Golf in Panama has come a long way since the first green, Summit Golf Course, was built in the 1930s for workers in the former Panama Canal Zone. Today, the country hosts the following tournaments on its world-class golf courses: Panama Claro Championship, PGA Nationwide Tour, BMW Golf Cup International (the world’s largest amateur golf tournament).
Buenaventura Golf Course at the Bristol Buenaventura Resort is regarded as the best golf course in all of Latin America. Jack Nicklaus designed this 18-hole, par-72 golf course. Planned to enhance the natural landscape, its signature hole cuts into the Pacific coastline with stunning views of Buenaventura's white sand beach. From caddy concierges to specialized instructors, golfers have all their needs met. A modern and luxurious resort in a natural environment beside the sea with all the amenities— restaurants, spa and a beach clubhouse— offers you lodging to continue many rounds of your favorite pastime. Mantaraya Golf Club at the Royal Decameron is located next to one of Panama's best beaches.
Vista Mar Golf overlooks the Pacific beaches and has an 18-hole course. It is just 1.5 hours from Panama City. Cielo Paraíso Golf is in Boquete's cool volcanic highlands and has views of coffee plantations. Coronado Golf & Resort has a golf course with 18 holes, par 72, designed by Tom and George Fazio. Its own resort, the first in Panama, offers you comfortable lodging and shuttle service to its beach club. Summit Golf was a course for the Americans who lived in the former Canal Zone. It has been redesigned and now has an on-site hotel for guests to be able to play golf from dawn until dusk. The Tucan Country Club is on the site of the old Horoko (named after Howard, Rodman, and Kobee) golf course once used as a U.S. military base. Today it is a luxury housing complex, but non-residents are allowed entrance to play their favorite sport. Santa María Golf & Resort is being built in the most exclusive area of Panama City and was designed by Jack Nicklaus. The first nine of the 18 holes par 72 golf course are already in place, and the rest should be ready by 2014.