ESCAPE WINTER ON THE GOLF COURSES OF MEXICO
Mexico’s golf scene, at least from an American perspective, is a tale of two coasts. Both the east and west coasts are lined with luxurious golf resorts. It’s the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez vs. the Caribbean Sea.
The stretch along the east coast from Cancun down to Playa del Carmen is known as Riviera Maya. Many resorts are all-inclusive. Sometimes their courses are all-inclusive, too, where golfers can enjoy all they can eat and drink in the clubhouses or from the beverage carts and comfort stations. Most courses will offer free transportation from your resort as a way to entice you to visit.
The largest development, Mayakoba, hosts the PGA Tour’s Mayakoba Golf Classic, annually at Greg Norman’s El Camaleon course. Miles of canals connect Mayakoba’s four hotels, serving as roads for water taxis. The Moon Palace (home to 27 holes), Iberostar (two resorts, each with its own course) and Vidanta Riviera Maya (home to a fun Jack Nicklaus par 3) are other noteworthy options.
Out west, Cabo San Lucas continues to see explosive growth in its golf scene. Two new courses, Rancho San Lucas and Costa Palmas, will debut by 2020. Several top Cabo courses require a night’s stay for access: Quivira (Pueblo Bonita Pacifica), Twin Dolphin (Montage) and the two celebrated tracks, El Cardonal and Dunes, at Diamante (Hard Rock and Nobu). Questro Golf runs three fine public courses: Puerto Los Cabos (27 holes), Cabo Real and Club Campestre. Troon Golf expertly manages the 27 holes open to the public at Palmilla. A new addition to Mexico’s beautiful Baja Peninsula north of Cabo is Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa in Loretto. It’s worth the trip alone to play the clifftop 17th hole at TPC Danzante Bay.
Anchoring the Riviera Nayarit region, Puerto Vallarta (home to seven courses) and Punta Mita (where two Jack Nicklaus courses overlook the Pacific) form a strong duo farther south on the mainland. Mexico’s golf rarely disappoints.