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.