Best winter golf destination
I stayed for a month between January and February in Puerto Rico for a business trip. I went to audit one of the affiliated firms under our holding company. It wasn’t my first trip to Puerto Rico, but this time I stayed the longest. I always book on Condado Palm. It’s neat, well-located and has a boardroom for business meetings.
Auditing periods are very stressful. I didn’t want to do the same old stuff to unwind: drinks after work or boring treadmill at the hotel’s gym. Golf is my getaway, but I can only play at home during warmer months or when I travel. This time, I made sure to go golfing as much as I could. I got lucky. Some of my local clients are into golf and they showed me around.
Puerto Rico has more courses than any other Caribbean island. I couldn’t visit all of them, but here’s my review on some of the most popular.
Royal Isabela – 5 out of 5 stars
One of the Caribbean’s best golf courses indeed. Perhaps the most scenic one. Its unconventional design is based on high cliffs overlooking the ocean. Very demanding. Can be tough for first-timers, especially on the 3rd hole (short and blind par 4 are kind of strange).
Bahía Beach – 5 out of 5 stars
The difficulty of the course is somehow challenging. It’s excellent for intermediate golfers. The pace of play is great. The greens are in very good condition. You can see the ocean on holes 16 and 18. The staff is very friendly. Audubon International certifies this course as a Silver Signature Sanctuary.
TPC Dorado Beach East Course – 4 out of 5 stars
This course has hosted the World Cup tournament several times. Its champion Bermuda grass helps the pace and conditioning. If you get a chance to visit, you’ll remember this review at the par-5 fourth, their signature hole. It’s probably one of the best holes you’ll ever play.
Río Mar Ocean Course – 3 out of 5 stars
The attendants and the staff at the clubhouse and the restaurant are very friendly. Nevertheless, this course wasn’t one of the best I’ve visited. The pace of the game was good, but the greens could be in better shape.
I highly recommend Puerto Rico as a golf destination. The weather is perfect and almost guaranteed to be sunny during winter months. I’ll absolutely write another review about the other courses as soon as I get a chance to visit again. Maybe next time I’ll venture even more and stay at a beach resort in San Juan just to see what it’s about.