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Golf Returns To Cuba

The construction of a luxury golf resort has been sanctioned by the Cuban government.

The £230million Carbonera Club will be constructed by British firm Esencia in the resort town of Varadero.

There will also be a hotel and a country club, complete with tennis courts, spa and a yacht club.

Carbonera is not the only project in the pipeline. A second golf project, with Chinese investment, is expected to be approved by the end of this year.

The government approval comes almost half a century after Fidel Castro ordered nearly all the golf courses on the island to be bulldozed, because he considered them "elitist".

At one point there were at least seven courses in Cuba, but today only one 18-hole course remains - in Varadero, the country's most popular beach resort town.

The move is a sign of the changing times here, as the government seeks new revenue sources to fund its socialist revolution.

Tourism minister Manuel Marrero said: "It will be a major complement to the tourist offering of Varadero and the start of a whole new policy to increase the presence of golf in Cuba."

And this could just be the beginning for the golf revolution in Cuba.

Marrero said there are plans for at least 11 golf resorts across Cuba, although this should perhaps be taken with a pinch of salt, as that figure was 16 just three years ago.

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