Five Reasons to Make Mexico Your Next Golf Vacation
Don’t fall prey to a false spring. The occasional temperate day may tease us into thinking golf season is just around the corner. But it’s still winter, and the dependably warm weather won’t arrive for at least another month.
For consistent warmth and scrapbook-worthy experiences, consider Mexico. The food, fishing and golf are magnificent, and world-class properties meet or exceed expectations of even the most erudite traveler.
1. Cabo del Sol (Ocean); Los Cabos, Baja California Sur
Take a spectacular Sea of Cortez location, build a breathtaking clubhouse with every luxe bell and whistle, ensure the customer service is first rate by including exceptional practice and teaching facilities, set aside enough land where seven of the holes are surfside, then hire the game’s greatest name, Jack Nicklaus, to choreograph it all. The 7,091-yard Ocean Course is what every golf project in Mexico is measured against – past, present or future.
2. Palmilla Golf Club; Los Cabos, Baja California Sur
This is the one that started the Mexican Golf Revolution: In 1994, Palmilla Resort debuted an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus golf course of uncompromising beauty and challenge, a target-style routing built among high promontories, plunging arroyos and 300-year-old cordon cactus. Years later, Jack added nine more holes. Combined with today’s One&Only Palmilla, it makes for a singular destination resort steeped in superior service, world-class accommodations and uncommon amenities.
3. Four Seasons Golf Club Punta Mita; Bahia de Banderas, Nayarit
No listing of Mexico’s better golf properties is complete without the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, located 26 miles north of Puerto Vallarta on the northern tip of the Bahia de Banderas, one of the largest natural bays on the Pacific Coast. The 7,014-yard Pacifico Golf Course, one of two Jack Nicklaus designs on property, gently traverses lush tropical foliage and plays along the ocean and Banderas Bay. It’s sumptuous Nicklaus – compelling, frustrating, playful.
4. El Tamarindo Country Club; Barra de Navidad, Jalisco
They say El Tamarindo Beach & Golf Resort is astonishingly surreal, and you’ll agree after navigating the five-mile jungle-esque entrance to this 29-villa, 900-acre haven. Located 31 miles north of Manzanillo, the seaside playground conveys an indelible discovery of self, nature and life’s essence. That spirit persists on the resort’s 6,750-yard golf course, a sublime Robert Trent Jones Jr. and David Fleming collaboration that, like the hotel, is delicately sandwiched between a 2,000-acre rainforest reserve and Costa Careyes’ craggy shores.
5. Isla Navidad Country Club; Barra de Navidad, Jalisco
Far off the beaten path is the top-rated Wyndham Grand Bay Hotel Isla Navidad Resort. Its primary asset, located amid 1,200 acres of heaving Pacific Ocean landscape just north of Manzanillo, is the 27-hole Isla Navidad Country Club, a Robert von Hagge design that synergizes ocean with densely foliated hillsides and freshwater lagoons. The popular Ocean/Mountain nines play to 7,006 yards, an insidiously pleasing, risk-reward routing that plays along crashing surf whipped by brisk ocean breezes.
Chris Duthie is a contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via www.coloradoavidgolfer.com.