Aruba Golf

Tierra del Sol, Aruba © Ian Mackenzie

Golfing in Aruba is an experience that merges relaxed sporting enjoyment with a celebration of the island's wildlife. A world-class golf course, the 18-hole, par 71 Tierra del Sol, is situated on the northwest tip of the island. It was brilliantly designed by Robert Trent Jones II to take full advantage of its natural surroundings. Golfers take a swing watched by wild green parakeets perched on organ-pipe cactus, and lizards basking on the rocks. The fourth hole is alongside a saltwater pond inhabited by a variety of exotic bird species, while burros graze beside the fifth hole. Aruba's endangered burrowing owls perch on coral caves near the sixth.

Those hoping to polish up their game can enjoy the course's popular 'No-embarrassment Clinic', run over a half a day. Pro-golfers who like a challenge will find the course offers various wind conditions that make club selection an important factor. The terrain is dry, arid and flat, typical of a desert links. The Bermuda Grass fairways are kept in excellent condition and are fairly wide. Hazards include bunkers full of soft white Aruba sand, cacti, coral rock formations, and water hazards called 'salinas' on holes 13, 14 and 15. The greens are planted with Bermuda Tif Dwarf grass, are fast and have no hidden breaks. Most putts are affected by the wind.