Our Winter is the Ideal Playing Season in Panama

‘Best of’ List of Panama Golf Includes Two Nicklaus Designs

By Dan Vukelich

Under a partly cloudy sky on a pleasant 85-degree day, I stood mesmerized as massive cargo ships hundreds of feet long stacked with thousands of truck-sized shipping containers lined up to rise and fall with the water level of the Panama Canal like so many super-sized bathtub toys….

 A day for a visit to the Panama canal is an absolute must for any Panamanian golf trip. Wait. What? Golf in Panama, you say?

That’s right. In a nation that once hosted 75 U.S. military installations, it’s inconceivable there’d be no golf courses there. In fact, the first golf course in Panama was up and running by 1916. Within 12 years of the canal’s opening, the Canal Zone already had four courses….

The country’s two top courses, both designed by Jack Nicklaus, are amenities of the Santa Maria Hotel & Resort in Panama City and the Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort, a seaside getaway on the Pacific coast about 69 miles to the west of Panama City. More