The Four Seasons Golf Club is an 18 hole Par 72 course, set on the Gulf of Papagayo and offers views of the Pacific Ocean on 14 of its 18 holes. It was designed by Arnold Palmer and it has wide, undulating fairways with large and contoured greens, providing a challenging test to your game. The front side of the golf course is set up with three par 3s, 4s, and 5s. The back is the traditional setup of five par 4s, two par 3s and two par 5s. The first hole is a very fair par 5 that lets you get over the first hole nerves without putting up a big number. From there you simply play the course. This course is a combination of great views, elevation changes with interesting holes, wind that is always present but not a major factor, greens that roll true and will be running about a 10 on the Stimpmeter, and rough that is forgiving but will get tougher as time goes by.
It won't be long before this new Palmer course at the Four Seasons Resort in Costa Rica will be included in many of these course rating lists. The vistas are spectacular and are equal to any that you will experience at Kauri Cliffs or Pebble Beach. The elevation changes and changing wind conditions make each round a new experience. It is similar to Pacific Dunes in that when the wind is quiet the course is manageable, but when the wind picks up even the best players will have their hands full. Only guests at the Fours Seasons Papagayo are allowed to play the course and because there is no outside play, you can count on a leisurely round with plenty of time to take pictures, redo putts and simply enjoy the beauty that surrounds you. The Pro Shop is open from 6:00 am to 6:00 pm, and tee times are offered from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm. Clubs and shoes are available for rent. Children under 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.
Architect's Hole-by-Hole Description
The Palmer Course at Peninsula Papagayo was designed with the resort golfer in mind. This beautiful piece of property allows us to provide a golf course with multiple tees for all golfers, wide undulating fairways, large greens with multiple pin placements and spectacular ocean views on 14 holes. This course, with its cooling ocean breezes, strategic bunkers, and contoured greens will provide adequate challenge and a very fair test of golf.
This is a great starting hole, a relatively short par 5. The sharp dogleg allows players to shorten the hole by hitting tee shots over the bunkers at the corner of the dogleg. Otherwise, the wide fairway all the way to the green allows for a safe 3-shot to the green to start the round.
This short downhill par 3 includes a rock lined stream in front of the green and a beautiful cove behind the green. A receptive approach is provided to roll the ball onto the right side of the green. However, with the pin tucked left over the stream, this will leave a long 2-putt.
The tee shot from the top of a cliff with a 360 degree ocean view must negotiate "Palmer's" tree between tees and fairway. You will have to go over or around the tree. This hole has a sharp dogleg fairway with deep bunkering on the inside. This is a true risk or reward hole.
This is a strong par 5 requiring an accurate tee shot threaded between bunkers on both sides. From there, it's all uphill along a wide fairway, to a smallish green. An aggressive tee shot over the left bunkers really shortens the hole.
The second par 3 on the front nine is tough love, requiring a long tee shot to a green guarded by a large pond on the right with a generous bail out fairway area on the left and nothing but ocean as a back drop. This is a beautiful but potentially tough hole.
Very dramatic long par 4 with a tee shot that plays 200 feet downhill to a receptive valley-shaped fairway. A bunker-less green is perched out on a cliff with the ocean behind. The ball will fly and roll a long way.
Playing 50 feet downhill, this short par 3 requires a delicate tee shot to a smallish green surrounded by bunkers positioned to collect errant shots.
A drivable par 4 with deep penal bunkers guarding the front of the green. The best play is a tee shot over the left fairway bunkers to set up the easy approach angle. This green, like many on the Palmer course, has separate pin areas that reward good iron play.
A short par 5 finishes the front nine. After the wide open tee shots on hole 1, 3, 6 and 8, this narrow fairway plays through the lush Nacascolo Forest. This hole offers a possible two-shot par 5 with a rock-lined stream that protects the front of the most severely contoured green on the course.
This hole has a sharp dogleg left requiring play around a deep natural ravine. A tee shot played down the left side cuts off a lot of distance for the second shot onto a multi-tiered green. Deep bunkers guard the right side of the green, with a generous safe bailout on the left. This is the second hardest hole on the back nine.
This is a strong uphill par 3 that will play into a predominant wind. The large green makes for a good target. The putting surface has excellent tournament pin placements. The left side of the green is protected by a pot bunker and the right side is protected by a false front that will cause weak shots to trickle down to the bottom of the slope. The middle of the green is the smart play.
This hole is the longest par 5 on the course. The tee shot plays downhill and downwind. The second shot plays uphill and must be hit far enough to have a clear view of the green. The green is surrounded by bunkers with plenty of room to roll the ball onto the green.
This is a long par 4 and is the #1 handicap hole. The tee shot plays over a large pond to a blind fairway that slopes with the tee shot so that the roll of the ball will shorten the length of this hole. The green is bunkered on the right to catch errant shots that would otherwise go out of play. The generous bailout area to the left and a long shot is the safe play.
This hole leaves the windswept plateau of hole 10, 11 and 12. Both hole 14 and 15 play just above sea level among the lush natural vegetation. Hole 14 is a medium length par 4. The tee shot plays over a rock-lined stream to a tree-lined fairway. The green is elevated, but relatively flat with the deepest bunker on the course guarding the front.
This is a great short par 4. The tee shot can be played with either a long iron or 3-wood. An iron will keep you short of the fairway bunkers while a well struck 3-wood should carry them and set up a short wedge shot over the creek to the two-tiered green.
This is another drivable par 4. A long iron or 3-wood will leave you in the ideal spot but a driver can reach the green. The long narrow green is divided in half by a severe ridge, which will make 3-putting a possibility from the wrong side of the green.
This short par 3 plays over a deep ravine to a large green surrounded by bunkers placed to keep wayward shots from going into the ravine. A very picturesque golf hole with spectacular views of the ocean from both the tees and green.
This is a great finishing hole. This short downhill par 5 starts back up on top of the plateau. From the tees, the fairway is wide open. This tee shot looks down upon a green next to a pond with bunkers behind it. The safe play is a long iron hit short of the fairway bunkers to set up a short shot onto the green, taking the pond out of play.