New Course Coming to Panama

A new J. Michael Poellet-designed golf course will be part of a new resort in Panama. The Vista Mar Resort will be an oceanfront residential golf resort on nearly 500 acres located 56 miles from Panama City (or 10 minutes by helicopter) on the Pacific Coast of the Republic of Panama. The site borders Lagomar to the north, La Quebrada el Arenal to the south, the Pacific Ocean on the east, and the Pan American Highway to the west. The property is a few minutes from the town of San Carlos, District of San Carlos, Province of Panama. A modern two-lane freeway connects the Vista Mar Resort with Panama City.

J. Michael Poellot Golf Designs has more than 30 years of experience in golf-course design and resort-master planning. Hes known for designing environmentally-friendly layouts. The firm has crafted golf courses in Japan, France, Thailand, The Philippines, Mexico, Brazil and the United States. For more information, visit    

The par-72, 7,273-yard layout will boast ocean, mountain and lake views and, upon completion, become the longest golf course in Panama. The course is currently in construction; nine holes will be ready for play in December, with the remaining holes to debut in July 2007. Upon completion, the course will be lasered and rated by the USGA.

The course will be irrigated by a combination of on-site wells, where brackish water will be extracted. In the future, treated wastewater will also be used for irrigation. Assisting in the water-conservation effort is the planting of Sea Drawf Paspalum turf grass. This salt-tolerant turf is also drought-resistant. Paspalum has been used on courses in Mexico, Costa Rica, Belize, and Panama with great results.

The semiprivate track will be opened to Vista Mar Resort members, real estate owners, area hotel guests, and nearby residents on a space-available basis.

Vista Mar Golf & Country Club will feature a double-ended driving range. It will be over 350 yards long from tee to tee, big enough to accommodate 50 golfers at a time. The club will have a golf school staffed by PGA professionals who will conduct group and private clinics, and lessons. There are also plans for a golf academy. The school and d range will open no later than July 2007.

The course will be augmented by a 33,000-square-foot clubhouse and a spa/fitness center. Slated to open in 2008, the clubhouse will be built in phases based on membership sales. It will contain a junior-Olympic swimming pool and lighted tennis courts, as well as restaurant/banquet and meeting facilities. The spa will offer massages, facials, and skin treatments. The fitness center will feature an aerobics area, as well as training equipment and a juice bar.

A beach club, now open for founding residents of Vista Mar Resort, offers a bar, indoor/patio dining, aquatic and snorkeling equipment, and a swimming pool.

For more information about the Vista Mar Resort, call in Panama 507/215-1111, e-mail at, or visit