Playing golf at unusual altitudes in Colombia

Colombian Golf: Conquering Altitude Greens

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Colombia, with its diverse landscapes and stunning scenery, offers golfers a unique experience with the chance to tee off amidst breathtaking cloud-capped mountains. However, before you embark on this high-altitude adventure, understanding the challenges and preparing accordingly is crucial.

This guide provides everything you need to know about playing golf at extreme altitudes in Colombia, ensuring a safe and exhilarating experience.

Climatic Zones and High-Altitude Courses:

Colombia possesses five distinct climatic zones, ranging from the scorching Caribbean coast to the frigid Andean páramo above 3,505m/11,500 feet. For golfers, the most exciting regions lie in the Andes, where challenging courses sit perched at dizzying heights:

Bogotá Country Club:
  • Altitude: Approximately 2,652m/8,700 feet.
  • Location: Situated in Bogotá, the capital city of Colombia.
  • Temperature: The climate is mild to cool, with temperatures ranging from 50-70f/10-21c. The high altitude contributes to the overall coolness of the region.
  • Course Length: Varies depending on the specific course played, but typically ranges from 6,500 to 7,000 yards.
    Par: The standard par for the courses is 72.
La Cima Golf Club:
  • Altitude: Located at an elevation of around 2,591m/8,500 feet.
  • Location: Bogotá, providing golfers with panoramic views of the surrounding Andean landscapes.
  • Temperature: The climate is typically mild, with temperatures ranging from 50-70f/10-21c. The high altitude contributes to the cooler temperatures.
  • Course Length: La Cima Golf Club features a course with varying lengths, offering challenges to golfers of different skill levels.
  • Par: The standard par for the course is 72.
Club Farallones de Cali:

Located in Cali, at 1,211m/3,937 feet, this par 73, 7,413-yard course offers stunning mountain views and challenging doglegs. Expect mild temperatures year-round, averaging between 64-75f/18-24c.

Club Campestre de Cali

Found at 1,000m/3,281 feet, this par 71, 6,946-yard layout features mature trees and strategic bunkers. The tropical climate ensures warm days with cooling breezes, averaging 73f/22c.

Club Lagos de Caujaral

In Barranquilla, at 10m/33 feet above sea level, this par 72, 6,243-yard course contains sparkling lakes and a parkland layout. Expect hot, humid weather with temperatures between 77-86f/25-30c.

Country Club of Barranquilla

Also in Barranquilla, at 11m/36 feet, this historic par 72, 6,748-yard course offers classic golfing charm and wide fairways. The tropical climate is similar to Club Lagos de Caujaral.

Irotama Golf Resort & Marina

Found near Santa Marta, at 26m/85 feet, this championship par 72, 7,257 yard course has oceanfront holes and Nicklaus Design excellence. Enjoy warm, coastal temperatures averaging 78f/26c.

High-Altitude Risks and Preparations:

Playing golf at high altitudes presents unique challenges beyond the technical aspects of the course. These include:

  • Reduced Oxygen Levels: As you ascend, oxygen levels decrease, which can lead to fatigue, shortness of breath and decreased athletic performance. Acclimatization over several days is recommended, especially for those flying in from lower altitudes.
  • Ball Flight Distance: Thinner air at higher altitudes affects ball flight, causing it to travel further. Understanding altitude adjustments for different clubs is crucial to avoid overshooting the green.
  • UV Radiation: Increased exposure to UV rays at higher altitudes can lead to sunburn and eye damage. Use sunscreen and protective eyewear throughout your round.

Colder Temperatures: Mountain regions can experience significant temperature drops compared to lower areas. Pack layered clothing to adapt to changing weather conditions.

Altitude vs. Ball Flight Distance:

Here is an example of how altitude affects ball flight distance at some Colombian courses:

Course Altitude  Distance Increase (%)
Club Farallones de Cali 3,937ft/1,200m 10-15%
Club Campestre de Cali 3,281ft/1,000m 8-12%
Club Lagos de Caujaral 33ft/10m 0-2%
Country Club of Barranquilla 36ft/11m 0-2%
Irotama Golf Resort & Marina 85ft/26m 2-5%

Remember, these are estimates and individual club performance can vary depending on swing mechanics and other factors. Consulting a high-altitude golf app or local pro can provide specific distance adjustments for your clubs.

Playing Smart at High Altitudes:

  • Hydrate: Drink plenty of water throughout your round to prevent dehydration and altitude sickness.
  • Pace Yourself: Start slow and gradually increase your pace as you acclimatize. Don’t overexert yourself.
  • Rest and Listen to Your Body: Take breaks whenever you feel fatigued or experience any altitude-related symptoms.
  • Eat Light and Nutritious Foods: Focus on easily digestible snacks and meals to maintain energy levels.
  • Warm Up Properly: Prepare your muscles with dynamic stretches and light exercises before hitting the course.
  • Seek Medical Attention: If you experience severe altitude sickness symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.

Beyond the Challenge, a Unique Experience:

Playing golf at high altitudes in Colombia is not just about mastering the course, it is about conquering personal challenges and experiencing the breathtaking beauty of the Andes. With proper preparation and respect for the unique conditions, you will have the most incredible experience.

Like to create or customize a fantastico package tour of Colombia? Use our Plan My Trip page to start planning your dream Colombian vacation now!