The par 4 1st green
Back bunker at the 4th hole Tree on the left of the 7th fairway
A 40-minute flight from Medellîn takes you to the Caribbean coast and the aforementioned historic port of Cartagena. Jack Nicklaus Design is building one of its resort courses just outside the city, so you know you’ll get fantastic clubhouse facilities and a practice area fit for a PGA event. Wide fairways and four tee options give you everything you expect. Water comes into play on eight of the nine holes that are ready so far.
The back nine should be ready by September, but I think they mean September 2013 going by what I see.
The course really starts on the second hole; the first is a very wide open fairway and if you miss it you really should just turn round and go back to the practice ground.
The par-5 second is a great looking hole from the back tee. You fire your tee shot over water, but this time you’re not getting the extra 20/30 yards you were getting in Bogotá and Medellîn as you are now back down at sea level, so the second shot is all risk-and-reward. There are two giant bunkers on the right that need to be carried and pot bunkers left and back, good luck!
The fourth is a great hole from the back tee where you have to carry water which also runs down the right and where a pot bunker awaits in the middle of the fairway. Then you play a wedge/9-iron to a green that runs across you with another bunker behind to catch the shot that flies too far.
The eighth and ninth bring this first nine holes to a fitting end. Water comes into play on both with the eighth being a par-5 at 544 yards. It can be reached in two, but the second shot is where the water comes into play all along the right with the green slightly butting into it and a bunker just short left so it’s all risk-and-reward.
The ninth has water running all down the left-hand side of this 421-yard par-4 hole, with water also coming into play up on the right-hand side of the green. If you hit one with a bit of a fade on it, you’ll be hoping the long greenside bunker on the right catches your ball before it rolls down the bank into the water.
A nice cold drink by the pool and you can jump into your buggy and play again, or just enjoy the Colombian service and splendid clubhouse. The choice is yours and both are rather marvellous options.