf Course – Puntarenas, Costa Rica
La Iguana Golf Course might just be the best golf course in Central America. Located in Puntarenas, Costa Rica, 59 miles (95.5 km) away from San José, the capital of the country.
La Iguana Golf Course has been nominated continuously since 2017 as Latin America’s Best Golf Course and is competing for the award in 2021, too.
This is an 18-hole, championship course that has 6,698 yards. It was designed by Ted Robinson. The golf course in Puntarenas is within the rainforest of Costa Rica, and it is surrounded by banana trees, orchids, different species of birds and even monkeys. Just like its Mexican counterparts, this golf course features views of the Pacific Ocean as well. This isn’t only a golf course but also an amazing experience to get to know the wildlife of Costa Rica. It’s part of the Los Sueños Marriott Ocean and Golf Resort.
5. Barquisimeto Golf Club – Barquisimeto, Venezuela
Barquisimeto Golf Club is located in Barquisimeto, 226 miles (364 kilometers) away from Caracas, the capital of Venezuela. Barquisimeto has been nominated as Latin America’s Best Golf Course for four straight years (2018-2021) but it hasn’t won anything just yet, in a Latin American level. However, it holds Venezuela’s Best Golf Course 2020 award.
This is an 18-hole and par-71 golf course originally designed by an amateur golf player, but later redesigned by Joe Lee. It has 6,644 yards. The Course has been part of El Tour de las Américas. According to Barqusimento’s website, you can take golf lessons for as little as $8 an hour.
6. Los Inkas Golf Club – Lima, Peru
Los Inkas Golf Club is located in southeastern Lima, the capital of Peru. Los Inkas Golf Club was nominated for Latin America’s Best Golf Course in 2016, 2018, 2020 and 2021. It won Peru’s Golf Course Award as well. It has hosted the Peru Open too, which is an important tournament of El Tour de las Américas.
This 18-hole golf course has 6,475 yards and lies close to the Andes mountains. It was designed by the Argentinian Eugenio Dunezat. The course hosts pre-Inca ruins that are present in four holes. Another interesting thing that you can find in this course are the offspring of albino squirrels that roam around, according to Top 100 Golf Courses.
7. Carmelo Golf Club – Carmelo, Uruguay
Self-labeled as the Best Golf Course in Uruguay, Carmelo Golf Club established their course back in 2000. The course was designed by Randy Thompson and Kelly Moran. It is a par-72 and 18-hole course, with 7,146 yards of terrain to cover and they’re open from Wednesday to Sunday. The course is 177 miles (286km) away from Montevideo, but only 2 miles (4km) away from the homogenous city.
It has been nominated as Latin America’s Best Golf Course three times in the last 6 years, 2016. 2019 and 2020. Among those honors, the Uruguayan golf course hosts the PGA’s World Ranking Amateur too.
Since they built this golf course over what used to be a swamp, only three holes are free from water-hazards. The 12th hole might be the best one, since it has water on both sides of it, making it a beautiful place to play in. This golf club attracts golfers from all over the world to play in Uruguay, according to Top 100 Golf Courses.
8. Buenaventura Golf Club – El Chiru, Panama
Located in El Chiru, 82 miles away (132km) from Panama City, Buenaventura Golf Club was designed by Jack Nicklaus. It’s another 18-hole golf course with lots of water hazards and bunkers. When they were building the golf course, they transplanted over 3,000 trees which now surround the course, giving it a great tone. This course also hosts the Latin American PGA tour and measures 7,324 yards.
Troon Golf manages the course, which is close to the Panamanian Pacific Ocean. The grass is always green because it is heat and salt resistant, making the golf course a great place to play in. Just like its Uruguayan counterpart, this Panamanian course has been nominated for Latin America’s Best Golf Course in 2016, 2019 and 2020.
9. Rocas de Santo Domingo – Santo Domingo, Chile
Santo Domingo is located only 70 miles (114 km) away from Santiago, the capital of Chile. Here you can find Rocas de Santo Domingo Golf Course, which features as one of The Rolex World’s Top 1000 Golf Courses. It has been nominated to Latin America’s Best Golf Course in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
This golf club possesses 27 holes (one course has 18 and another course inside the property has 9 more). The “old course” (the one with 18 holes) is said to be the best in Chile. With charming views among beautiful trees that give you the illusion of being within a forest.
10. San Andrés Golf Club – Bogotá, Colombia
San Andrés Golf Club is in the outskirts of Bogotá, the capital of Colombia, only 50 minutes away. This large golf course was designed in 1946 by the Thompson & Jones firm. According to The Rolex World’s Top 1000 Golf Courses it’s the best course in Colombia. Additionally, it has been nominated as Latin America’s Best Golf Course in 2016 and 2020.
This is an 18 hole golf course, par-72 and has 7,145 yards. It’s said to be a challenging course surrounded by tall trees, water hazards and bunkers surrounding the green.
The short course, with 9 holes and 1,002 yards, is designed with small greens and deep bunkers surrounding them.
Practice Your Swing and Practice Your Spanish!
Before packing your golf clubs and making reservations in any of these marvelous and luxurious resorts which host the 10 best golf courses in Latin America, it would be very wise to invest a little bit of your time in learning, practicing, or polishing your Spanish.
How have you gotten better at golf over time? Through constant practice. Spanish follows the same principle. Sign up for one of our free lessons today and learn golf vocabulary, how to get around in a Latin American city, order food, ask for directions, rent golf equipment, and any other necessary topic in Spanish! This will surely make your trip to Latin America flow more smoothly, and your communication with anyone in or outside the golf course a walk in the park. Join the 580 million people who already speak Spanish around the world.
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