This week I want to share with you my fellow golfers friends, the beauty of my home country, Argentina. Located in the southern part of South America, Argentina has only one primary big city, Buenos Aires and then it is surrounded by a huge country in which mostly you will find farms that produce some of the best meats and wines in the world.
The reason I want to share this information with you is because Argentina is a great destination for golf. Since in Buenos Aires we have a perfect weather all year long, golf is played throughout the entire year, the coldest it may get in the winter time is about 45 F (10 C), opposite to this, in the summer temperature may rise to 100 F (35 C), meaning even on the edges temperature is ok for this awesome sport.
Now, there are lots of ways to describe a country and specially one like mine with such a big history and land, but as you know I want to give you all the golf tips if you are considering (And you should) coming down south to play golf. I will go first in this part I article, through Buenos Aires city, and afterwards on the next articles I will go into the famous Patagonia Region, Mendoza Province and finally some small big attractions such as the Iguazu Waterfall, Córdoba (Home of Angel Cabrera) and more.
Why should I start with Buenos Aires when maybe the Argentinian Patagonia is most famous? Easy, for the GOLF. This goes in capital letters, in Buenos Aires, only 30 minutes away from downtown you will find the only 3 top 100 courses outside the US (According to Golf Digest) in South America. Even though most of our background in Spanish, Golf was in heritage by the British that came to Argentina and mostly worked in the constructions of the train system (At that time, the most advanced in the region). This is why, even though we drive on the left side of our cars, like the US, our trains go the other way, meaning if you compare it to how we would drive in an Avenue, let’s say we are looking north, we will have people on the right going north and cars on the left going south, nevertheless if we would be facing north in a railroad, trains on the right would be going south and trains on the left would be going north, interesting, right?
Because of this British heritage, we have currently more than half of the golf courses in the whole South American Region. We have 350+ golf courses, while in South America that number does not reach to an even 700 hundred, this will give golfer from all around the world a wide variety of golf options to play according to level, time, budget, etc.
Of course, I cannot go over all the golf courses that I should as this article would be very long, but at least let me go about the most important one, as usual you can contact me for further information and I will be more than happy to assist any of you.
Let’s start with the top golf courses in the country. As I said, in Buenos Aires we have 3 golf courses in the best 100 of the world outside the US. As you always know, there may be some differences depending on which features each ranking consider but allow me to go to what it is in my opinion, from 3rd best to the best one. The three golf courses are, the Jockey Club, Olivos Golf Club and the Buenos Aires Golf Club.
I have always promised you honest articles so they can be helpful for everybody, but I must tell you again that this article will have a lot of opinion and not facts, so please have an open mind if you come down here and disagree with some of things I said.
The Jockey Club is the 3rd, best golf course in the mentioned ranking. It is about the 70th position. It is a nice golf course, but, I must honestly say, that the golf course is quite flat an easy going. Why is then this golf course in the best 100 of the world? Well, first, it was designed by Sir Allister McKenzie (designer of Augusta National, home of the Masters Tournament), second, the club house is unbelievable, the structure is huge and can be seen from almost everywhere in the golf course. The greens are very tricky and fast as most of McKenzie’s courses, and the social Club House in Downtown was burned down by Juan Domingo Peron in the 70’s as he was not very happy with the higher class of Buenos Aires. But then again, if you ask me, the design may be a little bit overrated. So, if you come down here, playing it is a must for sure, but it won’t be a mind-blowing design, at least for me. Have in mind that Jockey has 36 holes, the Red course and the Blue course, while the Red course is the famous and Championship one. The blue is rather short and it is not in the actual ranking.
The second and best golf course in the country are the Olivos Golf Club and the Buenos Aires Golf Club, this is like saying which girls are prettier, blondes or brunettes, meaning it will depend on the type of golf course you like to play, as the Olivos is a rather old British Parkland course, and the Buenos Aires GC is a rather new links golf course. Now, since I am entitled to an opinion, I will say that the best golf course in South America is by far the Buenos Aires Golf Club.
Like I said, Olivos it’s a beautiful Parkland, it has 27 holes. The championship course is the white and red (In that order) course, then you have the blue course which is also lovely but it is not the championship course. Olivos is a golf course that may look short (About 6600 yds from the back), but it has so many doglegs and cross bunkers that you won’t find very comfortable to be hitting your driver all the time, plus they have very big greens and trust me when I say, it is better to be 30 feet away in the same platform as the pin, than 10 feet away on the wrong platform. Greens are very fast and in some downhill putters it is almost impossible to stop the ball. The maintenance of the golf course is superb, and in the modern era it has hosted both the Masters Tournament and the National Open more than time than any other golf course.
Last but not least is the best golf course in South America. The Buenos Aires Golf Club (BAGC). This golf club even though it was established in the mid-90s, it will look a hundred years old as it has become since its beginning a very traditional club. The golf course was design by Robert Von Hagge, and it is by far the definition of a natural links course, as the even tough Buenos Aires is a very flat city, the number of hills and slope you will find here will make your golf round very interesting, and like I said you can tell that the landscape is natural and not artificial. The BAGC is also the only golf club that was ever played by Tiger Woods and David Duval in South America, as the club hosted the EMC2 world cup in the year 2000 with an outstanding victory of the American team (Woods/ Duval) only one stroke ahead of the Argentinian Team lead by Cabrera and Romero. The club has also 27 holes, but opposite to Olivos, the Championship golf course is a mixed of the three courses. This means that if you are about to play the Buenos Aires GC, don’t worry about which 18 holes you will play, they are all incredible. (Hint, Blue/ Yellow is the toughest combination, I always recommend playing either Green/ Blue or Green/ Yellow). Buenos Aires Golf Club is one of the longest golf courses in the country as from the back it gets almost as far as 7000 yards, plus extremely high winds are an everyday condition here, the kind of golf course that you may hit a pitching wedge and a 7 iron from the same distance depending on the wind that day.
Like I said, if you are planning a golf trip abroad, Buenos Aires is a great destination, unfortunately I am not able to write about all the golf courses in the city, but let me tell you that beside the 3 I mention, you should also play, San Andrés GC (My home course and Oldest in South America), Nordelta and PilarÁ GC (Nicklaus Golf courses), Pilar GC, Martindale. If you may be on a budget, Pingüinos, Lagartos and Highland are a great option for a reasonable price.
As a final mention let me tell you a problem you will find when trying to play here. All the golf courses I have mention are private and member owned. Meaning that if you are lucky enough to get somebody who speaks English on the phone when calling them, they will tell you a short answer, “Sorry, you have to be invited by a member to play here”. But not to worry, like I said, if you are coming down here to play, just get in contact with me and I have all the contacts in the golf courses and golf tourisms companies so you won’t have absolutely no problems when playing here.