Alberto Valenzuela, Mr. Colombia when it comes to Golf!

Alberto Valenzuela, the premier Golf Course Superintendent & Architect in Colombia.

Alberto Valenzuela, the premier Golf Course Superintendent & Architect in Colombia.

The third chapter of the “Journey to Olympic Golf” started with a flight from Panama City, Panama to Cartgena, Colombia and a visit to the Karibana Golf Resort. It was a privilege to meet and play golf with Joseph Mildenberg, part owner and  the Sales & Marketing Guru of the only seaside golfing resort in Colombia. He was a happy owner taking note of the extraordinary work down in a short period of time by his new golf superintendent Alberto Valenzuela. The Jack Nicklaus design was lush and a sea of its own emerald green adjacent to the blue waters of the Caribbean Sea. Joseph would tell you he has brought the Karibana golf course back to life!

CLICK here for a VIDEO INTERVIEW with Alberto Valenzuela at Karibana.

With Alberto Valenzuela at Karibana.

With Alberto Valenzuela at Karibana.

Alberto was born in Cali and raised in Bogota. He played golf and was educated at Fresno State in California before constructing golf courses around the world for various designers. Now, back home for good with 29 years of experience in the golf course business he simply says “I am from Colombia” and “golf means everything to me, I sleep, breathe, and eat golf, it is my passion.” That’s why I nicknamed him “Mr. Colombia” when it comes to golf. Of course, that title goes to Camilo Villegas when it comes to playing competitive golf at the highest level and being a champion on the PGA TOUR. The ‘Cheerful Colombian,’ a friend of the Villegas family pointed me in the direction of Camilo’s hometown of Medellin and the Llanogrande golf course he grew up on.

CLICK here for a VIDEO INTERVIEW with Alberto Valenzuela at Llanogrande.

With Fernando Villegas & Alberto Valenzuela at Llanogrande for

With Fernando Villegas & Alberto Valenzuela at Llanogrande for breakfast.

From Cartegena I flew to Bogota for a few days and then to Medellin as a guest of Sergio Saldarriaga, the President of Club Campestre Medellin at both their ‘country’ Llanogrande course and their ‘city’ Medellin course. In Medellin I met and interviewed Camilo and Manuel’s swing coach Rogelio Gonzalez but that is another story to tell and post along with my interview with Sergio. I played the Llanogrande course and spent the next day with Alberto and Fernando Villegas who is the father of Camilo and Manuel. What a day of insight into the minds of two great architects. Plus to be where Camilo grew up and to walk the golf course as he did as a kid before going onto the University of Florida and fame and fortune on the PGA TOUR was an awesome adventure. The video below speaks to the teamwork and resulting creativity between Alberto and Fernando. It also includes an interview with Fernando (with Alberto acting as translator) speaking to raising two champion golfers, having them partner together in a World Cup representing Colombia and the possibilities of them playing golf in the 2016 Olympics.

CLICK here for a VIDEO INTERVIEW of Fernando Villegas and Clips of Two Working Architects.

Enjoy these pictures from Llanogrande Medellin:

Enjoy these pictures from Karibana:

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