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The 13 Best Colombian Golfers of All Time

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Updated on 03/18/2024

Dear Readers,
Greetings from Frank, your golf travel operator based in Bogota. We specialize in arranging captivating golf experiences and journeys across the beautiful landscapes of Colombia.

Explore further with a wealth of additional valuable links below, providing insights into various exciting golf topics in Colombia. Enjoy the read and discover the wonders of golf in our vibrant country!

First golfers in Colombia

The first golfers in Colombia were foreigners in the 1920s, particularly from England and France. There were also Colombians from the upper class and the elite. Among the Colombians was Carlos A. Vengoechea. The first golf instructor was the British Thomas Trendall, who worked at the country club in Bogotá. He started in February 1921 on a three-year contract and then stayed until the end of his life. In the same decade, women in Colombia also began playing golf. The first female golfer in Colombia was María Teresa Soto de Morales. She can be said to be the pioneer of women’s golf in Colombia.

Influential golfers in Colombia

Camilo Villegas

Camilo Villegas is a Colombian golfer who currently competes on the PGA Tour. He is the first Colombian to win a tournament at this level. His special style of play earned him the nickname “Spiderman”. Camilo Villegas was born on January 7, 1982, in the city of Medellín. He learned the game of golf during his childhood under the tutelage of Rogelio González.

He became South American champion twice, for which the Colombian association voted him Golfer of the Year in 2013. In the United States, he became a collegiate golfer and was part of the 2000 and 2001 NCAA championship teams at the University of Florida, where he also earned a degree in business administration and became a professional golfer.

Achievements of Camilo Villegas

  • 2005 Nationwide Tour 2005 Top 10.
  • In 2006, two second-place finishes and a third-place finish on the PGA Tour.
  • In 2007, a second place, a third place and six top 10 finishes.
  • In 2008 two wins, two third places and seven top 10 placements.
  • 2009 ninth at the US Open, thirteenth at the Augusta Masters and at the British Open.

Maria Isabel Baena

Maria Isabel Baena was a professional golfer from Colombia who competed in the LPGA and has been dedicated to golf since she was a teenager. She was born on June 1, 1977, in the city of Pereira. She began to distinguish herself in golf when, between 1990 and 1993, she represented Colombia at the South American Junior Golf Series in Uruguay, Paraguay and Venezuela and Junior in Peru, as well as at the Copa Los Andes in Colombia.

Achievements of Maria Isabel Baena

  • She was the 1996 national champion and team champion in the United States national collegiate tournament at the University of Arizona.
  • She began her professional career in 1999 in the USA, where she achieved 13 top-10 finishes in 8 years, also took part in the LPGA Match Play and became world champion.

Baena ended her professional career in 2009 after undergoing hip surgery.

Juan Sebastian Muñoz

Juan Sebastian Munoz is a Colombian professional golfer who was born on January 4, 1993, in the city of Bogotá. He began playing college golf at the University of North Texas, where he won two tournaments, including the Conference USA Championship, his senior year. He turned professional in 2015 as part of the PGA, where he played in the Developmental Series, where he won two tournaments. Thanks to his performance, he earned exceptional status on the PGA Tour in the first half of the 2016 season Latin America.

Achievements of Juan Sebastian Munoz

  • In 2016 he won the Club Colombia Championship on the Tour, which earned him the card. He was the first Colombian in this tournament.
  • Thanks to his previous victories, he reached 22nd place in the regular season in 2017 and earned a PGA Tour card that year. However, he lost to Xander at the Greenbrier Classic Schauffele, only managed one top 10 all year and was unable to retain his PGA Tour card.
  • In 2018, he achieved two second-place finishes and a third-place finish, placing him 12th in the standings and securing his promotion back to the PGA Tour. And in 2019, he won his first PGA Tour tournament by winning the Sanderson Farms Championship.

Maria Jose Uribe

Maria José Uribe was born on February 27, 1990, in the city of Bucaramanga. She is currently a member of the LGPA (Ladies Professional Golf Tour). She began playing golf as an amateur at the age of 17 and won the American Women’s Amateur Golf Championship, becoming the only Latin American to win the title.

Achievements of Juan Sebastian Munoz

  • 2008 Top 10 US Open and landed the award as best amateur.
  • 2014 10th place at the Evian Championship.
  • 2015 gold at the Pan American Championships and silver at the South American Golf Championships.

Nicolas Echavarria

Nicolás Echavarría plays on the PGA Tour. He was born on June 16, 1994, in Medellín and has represented Colombia in several national and international golf tournaments. He started playing golf at the age of 6. He was part of collegiate golf and was a member of the University of Arkansas golf team. During his studies, he won two tournaments and was appointed to the AII-SEC twice. He graduated in 2018 with a degree in business administration. After graduating, he became a professional golfer and began competing on the PGA Tour Latin America to play.

Achievements of Nicolás Echavarría

  • 2016 participation in the Eisenhower Cup.
  • He turned professional in 2017.
  • in the 2018 PGA Latin American Tour season; 2019 Korn Ferry Tour season map.
  • On March 6, 2023, he achieved his first victory on the PGA Tour by winning the Puerto Rico Open.

Marcelo Rozo

Marcelo Rozo was born on September 6, 1989. He is currently participating in the Korn Ferry Tour. His professional career began in 2012. In 2013 he was already a member of the PGA Tour Latin America and won his first title that same year on December 8th at the Visa Open in Argentina. His victories include:

Successes of Marcelo Rozo

  • In 2014, he achieved his second victory at the TransAmerican Power Products CRV Open in the city of Guadalajara. Thanks to this victory, he landed at number 414 in the world golf rankings.
  • He then took part in the Ecuador Open and the Colombia Classic and took second place. He placed third at the Abierto del Centro, fourth at the Argentina Open, fifth at the Roberto de Vicenzo Cup, sixth at the Lexus Classic of Panama and ninth at the Mexico Open.
  • moved to the PGA Tour Latinoamérica, where he achieved a sixth-place finish at the Abierto de Guatemala and a seventh-place finish at the Colombian Classic.
  • In 2018 he won gold at the Central American and Caribbean Games.

Valery Plata

Valery Plata is a professional LPGA player, was born on June 2, 2001, in Florida but holds Colombian citizenship.

Achievements of Valery Plata

  • She qualified for the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship in 2015 and 2016 and won the South American U-15 Championship with her Colombian team.
  • She represented Colombia at the 2017 Junior Golf World Cup in Japan and won a gold medal at the Youth South American Games in Chile that same year.
  • In 2018 she won the South American U-18 Championship.
  • She was named to the Michigan State Spartan Women’s Golf Team, was selected to the All-Big Ten First Team three times and was named the 2020 Big Ten Player.
  • As of 2021, she played twice as an amateur at the Meijer LPGA Classic and in 2022 she made her first cut on her first LPGA Tour. She also won the Women’s Amateur Latin America in Argentina, which earned her a spot in the Evian Championship and the Women’s British Open for 2022.
  • That same year, she represented Colombia at the Espirito Santo Trophy and won the individual bronze medal and the mixed team gold medal at the Bolivarian Games in Valledupar. She turned professional in 2022; took third place at the LPGA Tour Q-School and also received her LPGA Tour card for 2023.

Jesus Amaya

Jesus Amaya is a professional golfer and was born on August 25, 1969 in Bogotá. Before becoming a golf professional, he worked as a caddy at La Florida Golf Club. He and his family moved to Bogotá hoping for a better life. He started out as a caddy and learned to play golf with some clubs and balls he found at work and which other club members gave up or passed on. He then began participating in tournaments for caddies and then aspiring professionals.

Achievements of Jesus Amaya

  • Three titles at the Colombian Open. He also won the Tour of six times the Americas and took second place in the Order of 2000 and 2001 Merit.
  • Victory Caribbean Open 1994, Los Andes GC Open.
  • Winning the Pereira Open in 2003.
  • Victory Cali Open in 2007, the Medellín Open in 2010
  • 2012 Caribbean Open win
  • Victory Carmel Club opened in 2015

Paola Moreno

A professional player born on August 22, 1985, in Cali. She played golf at the University of Southern California, where she was part of the 2008 NCAA Division I Championship team and T42 at the US Women’s Open that same year.

Achievements of Paola Moreno

  • Three Symetra Tour victories.
  • By 2012, the Symetra Tour’s money list allowed her to earn a card for the 2013 LPGA Tour, where she qualified for the defending CME Group champions in 2013.
  • In 2014, Moreno won the individual bronze medal at the Central American and Caribbean Games.
  • In 2015, she won a silver medal at the Pan American Games.

Manuel Villegas

Manuel Villegas is the brother of Camilo Villegas. He was born on December 3, 1984. He currently competes on the Korn Ferry Tour and the PGA Latin America part. He graduated from the University of Florida in 2007 and became a professional player in 2008.

Achievements of Manuel Villegas

  • 2008 debut at the Colombian Open the same year.
  • In 2009, he competed in several tournaments in South America, including a win in the professional master’s degree on the Colombian golf tour.
  • Through 2010, he competed in a few events on the Tour and what is now called the NGA Pro-Golf Tour, where he earned a win in the Woodcreek Classic season.
  • Manuel and his brother Camilo represented Colombia at the 2011 Omega Mission Hills World Cup in China.
  • 2013 first victory on the PGA Tour Latin America at the TransAmerican Power Products CRV Open in Mexico. This success and further top 3 placements enabled him to take fifth place in the Order of this year Merit of the Tour, which also earned him the right to take part in the Tour 2014.

Santiago Rivas

Santiago Rivas is a golfer born in the city of California. He started playing golf as a child at the age of 11. Thanks to his athletic achievements and studies, Rivas won a golf scholarship to Texas Tech University, which had a high level of competition. There he studied economics but also prepared for golf.

Achievements of Santiago Rivas

  • In 2003, he was named Golfer of the Year by the Colombian Golf Federation for his numerous victories in national and international championships.
  • Four times national champion: in 2000, 2003 and 2005 at the Colombian Open.
  • He was the national runner-up twice and finished in the top 3 at the world level three times.
  • He became the South American champion: in 2001 as a junior, in 2003 and in 2005 again as a senior.

Paula Hurtado

Paula Hurtado is a Colombian golfer who was born in the city of Medellín. She was introduced to golf when she was seven years old when her father took her to a golf game. At the age of 12, she began to gain recognition.

Achievements of Paula Hurtado

  • She was a five-time amateur and youth champion, a four-time South American champion, and competed twice in the U.S. Girls and a Junior World Championship.
  • She received a scholarship to Florida International University, where she won seven individual titles and was also named Freshman of the Year, eventually graduating with a degree in Hotel Management.
  • played on the Ladies European Tour and the LPGA Symetra Tour for four years, competed in the US Women’s Open twice and in three LPGA tournaments, and became a Pan-American medalist.

Oscar Davis Alvarez

Oscar Davis Alvarez is a professional golfer born on March 29, 1983, who currently plays on the PGA Tour Latin America.

Achievements of Oscar Davis Alvarez

  • In 2000 he was named Amateur Golfer of the Year.
  • He qualified for the US Open in 2004 but missed the cut after shots of 78 and 80. In college, he played at Brigham Young University and was a two-time All-American before graduating in 2006.
  • After graduating, Álvarez turned professional in 2006 and competed in the Tour of the Americas while also playing on the Colombian Tour. He also played on the NGA Hooters Tour until 2007, and in 2009 he won his first professional tournament at Georgia Orthopedic Specialists Classic on the NGA Hooters Tour.
  • In 2010, Álvarez continued to win the Tour of the Americas and won the fourth Abierto International Hey Cafetero.
  • His third and final victory at the Tour of the He celebrated Americas in 2011 at the Aberto do Brasil.
  • In 2012 he took part in the PGA Tour Latinoamérica, initially failed to make his debut, but was able to achieve his third victory at the 15th Club El Rancho Golf Open.
  • Copa for the fourth time on the Colombian Tour Surah. He then won his first title on the PGA Tour Latin that same year America at the TransAmerican Power Products CRV Mexico Open.

More about Golf in Colombia

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About Author



Hello! I'm Frank Spitzer, the founder and the heart behind Pelecanus, a specialized tour operator for Colombia travel. My journey in travel is vast and rich – I've explored over 60 countries, absorbing cultures, experiences, and stories along the way. Since 2017, I've been channeling this wealth of global experience into creating unforgettable travel experiences in Colombia. I'm recognized as a leading authority in Colombian tourism, with a deep-seated passion for sharing this beautiful country with the world. You can catch glimpses of my travel adventures and insights around Colombia on my YouTube channel. I'm also active on social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, where I share the vibrant culture and stunning landscapes of Colombia. For professional networking, feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. Join me on this incredible journey, and let's explore the wonders of Colombia together!

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