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Splendor on the Greens

Treat yourself to the ultimate eco-golf experience with recurring vistas of white sand beaches, turquoise waters and emerald-green carpets of seashore paspalum turf. The 18-hole, par-72 Arnold Palmer Signature course at Peninsula Papagayo was designed with the resort golfer in mind and is ranked among the “Top 100 Courses Outside the United States” by Golf Digest.

The Ultimate Eco-Golf Experience
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Tame Nacascolo Forest on the peninsula's 18-hole Arnold Palmer Signature golf course-The King's premier venture in Latin America.

Hugging diverse terrain borne of an ancient lava flow from distant Rincón de la Vieja, this 6,788-yard resort masterpiece winds its way through 125 acres of ancient old growth forest, lush valleys and spectacular seacliffs. Dramatic elevation changes and a variegated landscape stir the senses while wide, undulating fairways and large contoured greens provide a fair and challenging test of your golf finesse.

Your experience begins atop one of Peninsula Papagayo’s highest plateaus, overlooking the jewelled waters of Bahía de Culebra. Spectacular ocean views await you at 14 of the 18 holes and water hazards come into play on several holes - most notably the 5th, 13th and 18th. The signature hole, number 6, El Bajo, features a dramatic 446-yard par-4 with a tee shot that plays 61 metres (200 feet) downhill to a receptive valley-shaped fairway. The green is perched out on a cliff with the ocean behind it, and your round will culminate on the scenic 18th green, with views of the Pacific Ocean and Bahía de Culebra.

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Four Seasons Golf Club at Peninsula Papagayo is a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. Endorsed by the United States Golf Association, this program provides information and excellence to help golf courses preserve and enhance wildlife habitat and protect national resources. The course has labelled important trees, turning the cart path into a botanical garden. On each hole, players have the chance to see a diversity of colorful plant, tree, bird and animal species, including congo (howler) and capuchin (white-faced) monkeys.

Amenities include an extensive practice facility with multiple short-game areas. Two complimentary clinics are offered each week and professional private instruction is available seven days a week.

“ we were honored to have been chosen to design the first golf course at Peninsula Papagayo. We were given an excellent piece of property, a lush tropical landscape, exciting elevation changes and 360-degree ocean views on many holes. The course is not only beautiful but a fair test of golf."

—ARNOLD PALMER

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course information
designer
» Arnold Palmer
date opened
» January, 2004
number of holes
» 18
par
» 72
category
» Resort
tee
yards
rating
slope
» Back
6,788
71.9
141
» Middle
6,147
70.8
136
» Forward
5,579
68.6
120
» Women
4,880
72.1
132
virtual tour

Hole #1

Las Huacas PAR 5 / 527 yards

A sharp dogleg allows players to shorten the hole by hitting tee shots over the bunkers at the corners. Otherwise, a wide fairway all the way to the green sets the stage for a safe, three-shot par-5 to start the round.

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Hole #2

Tiburón PAR 3 / 163 yards

This short, downhill par-3 features a rock-lined stream in front of the green and a beautiful cove behind it. A receptive approach is to roll the ball onto the right side of the green. However, with the pin tucked left, this will leave a long two-putt.

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Hole #3

Buena Vista PAR 4 / 357 yards

As players tee off from a cliff with spectacular 360-degree ocean views, one must successfully negotiate “Palmer’s Tree” by hitting over or around it. A true risk/reward hole, with a sharp dogleg fairway featuring deep bunkering on the inside.

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Hole #4

Guanacaste PAR 5 / 526 yards

This strong par-5 requires an accurate tee shot threaded between bunkers on both sides. From there, it’s all uphill along a wide fairway to a smallish green. An aggressive tee shot over the left bunkers significantly shortens the hole.

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Hole #5

La Poza PAR 3 / 192 yards

The second par-3 on the front nine is tough love, requiring a long tee shot to a green guarded by a large pond on the right and a generous bail-out fairway area on the left. With nothing but ocean as a backdrop, it’s a beautiful but potentially touchy hole.

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Hole #6

El Bajo PAR 4 / 438 yards

On this iconic par-4, the tee shot plays downhill to a valley-shaped fairway 200 feet below. The bunkerless green is perched out on a cliff with the ocean behind. Struck well, the ball will fly and roll quite a distance.

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Hole #7

Culebra PAR 3 / 125 yards

Playing 50 feet downhill, this short par-3 requires a delicate tee shot to a smallish green surrounded by bunkers that have been carefully positioned to collect errant shots.

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Hole #8

Cariblanco PAR 4 / 376 yards

A drivable par-4 with deep penal bunkers guarding the front of the green. A tee shot over the left fairway bunkers set up an easy approach angle. The green, like many on the course, has separate pin areas that reward good iron play.

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Hole #9

Pizote PAR 5 / 514 yards

After the wide open tee shots on 1,3,6, and 8, this narrow fairway plays through the lush Nacascolo Forest. This possible two-shot par-5 features a rock-lined stream protecting the front of the most severely contoured green on the course.

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Hole #10

Herradura PAR 4 / 421 yards

The second hardest hole on the back nine, this sharp dogleg left plays around a deep, natural ravine. A tee shot struck down the left will shorten the distance needed for the second shot into a multi-tiered green. Deep bunkers guard the right of the green, with a generous safe bailout on the left.

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Hole #11

Zaino PAR 3 / 173 yards

This uphill par-3 plays into a predominant wind, with a large green that makes for a good target. The putting surface has excellent tournament pin placements, its left protected by a pot bunker, its right featuring a false front feeding weak shots down to the bottom of the slope. The middle of the green is the smart play.

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Hole #12

Pochote PAR 5 / 581 yards

On the longest par-5 on the course, the tee shot plays downhill and downwind, contrasted by an uphill second shot that must be hit far enough to have a clear view of the green. Surrounded by bunkers, the green offers ample room to lift and roll the ball onto the putting surface.

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Hole #13

Buena Suerte PAR 4 / 452 yards

On this long par-4 and number one handicap hole, tee shots play over a large pond to a blind, sloping fairway, allowing the roll of the ball to shorten the distance. The green is bunkered on the right to catch errant shots the would otherwise go out of play. Left and long is the safe play.

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Hole #14

Coyote PAR 4 / 376 yards

Leaving the windswept plateau of 10, 11, 12, the next two holes play just above sea level among lush, natural vegetation. Tee shots on this medium-length par-4 play over a rock-lined stream to a tree-lined fairway. The elevated, yet relatively flat, green is guarded on the front by the deepest bunker on the course.

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Hole #15

Matapalo PAR 4 / 333 yards

An enjoyable, short par-4. Teeing off with a long iron will keep players short of the fairway bunkers, while a well struck 3-wood should carry them, setting up a short wedge over the creek to the two-tiered green.

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Hole #16

El Mono PAR 4 / 295 yards

A long iron or 3-wood off the tee will leave players on the ideal spot, but a driver here can land one safely on the green. A severe ridge divides the narrow green in half, making 3-putting a distinct possibility if you happen to be the wrong side.

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Hole #17

Pacifico PAR 3 / 154 yards

This short par-3 plays over a deep ravine to a large green, which is surrounded by bunkers designed to catch wayward shots. A very picturesque golf hole, players will be treated to spectacular views of the ocean from both the tee and green.

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Hole #18

Pura Vida PAR 5 / 519 yards

A great finishing hole—this short, downhill par-5 from the top of a plateau looks down on a wide open fairway to a green and pond with bunkers behind. The safe play is a long iron just short of the fairway bunkers, setting up a short chip to the green while taking the pond out of play.

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golf clubhouse golf-course-arnold-palmer

Game day begins and ends at Peninsula Papagayo’s elegant golf clubhouse overlooking Culebra Bay—architect Ronald Zürcher's soaring ode to a conch shell. Managed by Four Seasons, the 28,000-square-foot facility includes the popular Caracol restaurant and bar, a private members-only lounge, pro shop, men and women’s locker areas and administrative offices. Just outside, four clay tennis courts and one regulation grass court are reserved for hotel guests and residents. The 1,400-square-foot pro shop is open daily from 6:30 am to 6:00 pm, offering an assortment of high-end men's and women's golf and tennis apparel, hats and gear. Special occasion gifts, merchandise, lessons and playing certificates are also available.

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