Panama’s Santa María Golf Club to Host Latin America Amateur Championship
Panamá City, Panamá – The Masters Tournament, The R&A and the USGA today announced that the ninth edition of the Latin America Amateur Championship (LAAC) will be contested at Santa María Golf Club in Panamá City, Panamá, January 18-21, 2024. The LAAC will return to Panamá for the second time in the event’s history and make its debut at Santa María Golf Club.
“It is an honor to host the top men’s Latin American amateurs at our beautiful venue for the 2024 Latin America Amateur Championship,” said José Ignacio Olea, General Manager of Santa María Golf Club. “Santa María Golf Club will provide a quality backdrop to showcase some of the best players in our region.”
Santa María Golf Club was designed in Panamá by Nicklaus Design, the golf firm founded by Jack Nicklaus, and offers views of the nearby Panamá City skyline. The par-72, 7,153-yard course opened in 2012 and has since hosted elite junior events over the past decade. The parkland-style golf course northeast of downtown Panamá City features undulating greens and presents a number of bunkers and lakes.
“We are thrilled that the Latin America Amateur Championship is returning to Panamá and debuting at one of our top courses, Santa María Golf Club,” said President Miguel Duran of the Panamá Golf Association. “It’s an exciting time for golf in our country and the future stars that compete at the LAAC will undoubtedly inspire future Panamanian golfers.”
In conjunction with the 2024 host venue announcement, Championship organizers announced the addition of an exemption into the U.S. Open for the LAAC champion beginning in 2023 at The Los Angeles Country Club. This adds to the existing exemption into The Open and the invitation into the Masters Tournament for the LAAC champion.
Founded by the Masters Tournament, The R&A and the USGA in 2014, the LAAC was established to further develop amateur golf in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. The event annually moves to top courses throughout Latin America and showcases the sport’s rising talent in the region. Notable past competitors include Sebastian Muñoz of Colombia and Chilean Joaquin Niemann, the 2018 LAAC champion.
“We are excited to grant an exemption into the U.S. Open to the champion of the Latin America Amateur Championship beginning this June at The Los Angeles Country Club,” said Mike Whan, CEO of the USGA. “The addition of this exemption furthers our commitment to developing golf across Latin America and recognizes the level of talent that competes for this championship.”
The 2023 LAAC began on Thursday at Puerto Rico’s Grand Reserve Golf Club. The Cayman Islands’ Aaron Jarvis is defending his title after his 2022 victory led to an invitation to the Masters Tournament and an exemption into The Open at St Andrews. The collegiate freshman went on to become the first Caymanian to make the cut in The Open’s 150-year history.
For more information on the Latin America Amateur Championship, please visit LAACgolf.com