Belize is not especially known for its golf courses, although the Belize Amateur Golf Association is working hard to change that. While there are still more miniature golf courses than anything else, two executive golf courses are now available for sport and practice.
The first golf course to open in Belize was built on Caye Chapel at the end of 1999. Prior to that time, there hadn't been an 18-hole golf course in Belize since the British colonial days. While this was once excellent news for those travelers who planned on teeing off while visiting Belize, the par-72 Caye Chapel Golf Course & Marina is not ideal for planning a vacation around. The golf course still stands, however, the island is currently up for sale, and the future of the golf course is unsure.
Still, if you happen to be vacationing in Belize and want to try and play the course, it helps to know what you'll be encountering. Caye Chapel is a narrow island; the fairways on the front nine are narrow, too. These fairways also feature water at every hole. On the back nine, the terrain is a little more varied and has more doglegs. Plenty of greens easily tested the skills of even the most seasoned golfer.
Another feature that added to the difficulty level of the Caye Chapel course was its turf. Foreign golfers often have to adjust to playing on the Bermuda grass, as well as fight the wayward winds that sometimes knocked golf balls off course. The cost to play at the Caye Chapel Golf Course & Marina is about $200(USD) per person, which includes the cost of golf clubs, a day of unlimited play, a golf cart, access the to the country club's pool, and even food and beverages.
Roaring Rivers is located just outside the capital city of Belmopan and is the mainland's only public golf facility. The course is Par-64, and features elevated and bunkered greens lined with indigenous trees and wildlife. The double tees on the front nine measure 1933 yards, while the back nine are 1959 yards, and the course has a slope of rating of 116.
An extremely affordable course, the green fees are $17.50(USD) for a game of nine holes, and $25(USD) for all 18. All necessary equipment is available to rent at an extra charge, including clubs, balls, tees, gloves, and trolleys. Additionally, golfers can head to the clubhouse after a round for a drink or even a full meal.
|Caye Chapel Golf Course||(501) 610-4653||Northern Belize|
|Roaring River Golf Course||(501) 820-2031||Roaring River Golf & Accommodation - 2.2 mi. (3.6 km) West-Southwest of Belmopan|
If you want to enjoy a scaled-down version of golf in Belize, you may want to check out its smaller nine-hole courses. You can find these mini courses near the Altun Ha ruins and at Jaguar Reef Lodge. The existence of these courses is the source of much controversy. A group of environmentalists argue that the pesticides and fertilizers used on the courses' grass could be harmful to the environment. But the courses now use a grass hybrid that requires half of the fertilizers, pesticides, and irrigation that typical golf-course grass needs.
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