The coastline south of Managua is fast becoming known as the “Nicaraguan Riviera” and Hacienda Iquana Golf & Beach Club is just one of the new residential developments that have sprung up on that Pacific seaboard, some three hours by car from the national capital.
Serving a private, gated community that houses as many surfers as it does golfers, the 9-hole course here is the centrepiece of developer and former golf pro, Niels Oldenberg’s masterplan for Iquana Beach. The course, which opened for play in 2004, is one of Nicaragua’s hidden gems and the first layout in the country located on the Pacific coastline.
Hacienda Iquana is challenging, well maintained and fun. The signature hole is undoutedly the par five 5th where the tee is perched some 100 feet above the fairway and the Pacific Ocean glistens in the distance.
Having successfully worked on similar projects in Costa Rica, Oldenburg aims to transform the Hacienda Iquana landscape into a world class resort venue. It’s a pity from a golfing perspective that the development plans show each and every fairway on the 9-hole course hemmed in by housing, with no holes routed near the Pacific shoreline.
If Nicaraguan golf course development plans go to schedule, within the next few years another five coastal courses will open, including a Jack Nicklaus Signature layout... the Golden Bear’s first Central American creation.