Boca Rio was created to defend par, or certainly to make birdies difficult. Only three of the holes at this late-’60s Robert von Hagge design feature fewer than three bunkers stationed around the green, and at least one of those is the par three at No. 17. It features the largest putting surface on the course, but it also has a sizable lagoon to keep players in check.
Many of the greens are designed so that players must make two superb shots to have a chance at birdie; first choosing the risky line off the tee to provide the correct angle into tight green targets, and then executing that second shot as well. There is opportunity for those happy with bogey golf to lay up and avoid the ample hazards but what’s the fun in that? It’s a reflection of an era designed around challenge, and ample maintenance maintains its playability.
The course made its professional debut during 2020, when it hosted the inaugural LPGA Gainbridge event, won by Sweden’s Madeline Sagström. The event is scheduled to continue annually.