The Courses



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The Golf Course 
 Personal Message from
Course Designer, Robert von Hagge
 Robert von HaggeWhen we are asked to design an outstanding new golf course, I am always hopeful that we will get an attractive piece of property and a fair construction budget. At Isla Navidad, God was very generous because the property in its natural state was already spectacular. My client, Sr. Don Antonio Leaño, was also very generous because he provided us with the budget to support our creative effort. His only instructions to me were to "do exactly what you said you would do with the land, but to also do your very best." Obviously, his two-fold generosity provided us with an unprecedented opportunity to create a premier, world class, 27 holes of golf. I know golfers from around the world will enjoy the experience of Isla’s courses.

The design of a great golf course combines two basic missions: the first assignment is to create a tactical golfing experience that completely exercises the abilities of the three basic levels of golfing skills:

    0-12 handicap equals 8% of all golfers who play worldwide
    12-26 handicap equals 76%
    26 and above reflect 16%
That golfing experience is based on various measures of trajectory, direction and distance with considerations for wind, light and the vertical variance in the designed topography.

The second 50% of the design consideration is beauty: Beauty is imperative and you must create beauty where is does not exist and you must magnify it where it does. There is not a great golf course regarded as such anywhere in the world that is not simultaneously visually magnificent. Great courses are simply beautiful courses. Further, the visual experience must never repeat itself either hole-by-hole or shot-by-shot and every vista must be unique and different. Of the three 9s at Isla (the Ocean 9, the Mountain 9 and the Lagoon 9) while their character remains the same, they are nonetheless very different in every respect. I will offer the descriptions of the courses, hole-by-hole, as seen through the designer's eyes beginning with No. 1 on the Ocean course. All distances given are from the regular tees.

Robert Von Hagge

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