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Home > Interests & activities > Golf
You might be surprised to know that golf helped put Puerto Rico on the tourist map.
The gentleman’s game goes back to the 1950s, when Laurance Rockefeller built a luxury resort in Dorado and welcomed the biggest stars of the era to the Robert Trent Jones-designed East Course.
We’ve come a long way since those early days. Today, Puerto Rico boasts more than 24 courses, many of them designed by the sport’s most legendary figures. Our geographic diversity gives golfers of all levels the option of playing on courses that face the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, or the lush foothills of the El Yunque rainforest.
The golf capital of Puerto Rico, Dorado lies just a few miles west of San Juan, hugging the Atlantic coast and boasting the ideal topography and scenery for golf. The Dorado Beach Resort is your destination, home to four outstanding courses. The famed East Course, reopened in November 2011 and restored to the original vision of designer Robert Trent Jones Sr. by his son, Robert Trent Jones II, has achieved legendary status from the game’s greats. In fact, Jack Nicklaus once ranked its 4th hole as one of the top ten holes in the world. In addition, Dorado Beach boasts the West Course, Sugarcane Course and Plantation Course, giving golfers 72 holes of championship play. Dorado is also home to the Dorado del Mar Golf Club, an 18-hole championship course designed by native son and golf great Juan “Chi Chi” Rodriguez.
Dorado is experiencing a tourist renaissance, and will soon welcome several new hotels, headlined by the Dorado Beach Ritz-Carlton Reserve, the first 6-star hotel in Puerto Rico and one of only two Ritz-Carlton Reserves in the world.
Where the Stars Came to Play
In Dorado’s golden age, celebrity guests included Joe Namath, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Dwight Eisenhower, Henry Kissinger, and John F. Kennedy, to name just a few.
Wedged between the Atlantic Ocean and the foothills of the incomparable El Yunque rainforest, Rio Grande offers a truly breathtaking setting for golf. Add the comfort and amenities of three world-class hotels, and Rio Grande is a prime destination for golfers as well as their loved ones. The Gran Meliá Golf Resort offers the Tom Kite-designed Trump International Golf Club, two 18-hole championship courses and home to the annual Puerto Rico Open. A few minutes east lies the Rio Mar Beach Resort, a Wyndham Grand Resort, which boasts two courses. One of these is the first Greg Norman-designed course in the Caribbean; the other is a Tom & George Fazio masterpiece. Finally, the St. Regis Bahía Beach, one of Puerto Rico’s newest luxury resorts, presents it guess with a Robert Trent Jones Jr. course that winds its way along the coast.
After a vigorous round of golf, what could be better than a soothing massage? Choose from the Remède Spa at the St. Regis, the Mandara Spa at the Rio Mar Beach Resort, or the YHI Spa at the Gran Meliá.
El Yunque Beckons
Each of these resorts places you in close proximity to the El Yunque rainforest. In addition to giving you a lush backdrop on the fairways, the forest offers a variety of hikes, adventures and waterfalls.
A golf game tends to build up an appetite. Fortunately, you’ll have a choice of fine-dining eateries in Rio Grande, like Chef Myrta’s Pasión por el Fogón at the Gran Meliá, Jean-Georges' Fern at the St. Regis, and the Italian Palio at the Rio Mar Beach Resort.
Fajardo and the East Coast
The El Conquistador Resort in Fajardo has one of the most comprehensive list of perks and amenities of any hotel in Puerto Rico. Among those features is the challenging Arthur Hills Golf Course. With elevations of more than 200 vertical feet, it’s an undulating course that offers panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea and finishes up with an 18th hole that will have you making your final shot in front of a waterfall. South of El Conquistador in the town of Humacao is the resort community of Palmas del Mar. Among the world-class amenities you’ll find here are two championship-caliber 18-hole courses: The Flamboyán Course, designed by architect Reese Jones, and the Palm Course, designed by golf legend Gary Player.
The Perks at El Conquistador
With its own private island, waterpark, casino, spa, and numerous pools and restaurants, El Conquistador will entertain your family and loved ones while you’re on the fairway.
The Perks of Palmas del Mar
A marina and yacht club, beach, tennis courts and horseback riding are just a few of the activities you and your loved ones can enjoy at Palmas del Mar.
The Perks of Fajardo
While you’re here, take advantage of Fajardo’s reputation as the boating capital of Puerto Rico. Go snorkeling, fishing, sailing, or even hop on the ferry to the islands of Vieques and Culebra.
South Coast Courses
The cities of Coamo, Ponce and Guayama are the golfer’s destination in the south of Puerto Rico. The Ponce Hilton features 27 holes of championship golf at the Costa Caribe Golf & Country Club. Nearby, Coamo Springs offers a serene setting for golf as well as spa services, and El Legado Golf Club in Guayama presents a more modest and affordable course.
Golf on a Budget
For those who are new to the game or on a budget, you’ll find golf on this side of the island is an affordable and pleasant alternative to the ritzier courses in the north.
A Puerto Rican First
If you need any added incentive to play at Costa Caribe, how about this? It boasts Puerto Rico’s first and only island green.
After a round of golf at Coamo, enjoy a dip in a natural hot spring at the Coamo Thermal Springs.
West Coast Courses
The first public golf course in Puerto Rico opened on its west coast: Punta Borinquen, on the northwest corner of the island, was built in 1940. The par-72 course continues to draw golfers to this day. On the southern corner of the west coast, you’ll find a second course at the Club Deportivo del Oeste in Cabo Rojo.
Golf by the beach
Puerto Rico’s west coast is known for its beaches. Immensely popular with the surfing crowd, they also make for the perfect post-putt escape.
After a round of golf at the Club Deportivo, head along Route 102 to Joyuda, where you’ll find a string of outstanding restaurants and bars that specialize in seafood.
The President’s Course
Punta Borinquen isn’t just the oldest public course on the island. It also used to be a favorite of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.