Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Golf course reviews: Tierra Del Sol Resort & Country Club Aruba

The Aruba golf course is an 18-hole championship course on the Tierra del Sol. It is the only golf course on the island resort, and is described as: "An ocean course with a desert view."
Opened in 1995, it is another popular Robert Trent Jones designed course. As mentioned, it has 18 holes, and is a par 71 with a maximum yardage of 6811.
The course has a total of four tees, which make it suitable for various levels of play. The yardage from the red to the gold, ranges from 5002 up to 6811. As such, there is quite a difference in distance. The slope and ratings also vary from tee to tee. It has slopes ranging from 119-132, while the rating is 70 on the easiest tee, and 74.2 on the hardest.
As a championship course, it hosts the KLM Aruba Championship. This is a 36 hole, stroke play event with various participants from the likes of USA and other nationals.
The course has desert-like terrain, mixed in with the greens. They are flat and dry, while the fairways are flat and quite forgiving for a desert course.
Being an ocean course, wind is obviously a factor. One pro has commented: "keep your hat on tight when you play at Tierra del Sol!" You will need to have a varied club selection, as the wind conditions can vary.
Hazards on the course include the usual sand bunkers. The course also includes a few water hazards, with cacti and coral rock formations scattered around.
The greens of the course are more generous, and accommodating. They have Bermuda Tif Dwarf grass without any hidden breaks. Putting can be affected by the wind however.
Aruba has some tricky holes. Its signature hole is the 14th, which features a lake on the left of the fairway. It also has a heavily guarded green, with bunkers surrounding it. Hole 15 is also quite unique for a hole that is largely comprised of water! A body of water, which is left to shoot over from the tee boxes, surrounds the green.
The course rates can vary, depending on when the course is played. They range from $92 up to $159. This actually includes a cart fee, while golf clubs are available for hire. The resort also offers golf packages for vacation seekers. These include various three and five-day packages, which include shared cart, green rates and advanced tee times.
Overall the course offers an interesting combination. Dry dessert like terrain, mixed in with ocean and sea breezes. For a good golfing challenge, the course is well worth a visit for those on vacation in Tierra del Sol.

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