Golf in Puerto Rico combines the visual cornucopia of its natural environment (lakes, rivers, rainforests, mountains, palm trees, and miles of beachfront) with the challenge of negotiating courses designed by some of the biggest names in the business. Here are the island's best courses:
The Trump International Golf Club
The Trump International Golf Club in Rio Grande has two championship 18-hole courses in a breathtaking setting that will test players at all levels of the game.
Designed by PGA pro, Tom Kite, it is the setting for the PGA Puerto Rico Open.
Every golfer's dream, Dorado Beach has multiple par 72 courses in a stunning coastal setting. Here's a quick rundown:
- East Course
- Highlight: Its 4th hole has been ranked by legend Jack Nicklaus as one of the top ten holes in the world.
- West Course
- Highlight: Designed by Trent Jones, Sr., its par-3 holes are said to be the toughest of all at Dorado.
- Sugarcane Course
- Highlight: The Sugarcane course starts out easy, but its back nine is a beast.
- Pineapple Course
- Highlight: Considered the most forgiving course at the resort.
Bahia Beach Resort & Golf Club
Located on Puerto Rico's northeastern shore, Bahía Beach is the closest 18-hole course from San Juan. It also benefits from its spectacular beachfront setting. Designed by master golf course architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr., the course is accessible to the public with advance tee times.
Coco Beach Golf & Country Club
Coco Beach is a 36-hole course with four beautiful nines offering a variety of settings and levels:
- The Lakes Course
- Highlight: Designed around eight manmade lakes, The Lakes are especially primed for your putter.
- The Ocean Course
- Highlight: Nine holes by the ocean, with Atlantic breezes adding to the challenge.
- The Mountain Course
- Highlight: One of the most picturesque courses, the Mountain takes advantage of its rainforest setting.
- The Palms Course
- Highlight: This course, nestled among a forest of palm trees, provides a change of scene from any other course on the island.
Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa, a Wyndham Grand Resort
Formerly the Westin Rio Mar, the two courses at The Wyndham have quite a pedigree. One was designed by "The Shark" himself, Greg Norman, and the other was built by Tom and George Fazio. After, enjoy one of the finer clubhouses on the island.
The Arthur Hills Golf Course at the El Conquistador
Perched on the edge of Puerto Rico's eastern coast, the par 72 Arthur Hills Golf Course ranks among the world's best places to play by Golf Digest (2008/2009) and The Wyndham El Conquistador has been listed as one of the world's best golf resorts by Travel & Leisure (2008 reader survey). It is one of the few courses in the Caribbean that has various levels of elevation, as opposed to largely flat greens. It also helps that there's an award-winning spa awaiting you after the 18th hole.
The Costa Caribe Golf & Country Club
The club features Puerto Rico's only island green, 27 holes with beautiful ocean views, and an excellent clubhouse, among other amenities.
Palmas del Mar
A fine resort tucked away along the east coast in the town of Humacao, Palmas del Mar has two championship 18-hole golf courses:
- The Flamboyán Course was designed by architect Reese Jones and has been rated among the five best places to play in the Caribbean by Barron Magazine.
- The Palm Course was designed by golfing great Gary Player. Its water hazards, bunkers, and rolling greens offer a challenge for players at any level.