Butler Cabin, Augusta National (c) Burgh Golfer

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tierra Del Sol Golf Resort Aruba - Course Review

I had the opportunity to play the Tierra Del Sol Golf Club this past week while in Aruba. Tierra Del Sol was designed by American Golf Course Architect Robert Trent Jones II. It is the only 18-hole Championship Golf Course in Aruba. The resort is on the north side of the island and lies along the coastline. It offers some spectacular views of the Caribbean and several high vantage points to take advantage of the sights. I would recommend bringing the camera along if you play the course as you will have the opportunity for some nice photos. Or, in my case I brought my wife who is my official vacation photographer. The course is a short five to ten minute ride from the main high rise hotels area of Aruba. So, if you are staying in the northern part of the island near Palm Beach it is a quick trip.

The resort offers not only golf but also accommodations on the property should you wish to rent a home or villa during your stay. Tierra Del Sol has a full clubhouse and well stocked pro shop. They have everything you might need including; shorts, shirts, balls, rental clubs, etc. In my case, I forgot my socks so had to pick up a pair. I was even able to rent some stiff shafted Nike woods and irons for my round which was pretty impressive. Most courses only offer regular shafts in rental clubs. There is not much in the way of locker facilities so show up to the course prepared to play in golf attire.

The course does not offer much in the way of practice facilities either. The website indicates a full length driving range but I was reaching the end of it with a 3 wood and it is downhill so it cannot be more that 250 yards in length. The driving range is little more than a pasture with some sparse, rough grass on a sand base. If you show up preparing to beat a bunch of balls to loosen the muscles you will be sadly disappointed. They also have a very limited putting and chipping area. However, it is sufficient to warm up and take a few swings.

The course itself offers four sets of tees and measures 6,811 yards from the Championship. That may not sound terribly long but it is - for one good reason. Wind, wind and more wind. If you ever read anything about the island of Aruba you will quickly learn it is a windy place. In addition, the island itself is a desert landscape. So, that results in a golf course on the coast, with cactus and very few trees completely exposed to the wind. The wind blows at 15-20 mph constantly and can gust up to 30 mph at times. So, that is an element you need to be prepared to face. Most holes offer very generous landing zones off the tee to help compensate for the wind.

The wind even effects putting. Since the greens are Bermuda you have to factor in grain as well as the wind on every putt.

Overall the course is very playable and is challenging enough to play more than once. So, if you are staying on the resort property or in a nearby hotel you will enjoy playing this course and taking in some amazing vistas.




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