Puerto Rico Golf Niche Thriving; Island to Host Latin America Amateur Championship
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO – Puerto Rico tourism is setting records in many key visitor categories, and the invigoration and momentum is being replicated by many of its niches, not the least of which is golf.
New records in visitation, visitor spending, and tourism jobs have been achieved, making 2022 one of the best years in island history. Likewise, golf has achieved several firsts, including being the first non-mainland venue to host a United States Golf Association (USGA) championship – the U.S. Women’s Amateur Four-Ball last April – and Puerto Rico will debut as the host site of the Latin America Amateur Championship (LAAC), Jan.12-15, 2023 at Grand Reserve Golf Club in Rio Grande.
The LAAC is backed by the USGA, R&A (Europe’s governing golf body), and Augusta National, home of the iconic Masters Tournament. The winner of the LAAC earns a berth into the 2023 Masters and the 2023 Open Championship in the United Kingdom. These are two of the game’s most hallowed competitive events.
“Tourism continues to lead the economic resurgence of Puerto Rico, and golf is an important microcosm, as these industry-leading organizations and events demonstrate,” said Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico, the island’s Destination Marketing Organization (DMO).
Additionally, the PGA TOUR annually conducts the Puerto Rico Open on the island, meaning that virtually each of the top golf organizations has deemed that the island holds first-class qualities that are up to the standards of their discerning brands.
The LAAC will be broadcast on an ESPN Network channel for two days during the tournament. This will showcase Puerto Rico golf, the island, and several of its players to the world. Puerto Ricans scheduled to compete in the LAAC include Jeronimo Esteve, Diego Saavedra, Max Alverio, Kelvin Hernandez, Robert Calvesbert, and Roberto Nieves. Nieves nearly won the 2022 LAAC and hopes to build on that momentum next month during the 2023 tournament.
Golf, in general, and Puerto Rico began prospering during the pandemic, stemming from the inherent safeness and ideal social distancing in the game and on the Island. It has flourished ever since, ushering in a new boom era for the game.
Sixteen of Puerto Rico’s 18 golf courses are open to the public. The other two allow play by guests staying at their resort. Golfweek rates several of the Island’s courses among the best in the Caribbean, Mexico, Costa Rica, and the Atlantic Islands.
Island courses range from luxury resorts to municipal, spread throughout Puerto Rico, with several clustered near historic San Juan. Oceanside views, coconut trees, and mountain and rainforest vistas frame their settings. Price points, terrain, layout style, and related amenities are varied and complementary.
Traveling to the Island is convenient, with many choices, as it is the air hub of the Caribbean. Further, traveler friendliness is found in Puerto Rico’s bilingual culture, U.S. currency, and no passport required for American citizens.
For more information on the Island, travel guidelines, golf courses, resorts and hotels, and other destination attractions, visit DiscoverPuertoRico.com