After a 30-45 minute drive from downtown Panama City you can find yourself at Cerro Azul, home of Hacienda Country Club. Hacienda is already popular with the ‘horsey’ crowd for its famous Polo tournament and other equestrian activities in Panama City. In December 2016 their fun executive 9 hole golf course opened, I’ve been keen to get out there and in late April 2017 finally did so.
After a 2.5km drive beyond the security guards along a fun, sweeping driveway to the sport centre you can enter the beautiful colonial clubhouse. With rooms for all types of events, formal and informal and a useful changing area Hacienda Country Club could definitely house a meeting and the big restaurant can feed you and your people before getting to the golf course!
Executive golf courses are usually about 9 holes long and allow a group of 4 to play in 90 minutes, a 2 ball could easily run around Hacienda in an hour. Naturally this means the course is shorter than a regular one but each of the 9 par 3 holes presents its own genuine challenge to protect its par, this is no pitch and putt course!
The first few holes break you in gentle, coming in at around 100 yards (although the small undulating greeens do make you work for your par). After that the course opens up, with the longest about a 7iron for me, although with different winds doing almost daily in the hills around Panama City, I could see myself needing a 6 iron more than once.
I really enjoyed my golf at Hacienda I played with the owner and his local knowledge kept me on my toes! I was 1 over par after 9 and so now I am desperately keen to get back out to try and better that – I genuinely left a couple too many out there!
Hacienda is a great venue for a quick game around a meeting or even a place to spend a layover at Panama City airport. I’m looking forward to taking my family up to enjoy the facilities and play some golf! See you there!