Ever wonder what life is like on the road? Cody Paladino gives us an inside look as he travels around the world competing on PGA Tour Latinoamérica and PGA Tour Canada.
My experience in the Dominican Republic was very nostalgic in a way, even though I have never visited the small Caribbean country or the Casa de Campo Resort outside the city of La Romana. However the Dominican Republic Open, the seventh event of the PGA Tour Latinoamérica spring schedule, was a week full of camaraderie and friendly banter that reminded me of my days of college and amateur golf. Eight friends and I rented a house for the week just off the 11th fairway, fully equipped with an in-ground pool and hot tub, large kitchen, fully stocked bar, two full-time maids, and a golf cart of course. After staying in nothing but hotels week after week, it was a blast to be able to sleep in a real bedroom, hang out in a real living room, and most importantly cook my own, real food.
Only a few issues arose during my week stay in the Dominican Republic. For starters, the only air conditioning units in the house were in the bedrooms and with nine of us cranking the stove and oven for several hours straight, the kitchen soon doubled as a sauna. Also the local market was a solid 30 minute golf cart ride, which meant everyone only got one trip so we had to buy in bulk.
Apart from the accommodations, the golf course was equally as beautiful and impressive. The course showcased seven holes hugging the ocean with rocky cliffs waiting just off the edge of the fairway. It was quite the backdrop for a week’s worth of golf and frat house living.
My week in Uruguay for the Roberto De Vicenzo Invitational Copa NEC was perhaps my favorite experience of the spring season on PGA Tour Latinoamérica. All of the players stayed in hotels right in downtown Montevideo less than one mile from the golf course. Getting to and from the golf course was a short walk but dodging traffic and navigating the maze of tiny streets and alleys was sometimes more than I bargained for, especially with golf clubs on my back. But, it was well worth the experience.
My inner explorer soaked up every chance to interact with locals and visit some of the quaint shops that dotted the Montevideo landscape. It was so special to simply walk around the city and feel like I was really part of the Uruguayan culture. It was also a treat to be in the Southern Hemisphere and experience what felt like fall in New England, highlighted by cool nights, crisp mornings, and temperatures right around 65 degrees. Quite the contrast to some of the more tropical places we have visited this spring.
One interesting part of the week was discovering that the local customary time to have dinner is 10:00 PM. One night I even sampled some of the traditional fare, trying Uruguayan Morcilla, or Blood Sausage. Yes, cooked blood mixed with raisins and nuts. If you block out the savage imagery, it’s actually quite tasty. No question about it Uruguay is definitely a country I would love to visit again, golf or no golf.
Related Link: Top 9 Courses to Play in the Caribbean
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