This post is also available in: Spanish
By Marijulia Pujol Lloyd
Photos courtesy: fairway.com.ve
The city of Chitré, Herrera province, right in the heart of the country, in addition to being an historical town full of colorful traditions, has another claim to fame: the first home-made golf club. Yes, that is right, no Jack Niclaus design here, only what nature offers. Its origins are very interesting. A group of golf enthusiasts got together to buy a plot of land that until then had been used to keep cattle and there the Chitré Golf Club (Club de Golf de Chitré) was born in 1976.
However, golf is one of those sports requiring big spaces and even more land was needed. Help came from an engineer named José Antonio Holguín, who
years before had purchased several paddocks for his cattle. He sold them to the golf club at the same price he paid originally. Those became the fairways.
It is not difficult to imagine, due to the limitations presented by the natural terrain, how golf was played in Chitré back then. The course did not have greens as such, and although today’s fairways are similar, each shot was at the mercy of oily spots and sandy patches that would impede the ball’s ability to roll smoothly. Where shots were taken, a plank of wood was used to smooth the surface and ready it for the next player.
Only in Chitré: $5 more for the back 9
Each of the nine fairways has two small greens in order to play a full 18-hole round. Apparently, this style was the brainchild of one of the founding members who had seen something similar in a Middle Eastern country.
Currently the club, located in Barriada San Martín, Via Hogar de Ancianos, has a restaurant, bar, swimming pool, tennis court and events rooms. The Chitré Golf Club is entering a new development phase that it is going to include: a renovation of its installations, substantial improvement to the golf course and a gym just to mention a few.
A game of golf in this unusual course costs $20 for nine holes and $5 more for 18 holes. The club also offers golf, tennis and swimming lesson. It also has three membership options to
choose from. For more information visit: www.clubdegolfdechitre.com; call 507 996-4338 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.