Golfing in Panama, a look at the links

This post is also available in: Spanish

Guide by Bob Askew with Craig Weincek

Panama is on its way to becoming a premier golf destination. With new courses, redesigned layouts and rebuilds of older courses and a new era of professional golf club management, it all adds up to greater opportunities for enjoying this fascinating (and frustrating!) game in Panama.

An interesting statistic is that compared to other locales Panama actually provides adequate opportunity to play, since it has 3.4 golf courses per million residents. Colombia and the Dominican Republic in comparison only have one course per million.

Golf is a year-round sport in Panama, but it can be completely different in our wet rainy season from May to December (think heavy rain, mud and zero carry on golf shots) to the vastly different dry season from January to April when the fairways can be concrete hard while stiff trade winds blow the ball all over hill and dale. In addition to great seasonal variations, the golf courses on the Pacific coast are in the so-called “Dry Arc” region of Panama and have significantly less rain than courses near the canal area.

For residents and seasonal visitors, it can be important to have a Panama Golf Association (APA) handicap if you intend to play in local events. Home country handicaps are portable and usually valid for competitive and charity events, but you’ll have much more local credibility with a true Panama handicap. One can sign up for APA Golf handicap at the pro shop at any golf course in Panama.For more info about APA Golf and golf happenings in Panama check the APA Golf web site at

About the author

Bob Askew was born and raised in the former American Canal Zone and moved back to live and play golf in Panama in 2004. The current Isthmian National Senior Amateur Champion as well as Senior Amateur champ of Panama Golf Club, Bob has competed in amateur golf for Panama throughout Central and South America as well as the USA.


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