Golf

GOLF TOP 100 COURSES OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES GOLF DIGEST

hole 1 HOLE #1 LAS HUACAS PAR 5 / 527 YARDS A sharp dogleg allows players to shorten the hole by hitting tee shots over the bunkers at the corners. Otherwise, a wide fairway all the way to the green sets the stage for a safe, three-shot par-5 to start the round. hole 2 HOLE #2 TIBURÓN PAR 3 / 163 YARDS This short, downhill par-3 features a rock-lined stream in front of the green and a beautiful cove behind it. A receptive approach is to roll the ball onto the right side of the green. However, with the pin tucked left, this will leave a long two-putt. hole 3 HOLE #3 BUENA VISTA PAR 4 / 357 YARDS As players tee off from a cliff with spectacular 360-degree ocean views, one must successfully negotiate “Palmer’s Tree” by hitting over or around it. A true risk/reward hole, with a sharp dogleg fairway featuring deep bunkering on the inside. hole 4 HOLE #4 GUANACASTE PAR 5 / 526 YARDS This strong par-5 requires an accurate tee shot threaded between bunkers on both sides. From there, it’s all uphill along a wide fairway to a smallish green. An aggressive tee shot over the left bunkers significantly shortens the hole. hole 5 HOLE #5 LA POZA PAR 3 / 192 YARDS The second par-3 on the front nine is tough love, requiring a long tee shot to a green guarded by a large pond on the right and a generous bail-out fairway area on the left. With nothing but ocean as a backdrop, it’s a beautiful but potentially touchy hole. hole 6 HOLE #6 EL BAJO PAR 4 / 438 YARDS On this iconic par-4, the tee shot plays downhill to a valley-shaped fairway 200 feet below. The bunkerless green is perched out on a cliff with the ocean behind. Struck well, the ball will fly and roll quite a distance. hole 7 HOLE #7 CULEBRA PAR 3 / 125 YARDS Playing 50 feet downhill, this short par-3 requires a delicate tee shot to a smallish green surrounded by bunkers that have been carefully positioned to collect errant shots. hole 8 HOLE #8 CARIBLANCO PAR 4 / 376 YARDS A drivable par-4 with deep penal bunkers guarding the front of the green. A tee shot over the left fairway bunkers set up an easy approach angle. The green, like many on the course, has separate pin areas that reward good iron play. hole 9 HOLE #9 PIZOTE PAR 5 / 514 YARDS After the wide open tee shots on 1,3,6, and 8, this narrow fairway plays through the lush Nacascolo Forest. This possible two-shot par-5 features a rock-lined stream protecting the front of the most severely contoured green on the course. hole 10 HOLE #10 HERRADURA PAR 4 / 421 YARDS The second hardest hole on the back nine, this sharp dogleg left plays around a deep, natural ravine. A tee shot struck down the left will shorten the distance needed for the second shot into a multi-tiered green. Deep bunkers guard the right of the green, with a generous safe bailout on the left. hole 11 HOLE #11 ZAINO PAR 3 / 173 YARDS This uphill par-3 plays into a predominant wind, with a large green that makes for a good target. The putting surface has excellent tournament pin placements, its left protected by a pot bunker, its right featuring a false front feeding weak shots down to the bottom of the slope. The middle of the green is the smart play. hole 12 HOLE #12 POCHOTE PAR 5 / 581 YARDS On the longest par-5 on the course, the tee shot plays downhill and downwind, contrasted by an uphill second shot that must be hit far enough to have a clear view of the green. Surrounded by bunkers, the green offers ample room to lift and roll the ball onto the putting surface. hole 13 HOLE #13 BUENA SUERTE PAR 4 / 452 YARDS On this long par-4 and number one handicap hole, tee shots play over a large pond to a blind, sloping fairway, allowing the roll of the ball to shorten the distance. The green is bunkered on the right to catch errant shots the would otherwise go out of play. Left and long is the safe play. hole 14 HOLE #14 COYOTE PAR 4 / 376 YARDS Leaving the windswept plateau of 10, 11, 12, the next two holes play just above sea level among lush, natural vegetation. Tee shots on this medium-length par-4 play over a rock-lined stream to a tree-lined fairway. The elevated, yet relatively flat, green is guarded on the front by the deepest bunker on the course. hole 15 HOLE #15 MATAPALO PAR 4 / 333 YARDS An enjoyable, short par-4. Teeing off with a long iron will keep players short of the fairway bunkers, while a well struck 3-wood should carry them, setting up a short wedge over the creek to the two-tiered green. hole 16 HOLE #16 EL MONO PAR 4 / 295 YARDS A long iron or 3-wood off the tee will leave players on the ideal spot, but a driver here can land one safely on the green. A severe ridge divides the narrow green in half, making 3-putting a distinct possibility if you happen to be the wrong side. hole 17 HOLE #17 PACIFICO PAR 3 / 154 YARDS This short par-3 plays over a deep ravine to a large green, which is surrounded by bunkers designed to catch wayward shots. A very picturesque golf hole, players will be treated to spectacular views of the ocean from both the tee and green. hole 18 HOLE #18 PURA VIDA PAR 5 / 519 YARDS A great finishing hole—this short, downhill par-5 from the top of a plateau looks down on a wide open fairway to a green and pond with bunkers behind. The safe play is a long iron just short of the fairway bunkers, setting up a short chip to the green while taking the pond out of play.