There are four 18-hole courses in the capital city of Lima: Lima Golf Club (founded in 1924), Country Club de Villa (1957), Country Club de la Planicie (1962) and Los Inkas, formed in 1945. Incredibly, it is estimated that between the four clubs, there are less than one thousand active golfers!
Los Inkas Golf Club lies in the foothills of the Andes in the south east of the capital, near Lima University and the Monterrico Jockey Club. The 6,475-yard Los Incas could be considered a South American-links type golf course because of its playing condition. It features pre-Inca ruins which run alongside four holes but they are not the only unusual items to be found on and around the fairways.It is said that a former World Wildlife Fund president who lived nearby allowed rare, albino squirrels to escape from cages and golfers can now spy the offspring of these frisky white rodents in the trees lining the fairways at Los Inkas!
Los Inkas Golf Club is a parkland course with tight fairways. There are many strategic holes such as the demanding #4 and the over the pond #13 par 3s, the dogleg to the right #5 and the dogleg to the right long #15 par 4s, and par 5s the slight dogleg to the left narrow #3, the sharp dogleg to the left short #8, & the slight dogleg to the left, long #16.
Two ancient ruins from the Inka period remain intact on the course. Eugenio Dunezat from Argentina designed the course. He was a pro in Peru and played 1958, 60 & 61 Canada Cup on behalf of Peru. Peru currently has 12 golf courses and 9 are in or around Lima. It is said that Los Inkas is the best course in Peru, which has hosted the Peru Open for the last 20 years in succession.
The dogleg to the left 3rd 517-yard par 5 is a good risk/reward hole. It is a relatively short par 5 and reachable in two shots. The tee shot needs to be accurate as the trees line the narrow fairway. The double-tiered green is guarded by bunkers on both sides and the left side of the upper tier borders a pond. Players need to make a decision to go for the green or lay up safely on the second shot.
Los Inkas Golf Club is a private club with great facilities and exclusive. I emailed the club to request for the game in English but the club didn’t reply. So I went directly to the golf club without a tee-time, and negotiated with a member of staff at the gate. He contacted the head pro who eventually allowed me to go inside the premises. When we communicated, the head pro didn’t speak English and I didn’t understand Spanish. However, we agreed – thanks to the translation by my smart phone – that I could play for a $100 green fee, $20 for rental clubs, and $30 for the caddie fee. It was a unique experience.
If you do come to Peru, I recommend you to visit the city of Cusco first, which was formerly the capital of the extensive Inca Empire, and is typically preserved in the foundations and lower stories of Spanish colonial structures. And then you take a train from Cusuco to Machu Picchu, “The Lost City of the Inkas”. It’s one of the most famous and spectacular historical sites in the world. This was my first time visit to South America, although I have played 1,200 golf courses around the world. The above two places are incredibly impressive despite my extensive travels.