Head for the hills at El Conquistador golf course in Fajardo, Puerto Rico

FAJARDO, Puerto Rico -- Many of the 22 golf courses in Puerto Rico look a little too much like Florida. Golfers looking for a little more personality in the land should give El Conquistador a spin.

There's nothing flat and boring about this Arthur Hills design, circa 1992. The hills of this cliff-top resort rarely relinquish a flat lie. Plotting your way around requires precision, and a little bit of luck. Slopes tend to kick balls into the jungle or ponds that line tilted fairways.

Director of Golf Seth Henrich calls El Conquistador's first hole his favorite, simply because it introduces the challenges that lie ahead. Teeing off from an elevated perch, players must favor the left side of the fairway, which slants hard left to right and punishes misses into lost balls.

A half dozen holes or more feature similar elevated tee shots with outstanding views. It's fun to watch your ball sail against the horizon. Just keep an eye on where it ends up. It might not be anywhere near where it landed.

"I would describe it as challenging because most people do not play so many uneven lies," Henrich said. "This golf course does not fit our business model. People expect it to be the usual resort course, and it's not."

Mar 14, 2014

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Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.