Puerto Rico: A Caribbean golf destination that inspires and excites

ISABELA, Puerto Rico -- Since 2008, no Caribbean island has invested more time, effort and money into its golf scene than Puerto Rico.

The Puerto Rico Open -- the Caribbean's only PGA Tour event, held annually since 2008 at the 36-hole Trump International Golf Club -- serves as the TV showcase for the island's 21 golf courses currently open.

Major renovations on the East Course at Dorado Beach Resort & Club (in 2011) and the Bahia Beach Resort & Golf Club (in 2008) -- coupled with two five-star resorts built on site, the Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, and St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, respectively -- have elevated both destinations in stature. Dorado's iconic East Course recently hosted the Golf Channel's "Big Break NFL" series.

The 2010 opening of Royal Isabela, a wild links course along the high cliffs of the northwest coast, added another must-see attraction. The Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa, home to the Rio Mar Country Club's River Course and Ocean Course, is in the midst of a $500 million spending spree to upgrade its infrastructure.

Guests at the El Conquistador Resort, a Waldorf Astoria resort clutching oceanfront cliffs on the northeast side of the island, can explore 23 bars and restaurants, a hilly Arthur Hills design, a cool water park and take a ferry to a private beach on Palomino Island. Now that's a golf vacation.

Mar 26, 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.