Cuba’s Varadero Golf Club hosted the 8th annual Cuba Golf Grand Tournament earlier this week, and attending this time was Greg Norman, a famous former professional golfer, previously ranked number one for 331 consecutive weeks.
Norman officiated the opening remarks and offered photography and filming sessions along with special guests, players and the public.
The Varadero Golf Club is the only 18-hole course on the island, having debuted on the international golf scene in 1999 when it hosted the Grand Finale of the European Challenge Tour, one of the major international tournaments held in the world.
Cuba’s Ministry of Tourism has plans to develop investment projects for the construction of at least 19 golf courses throughout the country as part of the strategy to increase tourist arrivals to the island, which last year recorded a record of more than 3 million visitors.
According to Melia Cuba, the course is located at Varadero peninsula and covers a narrow 3.5km strip flanked by the hotels Sol Sirena Coral, Breezes Varadero, Breezes Bella Costa, Meliá Las Américas, Meliá Varadero and Sol Palmeras.
- 18 holes; 72 par: 5 par 5 and 5 par 3; remaining 8 are par 4.
- 6,269 linear meters of trajectory between the First Tee or starting point and Green 18.
Three features of golf design are combined on this Lay Out:
- “Classic design”, broad roads bordered by trees, wide and scarcely protected greens.
- Challenging or “Target Golf design”, modern style with narrow roads and heavily protected greens surrounded by sand traps and lakes. The Varadero Golf Course has several salt-water lakes that connect directly with the sea, a feature that makes it almost unique worldwide.
- “Links design”, with holes located alongside the sea following the shoreline, introducing the ocean as another obstacle in the game.
Gregory John Norman (born 10 February 1955) is an Australian professional golfer and entrepreneur who spent 331 weeks as the world’s Number 1 Official World Golf Rankings ranked golfer in the 1980s and 1990s. He has won 91 international tournaments, including 20 PGA Tour tournaments and two majors: The Open Championships in 1986 and 1993. Norman also earned thirty top-10 finishes and was the runner-up 8 times in majors throughout his career. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2001 with the highest percentage of votes (80%) of any golfer to date. In a reference to his blond hair, size, aggressive golf style and his birthplace’s native coastal animal, Norman’s nickname is “The Great White Shark” (often shortened to just “The Shark”), which he earned after his play at the 1981 Masters.
After (and during) his playing career, Norman engaged in numerous entrepreneurial and philanthropic endeavors. He currently serves as the Chairman and CEO of Great White Shark Enterprises, a global corporation with a portfolio of companies in fields like apparel, interior design, real estate, private equity, golf course design, and more. Norman has also donated to and established numerous charities and charity events like the Franklin Templeton Shootout which benefits the CureSearch for Children’s Cancer fund. He became a Trustee of the Environmental Institute for Golf in 2004 and received the Golf Writers Association of America’s Bartlett Award in 2008 for his philanthropic endeavors.