The impressive 36-hole golf complex near Rio Grande actually started out as the Coco Beach Golf & Country Club with the initial 18-holes opening in the Spring of 2004 and the second layout following two years later. The facility was later branded Trump International but financial woes in 2015 resulted in the franchise collapsing and the facility reverting back to its original name.
Developed by Bruce Besse of Willowbend Golf & Land Design, this project was the first that Tom Kite Design was involved in outside the US and it resulted in four distinct and diverse 9-hole circuits that were originally called Mountain, Palm, Lakes and Ocean.
The Lakes and Ocean nines became the Championship course and the Palms and Mountain nines formed the International when Donald Trump took control, constituting as fine a golf facility as you will find anywhere in the Caribbean.
The International enjoys a number of substantial elevation changes on its front nine which some golfers state as their main reason for preferring it to its sibling. Alternatively, other visitors cite the greater variety of terrain on the Championship – including a number of water hazards – as justification for choosing this course as their favourite at Coco Beach.
Of course, there’s only one way to find out which is best – play them both and then decide for your self. It’ll be pricey but well worth the hefty green fees to sample such quality golf and reduced twilight rates are available in the afternoons for the more cost conscious.
Coco Beach Golf & Country Club has hosted the Puerto Rica Open on a composite course since it became an event on the PGA Tour in 2008.
Although the club was run by Trump, the club’s owner, Coco Beach Golf and Country Club, filed for bankruptcy in 2015.