Fagan’s Fabulous Photos – TPC Cartagena, Colombia

Below is a photo tour of the TPC Cartagena at Karibana in Colombia. This is the TPC Network’s first South American venture and crafted by Nicklaus Design. I have also included some aerial photographs – courtesy of the TPC Cartagena at Karibana.

The course is built on former flat swamp and forested plains adjoining the Caribbean. There is essentially little movement to the natural landform with Nicklaus Design cutting to create lakes and taking the fill to fashion mounding. There are essentially few elevation changes except for a few putting surfaces nor is the layout littered with bunkers so the course may lack as much photographical interest. There is, however, plenty to interest and keep the golfer’s attention. The design thoughtfully wanted resort or average golfers to get around without too many penal shots or forced carries… and also be able to host championship golf. That said, the course and particularly the back nine is very interesting and memorable. A Caribbean/South American golf course that deserves “bucket list” attention.

Wide fairways are presented off every tee though bunkering may cause longer or more aggressive hitters to ponder. When the Caribbean breezes pick up, those generous hitting areas allow the course to still be playable. Thus the TPC Cartagena succeeds in flexibility. Yardage ranges from 5,486 to 7,074 on it par-72 frame and the layout has hosted both Colombian Opens and Web.com events.

Conditioning is very good and you will find all modern golf services including GPS on the riding carts, a beverage cart, late model rental sets, and a most comfortable and spacious modern clubhouse. This is a private course available to guests of the adjoining Conrad Cartagena. Group play may be accommodated with advanced notice.

You are about to enter the TPC Cartagena just steps away from the Conrad Cartagena hotel and about a half hour’s drive from downtown Cartagena.
The outgoing nine shows six lakes, but water shouldn’t be much of a problem for most. In fact, the ample landing areas and large putting surfaces may make for a good start. (Photo courtesy of TPC Cartagena)
Approaching the par-four 1st green just after dawn.
Looking across the first green from the golfer’s right.
Looking back down the first green and fairway.
The tee shot for the par-five 2nd hole is artfully framed by the trees. Golfers do not encounter any bunkers until the green complex.
The elevated 2nd green is protected both left and right by imposing bunkering.
The par-three third invites you to hit its large putting surface, but imposing bunkering awaits.
Neither this image nor the 4th tee reveal much of the challenge other than to avoid the fairway bunkering. The 406-yard hole doglegs to the right.
The par-three 5th sits out in the midst of a large clearing.
If there is a “Plain Jane” on the course, in my opinion it would be the straight 474-yard 6th.
Looking back on the 6th hole, there was actually plenty of trouble lurking to the golfer’s right.
With a telephoto lense, this 442-yarder looks a bit shorter.
The par-five 8th green is still a bit away.
About 105 yards from the par-five 8th green.
This shot is taken from behind the green looking back on the 8th hole.
There is plenty of room for safety on the right side of the par-four 9th.
This view of the 9th (left) and the 1st (right) provides a nice perspective. (Photo courtesy of TPC Cartagena)
This picture on the par-five 10th is taken around the second shot area after a good drive.
The 10th green is perched above the fairway requiring a high approach. And the culminating view of the Caribbean is worth it.
The 11th is a little beauty.
The 473-yard 12th, a par-four can prove plenty challenging.
This aerial view of the 12th reveals an “Oh Wow!” element to it. Thankfully the landing areas are generous. (Photo courtesy of TPC Cartagena)
Water is left off the tee and right for your second and third shots on the par-five 13th.
A side view of the par-three 14th green about to come.
Watch out to the left on the par-three 14th!
Yet another view of the par-three 14th. (Photo courtesy of TPC Cartagena)
Stronger, better players will surely be tempted to drive the 15th green. Shorter hitters have plenty of room and options as to where to play their tee shots.
The risk-and-reward for this 284-yard 15th is tantalizing, while a layup features plenty of room. Throughout the golf course, wide fairways allow for the course to still be playable when the wind picks up. (Photo courtesy of TPC Cartagena)
Bunkers are everywhere as you approach the par-four 15th.
You will find the 525-yard (tips) par-four 16th one of the more memorable holes anywhere. (Photo courtesy of TPC Cartagena.
You might hope to have the wind at your back as you tee up on the lengthy 16th.
On a clear day, the skyline of Cartagena to the right makes for an imposing sight to the extreme right.
Looking back toward the tee on the 16th.
From long to short: the par-three 17th is just a short iron for most that must carry the frontal bunkering.
I find this aerial view of the 17th pretty inspiring. (Photo courtesy of TPC Cartagena)
You won’t be faulted for gazing in the opposite direction while standing on the 18th tee.
The final hole awaits.
This golfer is about to hit his final approach to the home hole.
A “Beauty shot” of the 18th hole.
The Conrad Cartagena forms the backdrop for the par-five 18th. (Image courtesy of Conrad Cartagena)
The view from across the 18th green toward the setting sun makes for a wonderful conclusion to a day on an exemplary golf course – TPC Cartagena at Karibana.