Royal Isabela, Isabela, Puerto Rico
Royal Isabela, Isabela, Puerto RicoCharlie Pasarell used to be known primarily for dueling Pancho Gonzales in the longest match in Wimbledon history, but Pasarell's new course in his native Puerto Rico might soon eclipse any of his tennis achievements. Together with brother Stanley and designer David Pfaff, Charlie has smacked a service ace when it comes to Royal Isabela. Strung on rugged cliffs in northwest Puerto Rico, 75 miles west of San Juan, this ferocious 7,538-yard, par-72 tropical test winds through junglelike flora on the hilly front nine, but it's the linksyback nine that will linger in memory, thanks to the cliff-top double green shared by the 12th and 14th holes as well as the 200-yard, par-3 17th, an all-or-nothing thriller perched high above the Atlantic. Up to this point, Puerto Rico has trotted out a series of amiable resort courses meant for holiday fun. Royal Isabela raises the bar considerably.