ASGCA Past President Robert Trent Jones, Jr., (Robert Trent Jones Golf Course Architects) is celebrating the opening of Termas de Rio Hondo Golf Club, Argentina’s new international championship golf. The new course is also expected to serve as a tourism boost to Santiago del Estero Province.
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“We designed a golf course that will attract people to the region who will want to stay and play for several days,” said Jones.
Termas de Rio Hondo Golf Club is projected to play a key role in the growth of tourism for the province, located in northern Argentina, joining a world-class Formula 1 and Grand Prix motorcycle racetrack, new airport, national museum of art and history and historical habitat preserve. Argentina boasts the greatest number of golfers and has the most golf courses of South American countries.
“We integrated the rural character of Santiago del Estero into our design with a golf course that will captivate the golfer’s eye and imagination every time he or she plays there,” Jones said.
Weaving along a large wetland/marsh habitat while negotiating natural ravines and bordered by the Rio Dulce (“Sweet River”), the Termas de Rio Hondo course features an abundance of sun-loving vegetation reminiscent of arid areas of Nevada and Spain. Fairways are wide and engaging, giving golfers room to play in the changing winds. The golf course is planted in Paspalum grass throughout, selected for its ability to thrive on the site’s salty soil base and compatible with northern Argentina’s summer weather. The local climate invites year-round play.
“The large, original, varied, and wide-open layout allows us to incorporate the culture of Argentina into the golf course, as well as the flora and fauna of the region,” Jones said. “The result is a golf experience reminiscent of the great Pampas of Argentina.”
The design at Termas de Rio Hondo Golf Club takes “flexibility” to a new dimension in championship golf course setup. Two holes – No. 6 and No. 9 – can be played either as a par 4 or par 5, while No. 15 provides the option to be a par 3 or par 4, allowing the golf course to be set up differently every day. The course can play from 5,137 to 7,510 yards, and as a par 72 or 73. The “ribbon tees” are merely extensions of the fairway and make the course playable for any and all golfers.
“A key component to playing Termas de Rio Hondo will be to stay below the wind and use your imagination,” said Bruce Charlton, president and chief design Officer for RTJ II. “The greens do not always require an aerial shot, so playing the ground game is essential. The course requires a different style of play.”