Golf is a popular sport and the fans of the sport, particularly the golfers, have a certain mission to visit some of the world’s most notable golf clubs. Some of them are more popular than others, like the Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland, one of the oldest courses in the world, which is closely tied to the origins of modern golf.
Other locations are not as known but have some value to show to the world, even when they are not around anymore. One of such locations was the once highest golf course in the world the Tuctu Golf Club in Morococha, Peru.
Morococha – A Mining Town
Morococha lies in the shadow of mount Toromocho, a mountain filled with copper. It was only natural that when the mining boom happened in Peru, in the 1930s, that the town itself would quickly rise in importance. A location that close to the copper deposits is of value to mining companies, yet they have not always, or rather, have rarely treated the town with respect.
From local mining companies to Chinese investors, the town of Morococha has suffered plenty because of various corporate decisions which included them, but not in a positive way.
Who would’ve thought that high up in the Andes, in a mining town, one of the most interesting golf courses would be located.
The Tuctu Golf Club – A Mystery of Its Own
Not much is known about when the club was opened. It had a 9 hole course and was astonishing, simply because of its location. Not many golf clubs are that high up in the air, or rather 14325 feet or 4300 meters. You can expect to have altitude sickness above 12000 feet or 3600 meters, which is what happened to many inexperienced, unacclimatized golfers. This was one of the problems that the club faced. Some customers would have nose bleeds due to the high altitude, as well as dizziness and everything else which can accompany altitude sickness, such as nausea and an irritated stomach.
The golf club, while interesting, did not make it and was closed in the mid 1990s. Much of what the club was has turned into unrecognizable overgrowth, with weed everywhere. Why the club closed is a mystery, but it is likely due to the location, the altitude and closeness of mining operations, as well as the fact that multiple mining companies most likely did not help culturally elevate a region which has the potential to be very profitable.
Did the Mining Help or Destroy an Amazing Golf Club?
This is difficult to answer but the town of Morococha has been exposed to mining, and some say even made by mining. The town itself is doing better in today’s world, because Chinalco, another Chinese company which is interested in mining in this region, relocated the town about 5 miles or 7.5 kilometers to make room for their mining operations.
Companies have previously promised to invest in the town but it seems that Chinalco is actually going to own up to their word. With the new investments, it might be possible to see a golf club renewed at some point.
Tourist attractions and cultural and sports activities are difficult to achieve and maintain in a town which primarily exists due to mining. If companies start investing in the town, it might become better and the world’s former highest golf club might emerge once more.