The winner of Montevideo's Club de Golf del Uruguay 2011 Championship was 16-year-old Uruguayan golfer, Nicolas Teuten.
Despite his busy schedule of school, family, and playing regularly in both domestic and international golf competitions, the young champion took time to provide us with an overview of golfing in Uruguay - complete with brief course descriptions and tips for eight Uruguay golf courses.
Nicolas reports that while the most popular sport in Uruguay is soccer, there are other sports played and one of them is golf. Golfing in Uruguay is growing in popularity, but that does not mean that the courses are crowded. At Montevideo's Club de Golf del Uruguay (Uruguay's busiest golf club) it is usually possible to just turn up and play on most weekdays. Golf courses in Punta del Este can get very busy during the high season month of January, but the rest of the year there is little or no wait to get on a course.
Caddies are available at nearly all courses and whilst it can get cold for a few days in winter, golf can be played all year.
As far as green fees are concerned, most are around 40 US dollars, but up to around 100 US dollars in Punta del Este in summer (December through March). Caddies cost around 25 US dollars and can be very helpful in their local knowledge – as well as finding your ball for you. Membership costs vary from around 10,000 US dollars at the Club de Golf del Uruguay in Montevideo, 5,000 US dollars at the Punta del Este courses, and less at the others. Monthly fees are around 150 US dollars. No club has a waiting list to get in!
Golf Courses in Montevideo, Uruguay
Club de Golf del Uruguay
Br. Artigas 379, Montevideo, Uruguay
http://www.cgu.com.uy/1344/Inicio (598) 2710-1721
18-hole course - Redesigned in 1934 by Dr Allister McKenzie
This is the most traditional club in Uruguay with the biggest membership. The course is packed on weekends, but still quite empty during the week.
Tip for playing at the Club de Golf del Uruguay: Play the long par 4 second as a par 5, otherwise you can easily ruin your round. Beware of the out of bounds on the last 4 holes – not the holes on which to develop a snap hook.
Club de Golf del Cerro
Punta de Lobos S/N, Montevideo, Uruguay
The oldest golf course in Uruguay and in many ways the best, although it needs a bit more maintenance. It is a very pretty short links course with fantastic views of the Montevideo harbor and the Cerro fort.
Tip for playing Club de Golf del Cerro: Lots of room to hit the ball around, but the course plays longer than it looks on the card. The signature hole is the 5th, with a blind tee shot up a cliff and a tricky 2nd shot if you don’t want to go over the back and down to the beach.
Golf Course in Canelones, Uruguay
La Tahona Golf Club
Camino de los Horneros 220, Ciudad de la Costa, Canelones, Uruguay
http://www.latahona.com.uy/blog/ (598) 2684-0004
A short course, 6500 yards from the back tees, but with very narrow fairways and water hazards.
Tip for playing La Tahona Golf Club: Play in the morning to avoid the worst of the wind and take lots of balls.
Golf Courses in Punta del Este, Uruguay
La Barra Golf Club
Ruta 104 km. 2.500 Camino al Golf, Punta del Este
A new inland course. Windy (there are few trees) and quite long. Nice greens though.
Tip for playing the La Barra Golf Club: A fair bit of room on most holes so you can give it a hit. The signature hole is the par 5 12th, where the water comes into play on every shot, so you can knock up a big score if you are not careful.
Avda. San Pablo S/N, Punta del Este, Uruguay
http://www.cantegrilcountryclub.com.uy/ (598) 4248-2121
The oldest course in Punta. It is expensive and busy in the high season – Jan-March. It is a parkland course, beautifully manicured.
Tip for playing the course at the Cantegril Country Club del Uruguay: Keep it straight and long and you will have few problems. Not much water, but lots of high trees if you miss the fairways.
Club del Lago Golf
Ruta 93 Km 116.500, Punta del Este
http://www.lagogolf.com/pagina.php (598) 4257-8423
A beautiful parkland course and at over 7000 yards it is long. Many lovely holes though. Highly recommended.
Tip for playing Club del Lago Golf: Take a caddie or a buggie. It’s a long course and the walk between tees adds yet more.
Golf Courses in Colonia, Uruguay
Carmelo Golf Club at the Four Seasons Resort
Ruta 21, km 262, Carmelo, Uruguay
http://www.fourseasons.com/carmelo/golf/ (598) 4542-9000
A very long course - 7200 yards from the back tee, but with forward tees for normal golfers. Lovely fairways and greens and hardly any people playing. Enjoy it!
Tip for playing the Four Seasons golf course: Take plenty of balls (again) as the water comes in to play on nearly all the holes. Large greens mean you can put your ball on the green okay, but still be 3 putting (or worse) a lot.
Sheraton Colonia Golf and Spa Resort
Continuación de la Rambla de Las Américas S/N, Colonia Del Sacramento, Uruguay
http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1534 (598) 4522-9000
This is a new course with only 12 holes until April 2012, when the 6 remaining holes will be completed. It is similar to the Four Seasons course, but without the water.
Tip for playing the course at the Sheraton Colonia Golf and Spa Resort: Take your swimming trunks to enjoy the hotel swimming pools afterwards.
Have you golfed in Uruguay? Do you have a favorite course, tip, or story about golfing in Uruguay that you would be willing to share? We always appreciate your comments!