Costa Rica Golf

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Costa Rica golf is no less spectacular than any of the other offerings of this amazing little Central American country that is half the size of Kentucky. The hospitality of the Ticos (as native Costa Ricans are called) is as deep as it is legendary. With its 785 miles of Pacific and Caribbean coastline and breathless biodiversity, Costa Rica seems unwilling to stop offering its visitors more. Golf in Costa Rica is little different than anything else--every venue is splendid and seemingly better than the one before.

Where to Play Costa Rica Golf

Twenty-five years ago Tom and George Fazio began with a 19th-century coffee plantation and the dream of creating one of the finest courses in central Costa Rica. A loop of narrow, tree-lined fairways, the Melia Cariari offers fast and large greens surrounded by famous Fazio bunkers. The number of courses since then has increased dramatically. Costa Rica seems on the verge of a golfing boom, and no wonder.

Toward the Pacific in Guanacaste are numerous spectacular younger Costa Rica golf opportunities. A Robert Trent Jones Jr. course meanders through the Garee de Leon, Costa Rica's first Audubon sanctuary. If you've played a Trent Jones course, junior or senior, you know the mastery of father and son, and the finesse they add to Costa Rica golf. You know that scarlet macaws and howling monkeys are some of the colorful distractions you may encounter.

Hacienda Pinilla near Tamarindo is laid out on 2,500 undeveloped acres on the Nicoya Peninsula. A very long 7,500 yards, the course offers an ocean nine and a ranch nine. The backdrops are either spectacular ocean views or forest views with howler monkeys and links bunkers. Wind comes into play in a big way, and good course management will serve you well.

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