Friday, October 2, 2009

Golf travel in South America

The 2016 Olympics are a long way off, but now that we know they will be held in Rio de Janeiro, it will be interesting to find out what course they'll be playing on.

Supposedly the top two courses in Rio are:

Gavea Golf and Country Club

Itanhanga Golf Club

As far as South America goes, the top golf destination is Argentina. Golf was introduced there around the turn of the century by the British. Not only are there several quality locations to play, there is the constant festivals, food, wine, and amazing night life. This amazingly diverse and often beautiful landscape features beaches and vast expanses of natural forests and mountains.

The top two golf locations in Argentina are The Jockey Club and San Andres Golf Club. The Jockey club features both the red and blue courses. Both courses opened in 1935 and were designed by Alistair Mackenzie, who designed many famous courses throughout his life.

The course requires a great deal of accuracy of the tee and features sculpted and contoured greens that challenge any golfer. Angel Cabrera, current Masters champion, won the Argentina Open in 2001 at the red course.

San Andres is the oldest club in Argentina, was founded in 1892, and was named in honor of St. Andrews, the home of golf.

The course was designed by one of the early pioneers in golf design, Mungo Park. The par 72 course is 6772 yards, short by modern day standards, but features a difficult test of golf. This course is where golf in Argentina began and is a must play for anyone traveling to the country.

With golf officially becoming an Olympic sport, South America has now been thrust into the limelight for the event. It will be interesting to see how much bigger the game grows and how many new golf travel destinations come available throughout the continent.