By Rich Roberts – Photo Credit Doug Burke
I typically do not write about my golfing experiences as I travel to visit and play this wonderful game. But when I do it is because I visited a very special place and I wanted to share it with you. I recently spent some time on the west coast of Mexico, in an area known as Punta Mita. The beautiful and tranquil small town of Punta de Mita is just a few feet outside of the gates of Punta Mita Resort. The entire area sits perfectly along the west coast of Mexico with the Pacific Ocean as its backdrop.
You will fly into the international airport in Puerto Vallarta, where the Four Seasons or St. Regis van or bus will be waiting to take you on an hour’s drive west to the Punta Mita Resort. Once inside the resort gates you immediately feel removed from any stress or anxiety you built up while traveling. You travel along a scenic private road flanked by tropical landscaping, upwards of 500 neighborhood homes and of course numerous golf holes. Within minutes you arrive at the respective resort lobbies ready to check in, and put whatever it is that you want to leave behind; knowing you are less than 24 hours away from your first tee time.
There are two Jack Nicklaus Signature courses on property to play and enjoy. Both equally challenging and beautiful. The Pacifico Course with the world famous Tail of the Whale island green; the only natural island green in golf. Ocean views are spectacular as is the routing of the course. The second course is the Bahia Course, which is set more inland but still with many stunning holes with ocean vistas for as far as one can see. The 17th in particular hugs the ocean along the entire left side of the hole, from tee to green.
I was able to play both courses and was so happy that I did. Both tested my playing skills and patience…….but anytime I needed a quick dose of encouragement I simply looked at the panoramic views and all was forgotten. Take note that the Tail of the Whale hole can only be played during low tide as the cart path submerges 3 feet into the ocean during normal tide, so plan accordingly if you can. Otherwise you can drive by the tee box and view the green, but you won’t be able to play the hole.
My trip was in late March/early April and the course conditions were excellent. The greens were smooth and rolling at a modest pace; ensuring an enjoyable experience. Many players comment that the green speed is more then one would find at a typical resort course.
There is a golf academy on property if you choose to practice or take instructional lesson(s). Junior play is encouraged and welcome; no special tee times required for the juniors. Rental clubs are available too. All you need to do is find the time to visit this special part of Mexico and experience golf at the highest level, while enjoying your stay at The Punta Mita Resort.