October opening for Argentina course


Sean Dudley

South America’s longest golf course is taking shape in the foothills of the Andes.

The recent completion of La Estancia de Cafayate’s clubhouse is an important milestone for the estate, which will welcome its first golfers in October of this year when the front nine holes open.

Designed by veteran American architect Bob Cupp, the 7,800 yard course will be part of an estate of Calchaqui homes and vineyards. "Cafayate is a very special destination," said Cupp. "At 5,300 feet above sea level with sandy soils and dunes, we've been able to make a heath-style course with tall fescues in the out of play areas and natural sand in the bunkers. Fine fescues would not survive in the climate, so the base turf is a hybrid bermuda, but the playing surfaces will be overseeded cool season grasses."

"It's two courses in one because the morning round is calm and the afternoon guarantees some wind," he added. "You have to work to get to this location but once here, the rest of the world falls away." 

The back nine is due for completion in March 2010 along with a driving range and short game practice area.