2024 LATIN AMERICA AMATEUR CHAMPIONSHIP
Santa Maria Golf Club Preparing to Host
Panamá City, Panamá – Santa María Golf Club in Panamá City, Panama recently completed numerous agronomic and course enhancement projects as the club prepares to host the Latin America Amateur Championship (LAAC) January 18-21, 2024.
Bunkers throughout the 11-year-old course were modified and rebuilt incorporating a technically advanced drainage and liner system featuring Capillary Concrete. This new generation lining method increases the speed at which water flows through the bunkers, minimizing washouts, reducing maintenance, and producing superior playability. In total, 50 bunkers were renovated and reduced in size during the project, which began in 2022.
Earlier this year, crews completed a practice area renovation, adding a roof structure to half of the tee area on the driving range, expanding the practice putting green, and adding a new short game practice area with a bunker and chipping green. Santa María’s agronomy team also developed a new turf nursery on the property.
“We are excited to host the top men’s Latin American amateurs at our beautiful venue this January during the Latin America Amateur Championship,” said José Ignacio Olea, general manager of Santa María Golf Club. “Our recently completed projects have further improved our facilities and the golf course.”
Earlier this year, Santa María Golf Club was awarded the prestigious ‘Distinguished Club’ designation by BoardRoom magazine and is one of only eight clubs outside of the U.S. to receive the award. BoardRoom, the official publication of the Association of Private Club Directors, annually recognizes a select number of Distinguished Clubs based on a proprietary criteria and evaluation process that distills and measures a club’s member experience.
Santa María Golf Club was designed by Nicklaus Design and offers views of the nearby Panamá City skyline. The par-72, 7,153-yard course opened for play in 2012 and has since hosted elite junior events. The parkland-style golf course northeast of downtown Panamá City features undulating greens and presents numerous bunkers and lakes. Named one of the “Best 50 Courses of the Caribbean and Mexico” by Golfweek, Santa María Golf Club is part of the Santa Maria private residential golf community located alongside the prestigious Costa del Este neighborhood of Panama City.
In January 2023, The Masters Tournament, The R&A, and the USGA announced that the LAAC will return to Panamá for the second time in the event’s history and make its debut at Santa María Golf Club. The 2024 LAAC champion will receive an invitation into The Masters Tournament and an exemption into the 2024 U.S. Open at Pinehurst and the 2024 Open Championship at Royal Troon in Scotland.
Founded by The Masters Tournament, The R&A, and the USGA in 2014, the LAAC was established to further develop amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. The event annually moves to top courses throughout Latin America and showcases the sport’s rising talent in the region. Notable past competitors include Sebastian Muñoz of Colombia and Chilean Joaquin Niemann, the 2018 LAAC champion.
Santa María Golf Club is managed by Troon. For more information on Santa María Golf Club, visit www.SantaMariaPanama.com/golf. For additional information on the Latin America Amateur Championship, visit www.laacgolf.com.