Buenaventura Golf Club
|Jade (W)||72||5822 yards||72.7||127|
|Black M: 74.9/139||437||233||369||589||421||429||199||447||593||3717||451||403||558||414||200||397||584||195||464||3666||7383|
|Gold M: 73.0/135||409||199||344||561||399||412||174||420||559||3477||424||369||533||382||168||368||558||167||437||3406||6883|
|Silver M: 70.4/130||370||165||322||525||367||375||149||381||525||3179||378||333||496||341||149||333||528||137||403||3098||6277|
|Blue W: 72.7/127||326||137||285||492||360||375||149||381||504||3009||342||291||456||311||141||303||479||118||372||2813||5822|
A resort escape from Panama City
Buenaventura is Panama City's fairy tale land, a beachfront oasis two hours away where city slickers go to escape the traffic and high rises. Life slows down, except for on the golf course.
With so few weekday resort guests, golfers can jet around the course in no time. Pace of play can be an issue when the members and resort guests invade on weekends, but weekdays are a paradise of relaxation and enjoying the course to yourself.
Buenaventura was in prime shape during my visit. It's expertly routed for the resort player with no gut-busting holes if played from the proper tees. It would have been nice if a hole was built on the ocean, but you'll have to settle for a glimpse of the water on a par 3.
A Cobra-Puma indoor hitting bay and club-fitting studio with Gears technology is the only one of its kind in Latin America, according to head pro Heath Henrich, so that's a great amenity for golfers looking to improve.
The resort is beautiful with multiple pools; a soft, sandy beach; an excellent spa and restaurants galore.
Middle of Nowhere
If you happen to be staying at the JW Marriott in Beunaventura, Panama, this is a MUST play. If you stay at the resort, it's a $135 weekend rate, $70 for weekday. If you are not staying at the resort, I believe the green fee is $300. The best thing about this course, (both times I played), is the fast play. Virtually nobody plays golf here. And it's an amazing Jack Nicklaus design with 4 tees for variable skill-levels. It's like golf heaven. EVERYTHING is in perfect shape. While you play you will see dozens of greenskeepers, gardeners, workers, etc., maintaining the course. The fairways are pristine. The bunkers are filled with fluffy white sand and fully raked. There is no disease or defects on the greens. The only small issue is the greens are a bit slow. This is because (due to the harsh climate) they use the Platinum Paspalum grass. It's a bit tougher than you may be used to and caused the greens to be just a tad slow. But that was a small price to pay for the immaculate condition of this golf course. If you happen to be in Panama City, it's worth the 2 hour drive to play this track. Trust me.