- Golf in Guanacaste
Guanacaste and the Gulf of Papagayo in particular, is experiencing first hand this development associated with golf. There are now four golf courses in the region (and there are plans for more) and all of them have been accompanied by new hotel and residential infrastructure. The golf clubs of the Fours Seasons, Hacienda Pinilla and Reserva Conchal are for the exclusive use of their guests, while the Papagayo Golf & Country Club is the only course open to the general public.
Although the country’s oldest golf course, the Costa Rica Country Club, founded in the 40s, is found in the central valley, Guanacaste is currently the province with the most golf courses in all of Costa Rica.The modern courses of Guanacaste, are all less than 10 years old and have been designed to minimize the environmental impact and subjected to the strict current regulations for these types of projects. The result has been world class courses in incredible natural surroundings. The Four Seasons Resort and its golf course, has recently received a certification of sustainability from the ICT (Costa Rican Institute of Tourism) making it the best-ranked five-star hotel in the country. This is plain to see as each part of the complex is subtly and harmonically integrated into its surroundings. For its part, the Papagayo Golf & Country Club has received an ecological distinction from the Out of Bounds Society in recognition of its wildlife-friendly design.
Ten years ago, the area in which the Papagayo Golf Club is located, was used for grazing cattle introduced after a sustained deforestation. The first step taken to restore this zone was the reforestation of the area with more than 5,000 native trees. They developed mechanisms to take advantage of rain water and chose grass with lower water needs while the residences of the complex were planned with high environmental standards. Today it is common to find yourself face to face in the middle of the fairway with howler monkeys, coatis or raccoons that have returned to make this their home. This is exactly what is happening in a similar manner on other courses in the area.The abundant nature, combined with world-class surroundings and services have made these courses a unique experience. This is one of the things that makes each game of golf in this area unique and unrepeatable; something different to what we find on any other course in the world. This is exactly what has attracted professionals such as Fred Couples or Jesper Parnevik, as well as various international stars of the screen, music and sport, who frequently choose Guanacaste as a place to treat themselves to a special game. The two courses in the Gulf of Papagayo are found less than 30 minutes from the airport and are only a couple of hours flight from Miami.
Hacienda Pinilla is Costa Rica’s little secret golf gem. It really doesn’t get the publicity that Four Seasons, Marriott Los Suenos or Reserva Conchal get but believe me, it is a great golf course. Located near the town of Tamarindo and inside the Hacienda Pinilla resort, this golf course offers wide fairways, long par 4s and probably Costa Rica’s most famous par 3 – the 15th.
Reserva Conchal golf course is located in Guanaste near the town of Brasilito and close to major attractions like Flamingo beach, Tamarindo, and Coco beach. This golf course is part of the Reserva Conchal resort that houses the Westin Playa Conchal and Conchal condos.