Two world-famous names were asked to help design the course, with two very different styles: Jack Nicklaus Junior followed his father’s use of spectacular features, requiring a great deal of work, for an American type of course, whilst Gary Player designed an English-style course with far fewer changes to nature.
Arzaga therefore provides two options, with quite different challenges to choose from. The course built by Nicklaus is both easy and difficult, due to the five tee-positions and enormous variation in pin locations on the greens. Both professionals and amateurs can enjoy the course, with its wide open spaces, huge bunkers and large ponds.
The greens play fast and are difficult to read.
The 143-meter 3-par seventh is a great hole across water. The 493-meter par 5 fourteenth is a technical challenge. From the tee you need to miss the bunker to the right, and the second shot is over a pond to the fairway.
The chip shot to the green needs to stay out of the steep sand traps. The par 4 eighteenth back to the club house is a fantastic hole with the tee overlooking Palazzo Arzaga and two ponds to the left running the length of the fairway to complicate the tee-shot. The 9-hole course designed by Gary Player is more natural, shorter and narrower, and requires precision rather than strength. The rough is quite thick and the bunkers have 90° grass-covered edges. Many of the greens slope steeply. The 557-meter 5-par fourth hole is huge with a delicate green, defended by a left side bunker and pond on the right. Palazzo Arzaga is the focus of both courses.