Tierra del Sol had just been awarded a 4 1/2 star rating in the 2008-09 edition of Golf Digest’s “Best Places to Play,” which this year rated nearly 6,000 courses in North America and the Caribbean.
“The course was evaluated by approximately 20,000 Golf Digest readers on a five point scale,” reports the elated head professional at Tierra del Sol golf course, Oliver Riding.
“The laurels,” says Managing Director Ann Brown, “are being shared between our head professional and the course’s tireless, Aruba-born superintendent, Haime Maduro.”
At the end of the rating questionnaire some of the comments made by those rating the course for Golf Digest included: “It’s hard not to have a wonderful experience with these breathtaking views.” Another golfer raved: “It’s a spectacular combo of desert and ocean,” while a third one summed up what many felt: “Ranks up there, as one of my favorites.”
The 4 Â½ star rating explains Riding, is a great accomplishment for Aruba and the Robert Trent Jones II design which relies on 1,800m3 of desalinated water, and a crew of twelve dedicated maintenance men to daily manicure its 110 acres of grass, featuring 6,811 yards of golf.
With only one 5-star golf course in the Caribbean, Riding and Maduro are confident that their 5th star is in the making, hopefully for next year.
Tierra del Sol, Aruba Resort, Country Club & Spa opened in 1995, flaunting 18 holes of golf, on a resort course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr.
The desert-style course features sweeping vistas of Aruba’s coast, sand dunes and the California lighthouse. While the average green fees are about $150, reduced fees are available weekdays and at twilight, also for juniors and seniors
The course accepts tee time reservations 365 days in advance, and is open year round, from January to December. Tierra del Sol mandates carts, and does not offer a walking option.
Riding and Maduro report the fairway turf grows Bermuda grass and that a grass practice range is available.
The course, they add, is graced with more that 100 bunkers and best of all, the facility includes a full service gourmet restaurant in the club house named Ventanas del Mar, and a casual grill and bar at the highest elevation, the Look Out Bar & Grill, facing Palm Beach and the high-rise hotels.
Maduro who worked on the course since opening day and who planted each blade of grass on the greens is proud of “his baby” and credits all accomplishments to his team for their consistency and great attention to detail
Riding who last weekend helped organize the successful Aruba Pro Am in its 14th edition, also credits his crew, complemented by golf pros Heath Henrich, and Adam Williamson.
The rating, explains the Golf Digest website means that Tierra del Sol is perfectly positioned between the four-star “outstanding golf, good enough to plan a next vacation around it,” and the five-star “Super. Golf at its absolute best. Pay any price to play at least once in your life.”