Golf. It’s hardly the first sport that comes to mind when you think of a South American country like Colombia, yet it is beginning to gain popularity here.
Colombia boasts over 50 courses, which ranks it third behind only Argentina and Brazil.
Many of these have been designed by the game’s most famous players, including Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.
Bogota accounts for more than half the country’s courses, which makes sense given it is the business, financial, and political capital of the country. And it’s also by far the largest city in terms of population.
However, with additional courses spread throughout Colombia, from the exotic San Andres Islands and Caribbean Coast to the mountainous interior, golf aficionados have the chance to play in a wide range of geographic regions that are all about an hour’s flight from one another.
Medellin, for example, has the most ideal weather for golf, with an equal number of daylight hours throughout the year.
The City of Eternal Spring features the following courses:
- Club El Rodeo (par 72)
- Club El Rodeo (par 72) in Rio Negro
- Club Campestre de Medellin (par 72) in Rio Negro. This course is home to PGA golfer Camilo Villegas.
- Club Campestre de Medellin (par 72)
Traditionally, golf has been the domain of the wealthy, and access to greens has required costly memberships to private country clubs.
Unlike in the United States, for example, there aren’t a whole lot of public golf courses, but this may begin to change as golf is increasingly promoted to the general public. This openness by the clubs to allow foreigners to play is part of a clear effort to help further promote tourism, and Colombia as a place to do business.
El Rodeo is a private club, so you need a membership to get in. As of April 2015, a membership for a year costs 5 million pesos plus a 660 thousand peso monthly maintenance fee for a single person. A membership for a family for a year costs the same 5 million pesos plus an 826 thousand peso MMF.
The following exceptions do offer tourists an opportunity to play a round:
- Any guest of a five-star hotel allied with the club can have access to it. Some of these hotels include Dann Carlton, San Fernando Plaza, Medellin Royal, etc.
- A foreigner (or anyone) who is staying for a short amount of time can contact them and arrange a membership for up to two months which would cost 2 million pesos.
Golf photos from Colombia aren’t as easy to find online as in other countries where the sport has enjoyed greater popularity.
Proexport, the country’s tourism organization, is currently taking the lead to promote the sport and courses internationally.
This post was written by Dave, and brought to you by GolfNow.com and the Golf Channel.