The opportunity for Ottawa-area golfers to combine golfing with a fabulous vacation in Cuba will present itself this fall during the third edition of the Sol Melia Cup tournament at the Varadero Golf Club.
The event begins Oct. 20 with a practice round and the stroke-play format competition happens Oct. 21 and Oct. 22.
“There will be two categories for both men and women,” said Dayanet Torrent, golf co-ordinator for the Melia Las Americas Resort, which borders the course. “One will be for players with a 0 to 14 handicap and the other is for players with handicaps from 15 to 26.”
The registration fee is $150 convertible Cuban pesos and includes a welcome pack (shirts, caps, balls, bottle of rum, etc.), all green fees before, during and after the tournament, use of a power golf cart and refreshments during the two rounds of competition and the awards dinner.
“There will be prizes for the two best gross and net scores in each category and a free all-inclusive stay for two persons for one week in a Sol Melia hotel in Cuba,” said Reynaldo Leon Diaz, sales manager for Melia Las Americas. “We’ll also have prizes for the straightest drive, longest drive, closest to the pin and more.”
Varadero Golf Club was designed by Canadian Les Forbes and opened in 1998. It is a par 72, 6,856 yard-long links design that covers a narrow 3.5 km strip of property on the Hicacos Peninsula.
Eight of the holes have water hazards and bunkers dot the sides of the fairways. The sand traps that guard the large greens are not overly intimidating. They make for a challenge that allows golfers of all ability levels to have a go at the flags without being penalized too much.
One other item to consider are the breezes coming off the water on both sides of the peninsula. They do influence club selection and shot choices.
The course has two distinct personalities. The front-nine are a nice lead-in since they don’t include as many hazards as the back nine and are pretty much straight away. The water is a factor on several holes coming in and there are slight elevation changes combining with doglegs calling for more precise shots.
The clubhouse is the historic 1930s Dupont Mansion, which is known as Xanadu. It sits atop a coral seawall and provides outstanding views of both the course and the ocean.
There’s a large fully stocked pro-shop and caddie house with TaylorMade rental clubs, lockers and a bar. Caddies, electric carts and professional instruction are also available.
For more details, contact Reynaldo by e-mail at [email protected] or call (53 45) 66 7600 ext. 6117.