Argentina is synonymous with soccer or specifically Diego Maradona who seemingly single-handedly removed England from more than one World Cup campaign. But Argentina is one Latin American country where Europeans and even the English will feel at ease. Corned beef, the sultry tango, Buenos Aires and, naturally, football come to mind when thinking of Argentina.
The British brought golf to Argentina at the end of the 19th century and laid out rudimentary courses around San Martin. By the time Lomas Golf Club was founded in 1892, many Argentines had already adopted the new sport. Asociación Argentina de Golf was founded in 1926 and there are currently more than 300 registered golf courses, which include 27 par three courses. The AAG manages the handicaps of over 40,000 affiliated players throughout Argentina and there are more than 30 official golf competitions.
Roberto De Vicenzo is perhaps the country’s most famous exponent of the game. Winner of the 1967 Open at Hoylake, he’s unfortunately best remembered for incorrectly signing his scorecard with an extra stroke at the 17th (par instead of birdie) in the 1968 Masters Tournament, costing him a place in a play-off against Bob Goalby.
He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1989, having won more than 200 professional events worldwide including the first US Senior Open at Winged Foot East. Roberto also competed in nineteen World Cups – four of them representing Mexico!
Other notable Argentinian professionals include José Jurado, the “Godfather of Argentinean Golf,” who won seven Argentine Opens during the 1920s and lost the 1931 Open Championship at Carnoustie after a costly double bogey at the 17th. In the vineyards owned by the family, there’s a golf course laid out with a perfect replica of this hole.
Antonio Cerdá was a contender at the Open in the 1950s and was Max Faulkner’s travelling partner who helped pay his expenses to play in the 1951 Open that Max won at Royal Portrush. Antonio also won the 1953 World Cup with De Vicenzo.
Vincente Fernández and Eduardo Romero, who each won more than 70 professional titles around the world, starting in the 1960s, and Ángel Cabrera (“El Pato”), who triumphed at the 2007 US Open in Oakmont and the Masters Tournament at Augusta National two years later.
One really famous
Argentinian golf hole is the 15th at Olivos Golf Club, which is
included in the book 1001 Golf Holes you must play before you die.
Javier Pintos (our Argentina Correspondent) isn’t sure if it’s
the best hole in the country but it’s certainly the most famous. As
a fun exercise, he has created “My Best 18 golf holes in Argentina”
to fashion an imaginary golf course with his favourite holes. Click
the link to view his fantasy golf course.
Our Argentinean Top 40 rankings were last updated in April 2019. Click the link to read the story.