TheGlobeAndMail.com and VaraderoGolfClub.com
(on a lighter note)
CUBA Varadero Golf Club: 53 (45) 668-482; http://varaderogolfclub.com. Green fee: $91. Varadero Golf Club, designed by Canadian Les Furber and built on the site of the abandoned DuPont estate at Varadero Beach, is the only 18-hole course on an island that until recently scorned golf as elitist. Opened in 1998, Furber’s layout flows seamlessly with the ocean-side terrain, offering views of Cardenas Bay from most holes and ending with a wallop at the 18th, where the green sits high on a cliff. — Brian Kendall
Formerly Dupont’s Xanadu now Las Americas resort in Varadero Cuba.
Although architect Herbert Strong designed the first golf course with 18 holes, it was later built with only 9 following a design by Sim Cuthrie. The first four holes were built on natural soil, while the others required refilling. The golf course was started in December 1931, and shortly after completion, in September 1933, was hit by a hurricane that swept away with greens and fairways from holes 5 to 9. From April to December 1934, over US$ 10 000 worth of soil had to be dumped on the land and the golf course was fully operational again in 1936.
The golf course was always owned by Peñas de Hicacos S.A. and its total cost, excluding soil refills and maintenance, was over US$ 41 000. Originally, there was the idea of forming a golf club with exclusive membership, but this was never done. Playing the 9 holes cost $1.00, of which $0.50 was for the caddy, and the rest was for a public school.