GOLF COURSE REVIEW: La Paz Golf Club, Bolivia
The HIGHEST golf course in the world!
For golf freaks like BoB and me it was of course a MUST to play the highest golf course in the world. And where did we find it? In the beautiful country of Bolivia. To be more precisely, near the capital of La Paz. Before I start my test about the La Paz Golf Club, I want to thank the management for giving BoB and me the opportunity to play the course although I haven’t played for more than 400 days …and I think it is not very common that somebody asks if he can test a course together with a curious golf ball. Anyway, it was a great day and I’m happy that we didn’t destroy the whole course with my untrained swing :).
Stunning views everywhere
In this test and also for the future we try to be as neutral as possible with our review and as this is our very first golf course test, please feel free to leave a comment or send me an email for suggestions and ideas for the next one!
BoB and I will test 4 different categories:
- Design & Scenery
- Difficulty & Course condition
- Facilities & Service
Before I start with the test watch our video about the La Paz Golf Club to get a few impressions of the course.
Design & Scenery
Overview of the La Paz Golf Club course
The La Paz Golf Club is located around 12 km from the city center of La Paz – which is the capital of Bolivia, as I mentioned before. Already on your way to the golf club you will pass impressive mountain formations and you can feel the thin air. We are talking about an altitude of over 3,200 meters or 10,500 feet!
Before you even try to hit your first ball, you definitely need to get used to the altitude otherwise your nice round of golf will find a very quick and sad ending. Don’t underestimate altitude sickness. It is really not funny and you should give your body 3-5 days to get used to the high altitude and to enjoy this great golf experience.
The course itself is 6,979 yards for men and 5,613 yards for ladies, a par 71 with an offical rating of 69.4. It is surrounded by massive mountains and is covered with beautiful old trees, a few water hazards and fair bunkers. But even if you are in the mountains, you never really have to ‘climb’ over the course.
The whole golf course fits perfectly into the surroundings and you have the feeling that it has been there for centuries (actually it is over 100 years old). My personal highlight was definitely the 12th hole . At the “moon hole” you have the feeling not to be on planet earth anymore. Even for non golfers this course has so many interesting and stunning views that you can spend hours just watching the scenery.
Difficulty & Course conditions
Your caddy gives you helpful tips for the right club
When you have a look on your score book it looks like a “normal” golf course and you might say: “Boooring!”. This will change from the very first moment when you hit your little white friend. The air is thinner and the ball has less resistance and travels much further. First I thought it is a myth but it is true! You can hit the ball veeeery long! This sounds pretty cool, I know, but you need some time to figure out which club is the right one. Make sure you hit some balls on the driving range first (on the super awesome driving range) and you should always ask your caddy. He has a very good feeling and great tips for every hole. You will need them so listen to what he says, even if it sounds crazy.
It is also very important that you stay in the middle of the fairway (I’m pretty sure you hear that for the first time 😉 ) because big trees are everywhere! Also the altitude can be a problem. You get exhausted super fast and it is hard to stay concentrated after the first nine holes. All together I have to say I played more difficult courses but the La Paz Golf Club can be very tough if you don’t have a good day.
Before BoB and I started the test, the management told us that the course is not in best conditions due to ongoing refurbishments etc. But what can I say… Especially the greens where in absolute TOP conditions and looked liked photoshopped! They were fast and had a few breaks… just how I like it :). The rough was fair enough and the fairways were in pretty good shape as well. I think one reason is that you always have a caddy on this course and that they really care about their working place.
We also had a little chat with the Head-greenkeeper about all the difficulties in maintaining the course. Because of the high altitude they even need special machines and pumps etc. We were really impressed by the great job of the more than 20 greenkeepers who keep the course in perfect conditions! Keep up the good work guys!
Facilities & Service
The outdoor swimming pools
Actually the La Paz Golf Club is more than just a golf club. It is more a real country club. Amazing outdoor and indoor pools, tennis court and great restaurants as well as a playground for kids invite you to stay longer than just for a round of golf. As I said before they were just renovating many of the facilities to make them even better and more modern so we could not test everything.
Anyway, after the first 9 holes we needed a snack and enjoyed a super delicous club sandwich for a really good price on the terrace of the restaurant. The service at the restaurant as well as the staff at the reception, every greenkeeper and also our caddy were super friendly and professional. I know you expect that on a high end golf course, but believe me, in Bolivia things can be different, so we were really surprised in a positive way.
My personal highlight: the “moon hole”
Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in South America so you get a lot for your dollar. We recommend to stay in the center of La Paz for a few days and take a taxi to the La Paz Golf Club. It will cost you around 50 Bolivianos (US$7.50) for a 40 minutes ride.
A round on the highest golf course in the world is 400 Bolivianos (US$58) + Driving range 80 Bolivianos (US$12) AND it is mandatory to play with a caddy. He is worth every penny and costs 100 Bolivianos (US$15) + Tip.
If you want to rent golf clubs, I recommend to come early in the morning to get the best clubs. You can rent them for the whole day for 80 Bolivianos (US$12). If you compare the price to a high end golf course in Europe or the US it is so incredibly cheap that really everybody can afford a nice round of golf here. Oh yes and you should definitely try the club sandwich for 30 Bolivianos (US$4.50).
What a great day!
The La Paz Golf Club is not just the highest golf course in the world, it is also one of the most scenic ones I have seen in my life. To play here is a lifetime experience and you will never forget it. The course has a great character with stunning views and is challenging at the same time.
If you are lucky and the sun is shining, the course is even more spectacular and hey… as a bonus it is the HIGHEST GOLF COURSE IN THE WORLD. If your friends at home don’t believe it you can show them your certification which you get at the end of the round ;).
Bolivia might not be on everybody’s bucket list but already the golf course is worth a visit!
Golf course facts: La Paz Golf Club, Bolivia
PRICE: 580 Bolivianos = US$84 (18 hole greenfee+DR+caddy)
BEST SEASON: April – November
GUESTS ALLOWED: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
SPECIAL FEATURE: Highest golf course in the world (3,320 m/10,885 ft.)
More impressions of the La Paz Golf Club
This is it. I hope I could inspire you to visit the La Paz Golf Club and play a round on the highest golf course in the world. BoB and I had a great time testing this course and we are already looking forward to our next test. SUBSCRIBE to our newsletter, if you don’t want to miss it!
You want us to test another golf course? Just leave a message in the comment box below or send me an email and we will try to test it as soon as possible!
Thanks for reading and have a great day!