Uruguay course for Palmer firm

Sean Dudley

Arnold Palmer Design Company architect Thad Layton is building a new nine hole course as part of a high end estate development in Punta del Este, Uruguay.

Brazilian developer JHSF is behind the project, known as Las Piedras. “Punta del Este is one of South America's hotspots – it’s where many Brazilians and Argentines go to summer, and it's beautiful,” said Layton. The development comprises 38 villas, 30 seven acre estancias and a luxury boutique hotel operated by Brazilian firm Fasano.

Layton says the golf course property is mostly open farmland with a few rocky outcrops. “We wanted to build something that was really light on the property, with very little earthmoving,” he said. “We’re building greens and tees and trying almost to conceal it all so it doesn’t necessarily look like a golf course, especially from the hotel. It's the least invasive project I've been involved with. Some fairways are almost 70 yards wide, but they have areas of 10 per cent slope – so there will be lots of hanging lies.”

The course is expected to open in late 2012 or early 2013.