PUERTO RICO – Puerto Rico provides everything that golfers love, including tropical weather, superb courses, convenient access, and great seasonal value.
These opportunities are all enhanced by the charming Caribbean setting, vibrant culture, and welcoming, bilingual conviviality found throughout the Island (an American territory requiring no passport for U.S. citizens).
With 17 courses ranging in type from luxury resort to community municipal, there’s something for every player’s preference. Better yet, they’re located throughout the island, providing a variety of choices and experiences that are as unique as they are complementary.
Take Costa Caribe Golf & Country Club, for example. Located five minutes from downtown Ponce, often referred to as “La Perla del Sur” (Pearl of the South), Costa Caribe Resort is home to the Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort, The Costa Caribe Golf & Country Club and Costa Caribe Luxury Golf Villas. Here you can enjoy spacious accommodations overlooking the ocean or beautiful gardens, scrumptious dining at five different restaurants, fun at the casino, or golf on the 27-hole venue.
After your round, unwind in the elegant Clubhouse with secluded beach and resort pool. The Club’s breathtaking setting lies between the Caribbean Sea and Central Mountain range. Incredibly, the cost for hotel guests to play is a sublime bonus – starting at $59 on weekdays, $69 on weekends (http://www.costacaribe-resort.com/golf).
El Legado Golf Club is 30 minutes from Ponce in Guayama. The 18-hole course, designed by Chi Chi Rodriguez, is a fun additional playing option near Costa Caribe (www.ellegadopuertorico.com). Non-residents pay $60 for weekday rounds (Monday-Friday), $65 on Saturday or Sunday. The club’s popular restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy post-round refreshments.
Nestled on the eastern coast of Puerto Rico in Humacao is Palmas del Mar Golf Club, home to 36 superb holes. The 18-hole Flamboyan Course was designed by Rees Jones, while the Palm Course is a Gary Player creation. Lush landscapes, breathtaking sea views, an expansive practice facility, and undulating greens are just some of the things you can experience. Humacao is an easy, scenic drive from San Juan, for those staying in or near the capital city. If staying at Palmas del Mar is preferred, there are a variety of rentals available from condos to luxury homes and villas (www.surfsidepalmasresorts.com).
Near San Juan are four upscale luxury golf resorts that are home to seven 18-hole courses, with esteemed layouts designed by Greg Norman, Tom Kite, Robert Trent Jones Jr., Tom and George Fazio, and Robert Trent Jones Sr. They include:
TPC Dorado Beach – the club’s East Course is considered the Caribbean’s best by many players;
The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort & Golf Club – the 18-hole, RTJ Jr.-designed course is certified Silver Signature Sanctuary by Audubon International;
Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Golf & Beach Resort – home to Troon Golf managed Ocean and River courses;
Coco Beach Resort, a Hyatt Affiliated Hotel – the PGA TOUR’s Puerto Rico Open is played on the Championship Course here, with the International Course providing 18 additional first-class holes.
Rio Bayamon Golf Course is a municipal course with a lighted driving range near San Juan. The 18-hole course can be played by non-residents for $65 including golf cart, and for as little as $30 from 7 am to 10 am, Monday through Thursday (walking only), or for $40 at Twilight (4 pm and later).
Western Puerto Rico is home to Royal Isabela, a luxury boutique resort approximately 90 minutes from San Juan. The Links Course is an 18-hole marvel perched upon cliffs 200 feet above the sea. Playing the dramatic, eco-sensitive golf layout, then staying in one of the exquisite Casitas (each with a private pool and ocean view), is an unforgettable golf getaway experience.
Thirty minutes southwest lies Punta Borinquen, a highly affordable community course with ocean views from all 18 holes. While everything about the course is modest – from conditions to green fees – the design, setting, and people ensure you’ll be glad you sought out this special place.