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Top 20 Golf Courses of Argentina 2012

09 February, 2012

Top 20 Golf Courses of Argentina 2012

Our latest golf course rankings for Argentina are unveiled

9th January 2012

Top 100 Golf Courses (www.top100golfcourses.com), the most informed and complete golf course ranking website, presents its 2012 Top 20 for Argentina, the land of Tango and where the local Open championship is the 5th oldest in the world.

For this news update, we have moved from 15 to 20 courses in the rankings, as there have been new additions and more than 20 courses under construction, which will ensure we add more over the next couple of years. For example, El Desafío Resort at Patagonia and Pilará Golf Club in Buenos Aires will most likely be destined for the future Top 10.

Argentina has almost 2,800,000 km2 of land surface and there are around 280 courses in play at the moment, which still leaves a lot of the country without a course! But we can proudly say we have courses in all geographies: links by the sea, parklands in the Pampas, Desert Courses in Mendoza, Wineland courses in Mendoza and Salta, Patagonic Courses in the South and some courses by the mountains in Mendoza, Salta, Tucumán and La Rioja.

Argentina carries a long history and tradition with golf, so this has to be taken into account to select the best venues. Geography provides plenty of different scenic options that have also been taken into account when ranking the courses. In my opinion, course shape is always a mandatory feature to qualify a golf course as it shows the respect people have for their home of golf. And one more thing, the challenge the course offers to players of all skills is also a very important aspect, as I believe a course only suitable for the pros cannot call itself a top course.

Our country is still not yet a very popular destination for golf and we, the golf operators and people in the local industry, are working very hard to get our country known as a serious golfing destination. Our popularity has grown recently due to Angel “El Pato” Cabrera’s Major wins, and slowly golfers are showing more and more interest in visiting some of our top venues. There are no real rankings of our country outside the Top 100 website, it’s the only website than can provide realistic and accurate information on our golf courses.

Golf Digest ranked three of our top venues in the Top 100 Outside the USA: Olivos Golf Club, Buenos Aires Golf Club (both co-hosts of 2010 World Amateur Championship) and Jockey Club (Red), designed by Alister MacKenzie. But our best course, Chapelco, is still not recognized by international publications, but why?

We can provide the answers. It’s new, it has not yet hosted any top event and it is located in a destination with only three other courses (two more are under construction). Undoubtedly Chapelco Golf Club is the best course in South America, by far. It’s routed across a premium parcel of land in the Andes Range, co-designed by Jack and Jack II Nicklaus, pristine maintenance standards, great variety in design, very fast bent grass greens and a top management team make it a real must-play if you visit Argentina.

No 2 is Buenos Aires Golf Club, a 27-hole facility designed by Robert von Hagge that has the great honor of hosting 2000 EMC World Cup, which was won by Tiger Woods and David Duval, number 1 & 2 in the world at that moment. The course is a typical American design, with variety, challenge and huge greens with a lot of movement that can provide lots of different pin positions.

At 3rd place you can find Olivos Golf Club, an English parkland course designed by Luther Koontz, which is always considered the best maintained golf course in Argentina. It’s a great design, not one straight shot from the tee, five very different par threes and one of the nicest par fives in the world, the 15th, which is mentioned in the book, 1001 Golf Holes You Must Play Before You Die. It hosts annually the Argentine Masters, won by players like Tom Lehman, Bernhard Langer, Roberto de Vicenzo, Angel Cabrera and Andres Romero.

In 4th position we find my favourite, the course I have played for many years, and every new time I stand on the first tee a new challenge begins. Mar del Plata (Playa Grande) is a par 70 of just 6,100 yards, but with greens rolling at 13ft on the stimp and where wind is always a factor, it can be the most brutal test in golf. Designed by Juan Dentone in the early 1900s, the course is called “La Catedral del Golf Argentino” and has remained authentic since its first design.

And for 5th place we have Jockey Club (Red Course), the most renowned course and the one every visitor wishes to play. Designed during Alister MacKenzie’s world trip in which he added Club de Golf del Uruguay, Club de Golf Los Leones (Chile) and Royal Melbourne among others. “La Colorada” offers a very big challenge with narrow fairways and inverted dish-shaped greens. It usually hosts the Argentine Open and hosted the event in 2001 when our championship was part of the European Tour and was won by Angel Cabrera.

Inside the Top 20 we can find the traditional English parklands, created in the first half of last century, which followed the construction of railway stations (Ranelagh, San Isidro, San Andres, Golf Club Argentino). New course additions came in the 1990s (Martindale, San Eliseo, Pilar GC) and the marvelous courses in Cordoba (Villa Allende and Potrerillo de Larreta). The first of many designed by ex tour players was Nordelta and maybe the most scenic golf course in the country is Llao Llao, with breathtaking views of Lake Nahuel Huapi in Bariloche.

We in Argentina do know that Tango and Beef are our world trade marks, but also believe that golf has a lot to offer for traveling players and yet a lot more to give over the next few years. Canales de Plottier, Estancia de Cafayate, El Desafío Mountain Resort, Pilará Golf Club and El Valle del Golf in Córdoba will for sure get quickly in the Top 10 and give golfers new reasons to visit Argentina. Naturally, combine golf with tango dancing and wine tasting, and perhaps a trip to the Iguazu Falls, the Glaciar Perito Moreno, the Wine Area and the most European city outside the continent, Buenos Aires.

Come and test our courses, tell us what you think, write about them and let your friends know that The Land of Maradona has a lot to offer as a holiday destination. Good golf, great wine, tasty food and wonderful nightlife combine with the most varied geography in South America to create an unforgettable golf holiday. And complete your reviews and tell us what is good and how you believe our courses could improve. Feedback is very important in our Kaizen Process (Continuous Improvement) to offer the best quality in golf vacations.

To see our new 2012 Argentina Top 20 Golf Courses – click here

Javier Pintos
Top 100 Argentina Correspondent and owner of Let’s Golf Argentina


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