J. Michael Poellot to break ground on third Panama course

Like a growing number of U.S. retirees, J. Michael Poellot is making himself at home in Panama.

The San Jose, California-based architect has designed two golf courses on the island, and this year he expects to break ground on a third, at Las Olas Golf & Beach Resort in Playa La Barqueta.

Playa La Barqueta is a former cattle plantation in Alanje, an oceanfront town near David on the island’s western Pacific coast (in Chiriqui Province). It’s said to have the largest beach on the island (12 miles’ worth), and some probably over-zealous promoters have called it “a piece of paradise” and “the best place to live in Panama.” Part of the 3,000-acre property has been protected as a wildlife preserve.

The owners of Playa La Barqueta, the family of Juan Gabriel Araúz Anguizola, began to develop the plantation into the Las Olas resort community about a decade ago. So far, they’ve sold 42 condos and 200 waterfront lots (roughly 50 houses are standing), and they’ve built a 48-room hotel. Still to come is the community’s 18-hole golf course, which could become part of a 27-hole complex.

While he waits to commence construction at Las Olas, Poellot is putting the finishing touches on 18-hole courses at two other communities in Panama: Vista Mar Golf & Beach Resort in San Carlos, on the Esmeralda coast, and Cielo Paraiso in Boquette, in the island’s western highlands. Both communities opened nine holes in 2009, and both are scheduled to unveil their second nines in 2012.

This story originally appeared in the World Edition of the Golf Course Report, in a slightly different form. For a sample copy of the World Edition, call 301/680-9460 or write to WorldEdition@aol.com.

Add new comment

If you enjoyed this article and would like to sign up for a FREE digital subscription, click here!