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Tourism has spawned a surge of interest throughout Panama. New golf courses have appeared in the last few years all over the country in areas catering to tourism, retirees and second-home owners, principally on the Pacific beaches to the west of Panama City and the province of Chiriquí.
The traditional golf clubs where membership was required to practice the sport have given way to the holiday resorts that allow access to anybody who wants to have a good time on the course.
Websites now offer all inclusive golf vacation packages for U.S., Canadian and European tourists who want to practice their swing in the sun. The refurbishment of the Scarlett Martinez Airport in Rio Hato, Cocle province, close to the Pacific Beaches, is bringing more visitors to resorts such as the Decamerón, JW Marriot and the Sheraton Bijao that combine the sea with the sport.
Panama has twelve golf courses and many of them are located in gated communities such as Vista Mar on San Carlos beach or have a combination of hotel and residencies like the Tucan Golf Club and Resort.
The Visitor has compiled a list of the best golf courses in the country, tournaments and pro shops that will satisfy the most demanding golfers.