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Los Inkas Golf Club: Play Amid Pre-Inca Ruins

Lima, Peru

A Quick Overview

I have been fortunate to travel to Lima on two separate occasions. First to play the Lexus Peru Open in 2013 at the Los Inkas Golf Club. Argentinian designer Eugenio Dunezat laid out the course in 1945. Los Inkas Golf Club is set in the foothills of the Andes mountains, in the very western part of the city. Pre-Inca ruins run along four holes, making it a unique and historic layout. The course is short, measuring just 6,475 yards from the Championship tees. In addition, the course features a small piece of land with narrow fairways, increasing the level of difficulty. Overall, there is a fun design with numerous water features placed throughout to catch a stray drive or wayward approach.

The Front Nine

Over the front nine, holes 3, 5, 6, and 8 all stand out, number 8 in particular. The 8th is a classic risk/reward par 5 at 504 yards. The tee shot must hug close to the tree line up the left to avoid running through the dogleg turning left. The narrow fairway, tree trouble left and encroaching water hazard between the tee shot and layup area on the left put an absolute premium on finding the fairway from the tee. You’ll hit the second shot with a mid to long iron to a small green flanked in the front by two bunkers. From 50 yards and in, a pond guards the right side of the green with no room to bailout. If you choose to attack this green in two shots, you have to commit. Find the putting surface and you give yourself every opportunity to make an eagle!

The Back Nine

On the back nine, water holes 11, 13, 15 and 18 were my favorite. It is a toss-up between holes 15 and 18 (pictured) as to which is my favorite. The 15th is the longest par 4 on the course and 18 the second-longest measuring 456 and 433 yards respectively. Water plays a factor on both holes, the 15th from the tee and 18th on approach.

Given its length, the 15th requires thought from the tee. For instance, one can play a fairway wood to keep it short of the encroaching water up the left. Otherwise, a driver can challenge the water, forcing the golfer into the narrower, risky playing corridor. Challenge this hole successfully with a driver and it becomes a very good birdie opportunity.

A slight draw for the right hander is ideal from the 18th tee. Overhanging tree limbs to the left make hugging the corner very difficult. The fairway is narrow with a long line of trees running the length of the right side. This separates it from the 10th fairway. The green is well surrounded and offers little forgiveness for a poor approach. After all, bunkers short right and long rear offer strong support for the water hazard placed front left. Then, the green slopes away on all sides and the runoff areas are cut short to fairway length. As a result, miscued shots gain momentum away from the putting surface. For this reason, it’s a tremendous par 4 requiring thought and shot execution from start to finish.

My Opinion

As with many of the opportunities I have had to play golf in South America, I doubt I’ll see Los Inkas Golf Club again. In any event, I am forever grateful for the opportunity PGA Tour Latin America offered. Another course for the memory bank I will cherish.

Written by
Brad Smith
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Written by Brad Smith