This is one of the true hidden golf masterpieces you’ve never heard of. Unfortunately, with time and land the course is very short by today’s standards; just 6,680 yards. Yardage aside, it is a par 73 as opposed to a typical par 72, with only three par 3’s against four par 5’s. It was designed in 1930 by Dr. Alister MacKenzie. In 1975, the course was declared an historical national monument. It remains one of the few MacKenzie courses anywhere in the world where alterations to the original design haven’t been made.
I was drawn to this course immediately because of the flora and fauna. Everything from the fairway and green grass types, to the tall Eucalyptus trees and singing parakeets lining each hole. All reminding me of my home, Australia. The course offers superb bunkering, contoured greens with surrounding runoff areas, and tee boxes in close proximity to the prior green, separated by tightly mown fairway grass, all signature features of a MacKenzie design.
My favorite hole was the par 5 14th (pictured). Hole 14 is the longest hole on the course, measuring 547 yards. The tee shot calls for the slightest draw for the right-handed golfer and if placed correctly would provide an opportunity to go for this risk/reward par 5 in two shots. The second shot plays toward the green sitting slightly elevated along the boundary fence. Montevideo is on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, the course being built by the shore, separated only by a main road. Hole 14 provides outstanding views across a cove to the city. The green is well guarded by a water hazard stretching from roughly 80 yards out to the green, accompanied by bunkering short left and front to middle right. A missed second or third shot into this green needs to favor the right side, anything short, left or long requires a lot of luck to leave any kind of approach for your third or fourth. The green has a tier separating the lower left portion of the green from the front right, middle and rear right of the green. A well struck second shot here will be rewarded with a makeable eagle opportunity.
I don’t know whether I will ever have the chance to play here again but I would relish the opportunity to do so!