The exclusive Club Campestre Guaymaral in Bogotá has hosted the Colombian Open three times in the new millennium, the last time when the club celebrated its twentieth anniversary in 2011.
Golf is just one of a number of sports enjoyed by club members who have twenty-nine tennis courts, an outdoor Olympic-size swimming pool and an extensive equestrian centre available for use.
With this scale of operation, it’s little surprise to discover there are two 18-hole courses available here: the No.1 course, designed by Boros Sokoloff in 1991 then redesigned by Ron Garl in 2012, and the longer No.2 course, built by Floridian Mark Mahannah and opened for play in 1999.
The No.2 course might seem very long as it measures a mighty 7,720 yards from the back markers but, given Bogotá’s rarified atmosphere at around 8,000 feet above sea level, this overall distance only equates to around that of a 6,600-yard seaside layout.
On the front nine, the 437-yard 2nd is a really testing hole, doglegging left past a small lake on the inside bend in the fairway where anything hit offline down that side will find a watery grave.On the back nine, the 500-yard 16th is the longest par four on the course – rated the toughest on the card – and it plays to a raised green that’s protected by three deep bunkers on the left side.
The club at Guaymaral is more like an Olympic village than your typical private golf club. There are two golf courses, however golf is just one of almost a dozen other sports you can play here ranging from a fully-fledged Equestrian Center to a variety of football pitches worthy of a Premier League team. To say it’s a huge operation is an understatement. Again, it’s all hidden away from the rest of the world in the isolated seclusion of the Colombian countryside.
While the #1 course is preferred by the members due to its user-friendly approach, the #2 course is merciless, long, daunting, intimidating and frequently unnerving! There aren’t many divots out there. I didn’t find the greens to be a highlight, but simply hitting them in regulation is fatiguing. While the routing takes you on a journey, the topography is really flat with almost no change in elevation and with large areas of heavy rough, I will gladly leave this course for people who play the sport for a living. The course just doesn’t have the charm and character of nearby El Rincon.