Central & South America

Map of Central & South America

About

Consisting of seven countries situated between Mexico and Colombia, Central America links the continents of North America and South America. It covers an area of approximately 200,000 square miles and sustains a population in excess of forty million people. To the south of this geographically important subcontinent, lies the enormous continent of South America, where an estimated four hundred million inhabitants live within an enormous cone-shaped landmass which is bounded to the west by the Pacific Ocean and to the north and east by the Atlantic Ocean. Apart from Brazil, where Portuguese is the official language, Spanish is spoken by most people in this part of the world, thanks to the nautical exploits of a gentleman named Columbus back in the 16th century.

Costa Rica is by no means the largest of the seven countries that comprise the Central American subcontinent but it’s one of the more developed golfing nations in the region and we showcase six of its top courses, including the number one layout, Arnold Palmer’s Four Seasons Peninsula Papagayo, which first opened for business in 2004. We also feature courses in Guatemala and Panama, where Pete and Perry Dye’s Fuego Mayo course at La Reunion Antigua and the George and Tom Fazio-designed Coronado course are recognized as the finest 18-hole layouts in either country.

In South America, Argentina, with three hundred golf courses, is by far the largest golfing nation within the continent and one of its leading layouts, Chapelco is located near San Martin de los Andes, in the heart of the Argentinean Patagonia. Brazil, which hosted the first Olympic golf event in over one hundred and twenty years in 2016, has more than a hundred courses in play throughout the country and we exhibit twenty of the best, headed by Santapazienza, which first opened in 2016. Also, as part of our South American rankings, you’ll find Top 10 listings for Chile and Colombia.

A recent R&A report entitled “Golf around the World 2019” looked at golf provision within the South American region, noting that more than half the 651 golf facilities across fourteen countries were private. It stated that 38 of these courses had opened since 2010 and a further 19 courses were under development within the continent at the end of 2018. To see the full report, click this R&A link then download the appropriate free publication.

Top 100 Golf Courses - Central & South America

Santapazienza

1st Central & South America Ranking

Several years in the making, Tom and Logan Fazio designed the course at Santapazienza Golf Club (their first South American ensemble) and it’s laid out within an enormous, densely forested estate.

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Rio 2016 Olympic Golf Course

2nd Central & South America Ranking

The Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games golf course is set out on rather flat terrain, where elevation changes never extend to more than thirty feet at most...

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Jockey Club (Red)

3rd Central & South America Ranking

The Jockey Club at Buenos Aires is located at San Isidro and it’s an exclusive club that attracts the capital’s best-heeled golfers...

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El Rincón

4th Central & South America Ranking

The World Cup was played at El Rincón in 1980 when the Canadian team of Dan Halldorsan and Jim Nelford held off a strong challenge by the Scottish pairing of Sandy Lyle and Sam Torrance to win the tournament.

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Olivos (Blanca & Colorada)

5th Central & South America Ranking

Olivos is one of the more traditional and recognised golf clubs in Argentina and the Blanca & Colorada nines comprise of the premier eighteen at this 27-hole facility.

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São Paulo

6th Central & South America Ranking

British railway engineers formed the São Paulo Golf Club at the start of the 20th century but the course today is completely hemmed in by housing and industrial buildings on all sides...

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Chapelco

7th Central & South America Ranking

The Chapelco Golf Resort was the first course in South America designed by the Jack Nicklaus II group.

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Gávea

8th Central & South America Ranking

Gávea is widely regarded as Rio de Janeiro’s most prestigious golf club. It dates back to 1921 and the course occupies a delightful setting to the south of Rio, adjacent to the Tijuca National Forest.

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Four Seasons Peninsula Papagayo

9th Central & South America Ranking

The Arnold Palmer designed Peninsula Papagayo golf course at the Four Seasons Resort opened for play in 2004. Stunning ocean views across the Bahía de Culebra are on offer from many fairways that sit atop a high bluff.

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Guacalito de la Isla

10th Central & South America Ranking

The low-density private beach community at Guacalito de la Isla on Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast sits next to the stunning white sands of Playa Manzanillo and the crystal clear waters of the Pacific Ocean.

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Central & South America Leaderboard