NEWLY MINTED PGA TOUR MEMBER AND LPGA RISING STAR ALSO SPOTLIGHT ISLAND’S SUPERLATIVE GOLF
Puerto Rico’s golf offerings abound this summer with award-winning courses gaining enhanced stature and Island natives thriving at the top of the game, making a vacation to the Caribbean oasis ideal for enjoying the game in a glorious tropical setting.
What do you get when you add a PGA TOUR event, an iconic hospitality brand, and two first-class golf courses? The Resort at Coco Beach, a Hyatt affiliated hotel, where the Puerto Rico Open is played annually, and will be again on Feb. 21-24, 2020.
Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE:H) recently announced that a Hyatt affiliate entered into a franchise agreement for a new hotel. Opened in July 2019 as a Hyatt affiliated hotel, it will become Hyatt Regency Coco Beach Resort after an extensive renovation is completed this fall. The 486-room hotel will include 93 branded residencies.
That’s exciting news for travelers who prefer luxury golf experiences, as they can stay steps from the water in beachside suites. The family-friendly resort is framed against the backdrop of the beautiful El Yunque rainforest. Guests can play a round of golf on one of the two Tom Kite designed 18-hole championship courses, then lounge by the sprawling lagoon-style pool and unwind in leisurely style.
The soon-to-launch Hyatt Regency Coco Beach Resort will join TPC Dorado Beach and The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort & Golf Club as a trio of sumptuous properties with a combined five splendid golf courses near San Juan, the capital city, where historic buildings, an international airport, and dozens of restaurants, beaches, and cultural delights beckon.
Other golf courses lay awaiting your tee time near San Juan, including at Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Golf & Beach Resort, home to a Greg Norman design (River Course) and a Tom and George Fazio creation (Ocean Course). The Palmas del Mar Golf Club boasts courses authored by Rees Jones (Flamboyan Course) and Gary Player (Palm Course).
Rio Bayamon Golf Course is a municipal layout built by the city and a popular place for getaway rounds before flights home. It is conveniently located 10 miles from San Juan’s Luis Munoz Marin Airport (SJU) and affordably priced for non-residents ($65 including golf cart). Early birds can play for as little as $30 from 7 am to 10 am, Monday through Thursday (walking only).
For more information on these courses and others in Puerto Rico, visit Discover Puerto Rico (www.discoverpuertorico.com).
Puerto Rico Golfer’s Ascend to Game’s Zenith
When Raphael “Rafa” Campos made the cut at the Portland Open and finished tied for 11th during the Korn Ferry Tour stop last weekend, it clinched his membership in the PGA TOUR for 2020, making him the only current Puerto Rico native in the elite group. With joy and exhaustion etching his face afterward, Campos reflected on what it means to reach the game’s highest professional level, as can be seen via his Twitter post.
“It’s a been a roller coaster… and it hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Campos, 31, who turned professional in 2011. “It’s been a lot of hard work… I’ve waited so long for this. It’s really hard. These guys are so good.”
Campos’ mother and girlfriend were with him at the Portland Open, making his achievement extra special. “I wanted to play well for them… so it was very rewarding to have them here. It was nerve-wracking at first, but it became very relaxing ironically. So, yeah, we’re going to the PGA TOUR,” he said, beaming with pride and excitement.
Campos isn’t alone in reaching the highest echelon of golf. Puerto Rico’s Maria Torres is an LPGA Tour member who is becoming increasingly well known. In her second season currently, she finished tied for 24th at the AIG Women’s British Open earlier this month, shooting a 5-under-par score of 67 in the final round and earning $41,287 for her week’s work.
According to one of her two golf coaches, Wilfredo Morales, Maria’s playing style is very aggressive. “If it was up to her, she’d go for everything. But she’s learning when to be aggressive, which all great golfers have to learn. Her aggressiveness can be a great asset at times; she knows how to get in the zone and make 3, 4, 5 birdies in a row.”
According to Coach Morales, Maria is the best woman golfer in Puerto Rico history. “She’s got a long way to go yet, but she’s off to a great start,” he said. “Watch out for her in the next couple of years.”
Morales attributes her talent – “she’s a beautiful ball-striker” – and her relentless pursuit for improvement as the keys to Torres’ success. “She works incredibly hard. She’ll get up at 5 am to work out with her trainer, then we’re on the course by 7:30 or 8 am, not leaving until 3:30 to 4 pm. Then she’ll do some more fitness. She’s on a mission.”
About Discover Puerto Rico
Discover Puerto Rico is a newly established private, not for-profit Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) whose mission is to make Puerto Rico visible to the world as a premier travel destination. It is responsible for all global marketing, sales and promotion of the destination and works collaboratively with key local governmental and non-governmental players throughout Puerto Rico’s visitor economy and community at large, to empower economic growth. To discover all the beauty the Island has to offer, visit DiscoverPuertoRico.com.