HOG World Tour
My good friend and caddie John Boyne of Caddie Golf Tours (left) and me on the Old Course, 2011
I’d like to apologize in advance to any friends, colleagues, or family for my behavior this week. I’m a bit preoccupied. I can already tell you my focus is going to be very weak, due to the fact that I’ll be returning to one of my favorite places in the world, the Home of Golf. Yes, one week from today, from right now, I’ll be teeing off on the Old Course with my best pal in the world.
The HOG World Tour returns to St. Andrews for an even more lengthy stay than last time, two years ago. I’ll be in the Auld Grey Toon (old gray town) for over six fantastic days of golf on the Old Course, Kingsbarns, Carnoustie, the Torrance Course, Castle Course and several others.
A golf vacation to St. Andrews is the trip of a lifetime and I’m doing it for a second time. I can sure as hell tell you it won’t be the last. I’m thinking every two years. If I win the lottery or come into a large amount of extra dough, I may just go there every year. Why not move there, in the summers at least? I digress.
Standing in the Road Hole bunker with three of my best pals
If you haven’t been to St. Andrews you should really make the effort to plan it and go. The town exudes personality, mostly golf centric. The history, the people, and the golf are all “brilliant” as my friends the Scots say.
Just don’t ask me about the food…
Muisca’s Golden Raft – click for full size
My golf travels have brought me to see some of the coolest places on this planet, from St. Andrews to Seattle. Recently I traveled to Bogota, Colombia on a recent HOG World Tour stop. Of course I sampled the local golf offerings in the fantastic La Cima Club de Golf and Country Club de Bogota.
Poporo Quimbaya – click to enlarge
Museo Del Oro – Museum Of Gold
While in Bogota I did manage to check out some non-golf related attractions in the area. I visited “Museo Del Oro” or the “Gold Museum.” Inside the museum are over 50,000 pieces from indigenous cultures in Bogota’s pre-Hispanic era, before any contact with Europe. This is the biggest collection of its kind in the world.
The artifacts in the museum are stunning. I strongly recommend adding Museo Del Oro to your life bucket list.
The famous “Golden Raft” is an unbelievable artifact. As part of the El Dorado ceremony, the heir to the chieftaincy offered this piece to the gods. It is said that when the Spanish discovered this piece, the first of many thousands, they began to believe in a lost city of gold.
I could go on about the history, but honestly I’m not an expert on it. I was there a short time and absorbed as much as my limited cranium could hold. Be sure to add this magnificent display of art and gold to your must-see list. For now, enjoy the HOG Gold Museum Photo Gallery.
Gold Museum Website
Museo Del Oro Images
La Cima Club de Golf Review
Country Club de Bogota Review
In my previous life I made my living as a drummer in a rock and roll band. I played 1000’s of shows all over the place. I’ve picked up the tour gig with Hooked On Golf Blog. For almost 10 years now I’ve been doing the “HOG World Tour,” the coolest golf tour anywhere. From St. Andrews to TPC Sawgrass to Augusta, I’ve been there. I can’t say how fun it has been.
I jumped at the chance to log the first HOG World Tour stop in South America. I spent a whole week in Bogota, Colombia in concert with the Web.com Tour’s Colombia Championship. While there I played two fine golf tracks: La Cima Club de Golf in the Andes Mountains, and Country Club de Bogota. Today’s review is of the gem that is Country Club de Bogota.
Country Club De Bogota – click to see more
Country Club de Bogota Overview
Country Club de Bogota is located in the heart of Bogota, a large city of 8,000,000 people. The course is a 36 hole private club with great supporting facilities, restaurants, swimming pool etc. The course is the home of the Web.com Tour’s Colombia Championship.
The layout of the course is what I’d call a traditional treelined parkland track. The course is TIGHT. A shot-maker’s course for sure.
Despite the tightness of the track, there is plenty of distance to go around. The course sits between 8,600-9,000 feet above sea level. The ball really flies. If you struggle with your distance and want to see what it feels like to hit it really far, come to Bogota and play. You’ll gain 1-2 clubs in distance.
Tee shots are tight! Click tozoom…
Tee shots are extremely important on this course. As I found out in my round, driver is not necessarily the correct play off the tee on all the par-4’s and par-5’s. The doglegs can be sharp and if one can’t work the tee shot a driver can go through the fairway. This happened to me a couple of times. Unless you are deadly accurate with the driver, a more strategic approach of irons, hybrids or fairway woods off many of the tees is likely the best plan.
The Andes Mountains overlook the course. Click to zoom
If you’ve placed your tee shot in the fairway, a fairly tough task, the approaches aren’t extremely difficult. There is no elevation change on the course to speak of, barring a couple of feet from tee to fairway or fairway to green.
There are many places where the overhanging trees on the fairway can force one to have to hit a curveball around them, or a punch shot under them. Once again, a shot-maker’s course.
Greens at Country Club de Bogota are smooth and fast. click to zoom
The greens at Country Club de Bogota are tour quality. They hold shots perfectly, yet roll fast and true. If you have any control over your approach shots, keep them below the hole. Downhill putts on this track are very difficult.
The undulations of the greens are not extreme though there are a few with double tiers. The speed of the greens makes two-putting difficult if putting from one tier to another.
I had a blast putting on these great surfaces. I made four birdies once I got used to the speed.
There’s a large practice facility a short walk from the 1st tee.
The clubhouse is very large and spacious with two restaurants, a swimming pool, locker rooms and banquet/tournament facilities.
Bogota, Colombia may not be the first place that comes to one’s mind when thinking of golf travel. Perhaps that should change. Golf in this region of the world is a blast. With the temperate conditions and tons of rainfall each year, the courses are plush and healthy. The altitude makes playing a blast.
10 Tee – click for more pictures
The conditioning of Country Club de Bogota is fantastic and the course is a very good test of one’s complete golf game, from tee to green.
Review: La Cima Club de Golf, Colombia
Country Club de Bogota website
Country Club de Bogota photo gallery
I shlep my golf clubs all over this big blue ball. My clubs and bags have been
inspected violated many times over. I keep the old TSA notices in the bag and there are dozens of them. I don’t have a problem with the TSA looking in my bag. I don’t want the airplane to be blown up so sure, take a look at my sticks and my golf balls. Play with the laser rangefinder. Inspect the 12 golf energy bars and make sure they’re not explosives. Look at everything and then put your courtesy note in there. Great.
TSA Golf Bag
Now that you awesome TSA people have looked all through my bag do me a favor. Put the f*&king thing back the way you found it! Every time I travel all the crap that I put IN my bag is OUT of my bag and rattling around inside the travel case because you leave all the zippers on the golf bag open. I have to gather up all the tees, balls and the random stuff from the travel bag and put it back in the golf bag.
The bag itself is secured to the frame of the travel bag by straps. This helps protect my precious golf clubs from damage and shifting during transport. When you TSA folks undo the straps which secure my bag that’s cool as long as to PUT IT BACK to the way it was so my clubs aren’t damaged.
This past trip I found a curious TSA paper in my golf bag. This one said that the Department of Transportation prohibits the carriage of hazardous materials in checked baggage and that “all hazardous materials discovered in my baggage have been removed.” What the hell did they find? The only thing hazardous in my bag is my putter, and it is only a threat to my opponents. I don’t carry fuel, gas, matches, lighters or anything hazardous. I’d REALLY like to know what the hell you took from my bag. What was this mysterious hazard you removed TSA?
The WCG Cadillac at Doral is this week AND the PGA Tour is in Puerto Rico for the Puerto Rico Open. I’ve had the pleasure of covering the Puerto Rico Open in years past. So for your enjoyment here’s a gallery of the course. Click the image below to view. This image below, by the way… I climbed up one of the Golf Channel TV towers to get this shot. Fun times…
Trump National Golf Club – Puerto Rico