Brit can go where American designers can’t, so he will help build what will be only the second full-length course on the island.
A proposed 18-hole golf course to be built at The Carbonera Club near Varadero on the island of Cuba will be designed by former European Ryder Cup team captain Tony Jacklin, a report in Golf Inc. has confirmed.
Jacklin, the 1969 British Open and 1970 U.S. Open champion, will work in conjunction with developers Esencia Hotels & Resorts, an affiliate of London-based Havana Holdings, and their Cuban partner Palmares, a government-controlled entity that has developed more than 1,000 hotels, restaurants, entertainment venues, and other businesses in Cuba. Varadero Golf Club, at the moment the island’s only full-length course, was developed by Palmares and designed by Canadian Les Furber in 1998.
Jacklin first visited Cuba in April 2011, when he was Guest of Honor at the Monte Cristo Cup, a Pro-Am tournament first played at Varadero in 2009 with the aim of showcasing the island’s potential for tourism.
The deal between the three parties was struck in September 2011, but wasn’t widely reported, in the U.S. at least, until after the new year began. Jacklin has design offices in Bradenton, Fla. and Singapore and as a British citizen, he is not prohibited, as Americans are, from working in Cuba.
Jacklin’s company website – jacklindesigngroup.com – lists four completed courses (including the Concession in Sarasota, Fla., which he co-designed with Jack Nicklaus), and five in development.
“Cuba is an ideal location for golf tournaments and has a bright future with regard to courses,” Jacklin said last year. “Where else can you light up a cigar and strike the ball?”
If all goes according to plan, Carbonera will become a 425-acre resort with 100 villas, 800 condos, a 120-room hotel, a spa, marina, beach club, and a Jacklin-branded golf academy, as well as the championship golf course.