Golfing on the Moon: Club de Golf, La Paz

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Golf La Paz Bolivia is part of the South America & Africa Points Heist Trip Report.


Golfing abroad gets expensive. I don’t always play when I travel unless it is a unique course or locale (see Marrakech and Moorea). When I read that La Paz had a golf course and it was the highest in the world, I was in. I also read that there’s a par three that looks like you’re on the moon. What more could I ask for?

The Price
It was not cheap to play 18 hotels, and there was no discount for playing 9. With clubs, caddie, golf balls, tees, and clothes (I showed up in jeans and a hoodie because I thought it would be cold), the price was $125. That’s not ridiculous had the course been in better shape.

The C‎lothes
They lent me this stunning outfit. It fit quite well. I was already wearing my versatile golf shoes which double as travel shoes.

The GPS
I had my Garmin watch which registered the course and told me how far from the pin I was.

The Caddie
Nothing better than speaking to a caddie in Spanish while trying to comprehend the best approach to take.

The Beer
Four beers cost $10. That’s a great deal.

Hole 10
I only had time to play 9 and was told the gems of the course started on the back. It was a mistake not going to the range first to hit a few balls. I‎ wish I could blame it on the altitude but I was very nervous on my first shot which was a 200 yard par 3. Bold, I broke out the 5 wood and fired away. It went high and far and then disappeared. The caddie said “abajo” which could only mean something bad. As I walked the edge of the tee box, I realized that there was a sharp drop right into the moon rocks. So long ball one. Taking out my driver, I knew what I had to do. Instead, I shanked another one into the moon. The caddie suggested that I take a drop. Though it’s against the rules, I agreed. Otherwise, I may have been there all day.

His face says it all.

Hole 11
I managed to recover on hole 11 and maintain what was left of my dignity.

The Moon Hole
I’ve never spent so much time taking photos of a hole as I did on, aka the moon hole. The caddie suggested I use my seven. I listened and prepared to fire away. Over compensating, I swung out of my stance. The ball went high and far. I heard the thud of grass and rejoiced. When we walked over, the ball was nowhere to be found. The caddie said “abajo” again and indicated that the ball had rolled backwards into the moon landscape. So close, yet so far.

The Views
Each hole was a photo opp and a chance to chat with my caddie. I hit some wonderful drives and many trees along the way.

The Course
The course could be so much better. First, the sprinklers should not be on in the early afternoon. The caddie would yell “agua!”, and then I’d have to get out of the way from the sprinklers. The greens were so wet that the hole was full to the brim with water. Putting was a joke as the ball was submerged on many holes.

Not all holes were underwater: 

My Score
The manager asked my handicap before we began. Whatever it was then, it is now triple that. I lost so many balls on the moon that I began to wonder if they would charge me more. That anxiety did not help my game and also made me glad that I wasn’t playing the full 18.

Overall
What a great time. I probably played one of my worst rounds but who cares. When else would I be able to say that I played on the moon?

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