Buenaventura: A World-Class golf course

Golf Buenaventura

Buenaventura GC has been selected on multiple occasions as the best golf course in Panama by specialized magazines in the sport such as Golf Digest for good reason.

We spoke to Álvaro Venegas, its General Director, so he could give us his view of the course.

“Players will find a course that is constantly reaching for excellence both with service as well as the maintenance of the field, where every small detail counts and where they will enjoy the challenges that one of the best golfers of all time, Jack Nicklaus, created.”

With these words, Álvaro Venegas begins to tell us about this luxurious course that attracts not only residents but also national and foreign visitors that leave completely in awe after playing the 18-hole course.

And without much preamble, we began our conversation about the details that make Buenaventura GC so special.

PL: What are the main characteristics of the course?

AV: We find an 18-hole course with a total measurement of 7324 yards starting at the tees and with a par of 72.

Some holes have narrow fairways and others have more generous fairways, all of them with a Platinum Paspalum playing surface. The main challenge of the game is the breeze that is found in the holes by the ocean and the 11 lakes that surround 15 out of 18 of the holes that are very strategically placed and which only Jack Nicklaus could have imagined.

PL: What can the player expect of the course?

AV: The players can enjoy the history behind the Buenaventura name as soon as they step foot in our ClubHouse where a highly trained team of people is focused on anticipating each client’s every need before, during and after their game.

Regarding the design, they will find a course where every small detail is important and where they will enjoy the challenges created by an 18 tournament champion. There are many sand traps strategically placed along the course, sand traps where if the ball falls in them, the player will have to totally change their strategy in terms of how they approach the green.

We are proud of the hard work that our maintenance staff continues to do every day under the leadership of Remigio Gonzalez and Edgardo Soto, and it is because of them that our members and guests can enjoy a premium surface.

PL: Which hole is the easiest of the course?

AV: Personally I would say hole #3; it is a short par 4 where the player can do a lay up with an iron 4 or 5 and from there the players can hit with a pitching wedge towards the green. There are no bunkers that can affect their lines.

I also think that it is one of the holes where the surroundings and landscape is the prettiest.

PL: And the most complex?

AV: Hole #5 can decide early on the outcome of the game. It is a highly defying hole, a par 4 with a narrow fairway off bounds on the right, water on the left and bunkers that complicate the game. You have to use a driver from the tee due to the length of the hole.

Similar to what I mentioned for the previous one, the hole is very hard but the landscaping is beautiful.

PL: How does the weather influence the game?

AV: During the summer months between December and April, we do not have rain and we have a lot less humidity in Buenaventura GC. It is possible for us to have some wind but that allows the last 9 holes to be very interesting.

PL: What can a player expect of the golf course?

AV:The best thing about the Buenaventura GC is that you are playing in two different golf courses when there is wind and when there is not.

The first nine holes are less affected by the wind but the last nine holes are very exposed to the wind because these are the ones closest to the beach.

One of the most important things with or without wind is the shot to green. By having big and curved greens, arriving at the green in a couple of hits does not secure the par at all.

PL: When is the best season to play this golf course?

AV:The best season to enjoy a golf game in Buenaventura GC is from December to April, where temperatures fluctuate between 25-32 degrees and it does not rain.

Afterwards we have a mid season between May and August where some rain can fall.

The Buenaventura golf course has hosted important international tournaments such as the Latin American PGA Tour. “The last time we organized the Buenaventura Classic was in 2019, this is the second division and it gives the winner access to the PGA Tour,” Alvaro highlighted. We did not want to finish our conversation without asking about how the club organizes itself for members and guests.

PL: Do you host internal leagues or tournaments for residents? Is there a type of amateur circuit?

AV: We have some tournaments throughout the year (BGC Anniversary Tournament, Member-Guest Tournament) and we are about to launch 4 new tournaments for our members for next summer. We also host tournaments for organizations such as APAGolf, Ron Abuelo, Ronald Mcdonald and many other organizations.

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