Golf in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
By Timothy Scott
Luxury Latin America
Golf at Punta Mita
The Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course at Punta Mita has been winning praise for a decade now, frequently topping polls as the best course in Mexico and occasionally showing up near the top for all of North America.
A second—and very different—course also designed by Nicklaus opened here in 2009, It’s certainly hard for any pair of courses to match the stunning panoramic scenery that’s the backdrop of many holes here, especially in the winter when whales are migrating past.
I missed whale watching season, but I blamed my triple-bogey on hole 15 of the Bahia course on being distracted by the surfers catching big waves just offshore.
The 7,104-yard, par-72 Pacifico course features eight ocean-side holes, plus the signature Tail of the Whale island hole, which is 199 yards from the coastal tee box. The second Bahia course opened in November of 2009 with a more challenging set of undulating greens.
Here five holes run along the ocean and two more have ocean views. This 7,035 yard, par-72 course is closer to the St. Regis resort and straddles several newer housing developments.
The Punta Mita Club de Golf feels like a best-of-the-best exclusive country club: only Punta Mita homeowners, villa renters, and guests of either the Four Seasons or St. Regis are allowed to play. From arrival at the well-equipped locker rooms to a drink afterwards at the course-side restaurant, everything is first class.
Attendants provide cool scented towels, water, and practice balls and a refreshment cart continuously circles the course. At the 9th hole on each course, an attendant comes to the cart with a cold mango drink, restrooms are air-conditioned, and you can order a hot snack or a beer.
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