Consisting of seven countries situated between Mexico and Colombia, Central America links the continents of North America and South America. It covers an area of approximately 200,000 square miles and sustains a population in excess of forty million people. To the south of this geographically important subcontinent, lies the enormous continent of South America, where an estimated four hundred million inhabitants live within an enormous cone-shaped landmass which is bounded to the west by the Pacific Ocean and to the north and east by the Atlantic Ocean. Apart from Brazil, where Portuguese is the official language, Spanish is spoken by most people in this part of the world, thanks to the nautical exploits of a gentleman named Columbus back in the 16th century.
Costa Rica is by no means the largest of the seven countries that comprise the Central American subcontinent but it’s one of the more developed golfing nations in the region and we showcase six of its top courses, including the number one layout, Arnold Palmer’s Four Seasons Peninsula Papagayo, which first opened for business in 2004. We also feature three courses in both Guatemala and Panama, where Pete and Perry Dye’s Fuego Mayo course at La Reunion Antigua and the George and Tom Fazio-designed Coronado course are recognised as the finest 18-hole layouts in either country.In South America, Argentina, with three hundred golf courses, is by far the largest golfing nation within the continent and its leading layout, Chapelco is located near San Martin de los Andes, in the heart of the Argentinean Patagonia. Brazil, which hosts the first Olympic golf event in over one hundred and twenty years in 2016, has more than a hundred courses in play throughout the country and we exhibit fifteen of the best, headed by Terravista, which first opened in 2004. Also, as part of our South American rankings, you’ll find Top 5 lists for Chile, Colombia and Venezuela.
A recent R&A report entitled “Golf around the World 2015” looked at golf provision within the South American region. It noted that, although all fourteen countries had at least one golf course, 90% of the facilities were located in the top five nations. At the end of 2014, there were 30 courses being developed in South America, 18 of which were actually under construction. Interestingly, although the majority of the region’s courses are currently private facilities, two thirds of the new developments are public. To see the full report, click this R&A link then download the appropriate free publication.