Puerto Rico's Fabled Golf History and Players
Golf in Puerto Rico is still relatively new, having first been played on the island in the 1930s. It became an attraction in Puerto Rico through the determination of a handful of golfing enthusiasts. A few nine-hole golf courses were built, but it was really the military bases that were erected during World War II that led to the popularity of the sport. Military bases such as the Roosevelt Roads Naval Base, Henry Barracks that was located at Cavey and Ramey Air Force Base, saw to it that golf courses in Puerto Rico started sprouting up all over. By 1949 there were still no grass courses available and it was through the initiative of Don Fernando Zegro that the first grass course, namely Berwind Country Club, was constructed. In 1954, the Puerto Rico Golf Association was established and registered and from here, the local interest in the sport of golf started to flourish and became a favorite sporting event and attraction in Puerto Rico.
There are thousands of local golfers in Puerto Rico and many visitors and tourists take time off to enjoy a round of golf. The Puerto Rico Golf Association promoted the sport as much as they could and by 1967 they had championship golfing competitions and PGA’s, being hosted on their courses. The PRGA Hall of Fame was established in 1978, with two of their own golfing hero’s, Jim Teale and Juan “Chi Chi” Rodriguez, being inducted in the same year.
Visitors who are interested in playing golf in Puerto Rico will be pleased to hear that there are many golf courses to choose from, so they won’t have to go their entire vacation without swinging a club. The Westin Rio Mar Beach Resort and Country Club in Rio Grande offers visitors a choice of two courses: the Ocean Course that was designed by George and Tom Fazio and the River Course that was designed by Greg Norman. Both are 18-hole courses. The Berwind Country Club is also located in Rio Grande.
Places like Dorado have three golfing establishments, namely the Hyatt Regency Cerromar Beach Golf Club, Hyatt Dorado Beach Golf Club and the Dorado Del Mar. The Aguirre Golf Course is the oldest golf course (established in 1926) in Puerto Rico and has a nine-hole course. Some of the golf courses that were established during World War II - such as the Punta Borinquen Golf and Country Club at the Fort Ramsey Air Base that was founded in 1940 - are still open today. Golfing enthusiasts can rest assured that they will be able to find the perfect course for their relaxation in Puerto Rico.