How this premier golf destination in Mexico is improving

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This article was produced in partnership with Punta Mita.

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The best thing about one of the world’s most famous 19th holes is that you don’t have to play 18 holes to enjoy it.

In Pacifico – in Punta Mita, near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – the bonus hole is a must-have option that comes early in the routing; technically it is hole 3B, but it is better known under the name of “Tail of the Whale” thanks to its singular setting. The iconic par-3 offers a shot over the water (194 meters from the tips) to the only natural island green in the world. A word of advice: take an extra club because the green, accessible by golf cart only at low tide, is deeper than it looks from the tee.

Take an extra club!

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The spectacular hole on the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course is just one of many oceanfront highlights on Punta Mita’s beautiful Pacifico Course, a 1,500-acre resort and residential community located on a private peninsula surrounded by 15 km of beaches and lush tropical flora. (Nicklaus Design is a subsidiary of GOLF.com’s parent company, 8AM Golf.)

The track, which opened in 1999 and is accompanied by another Nicklaus Signature course called Bahia, is currently the subject of a restoration project that will be unveiled from December 2 to 5 at the 10th annual Punta Mita Gourmet event. & Golf. The work, which began last April and is overseen by Jim Lipe, former partner at Nicklaus Design, includes new TifEagle grass greens, new environments with Trinity Zoysia grass, and improved bunkers and tees.

“We’re not just reshaping and reimagining the green surfaces, including percentage of inclines, dropouts, and new pin locations, but also different ways of playing on greens where you have stops and different ways. to reach a pin that’s behind a bunker, ”Lipe said. “The speed of the greens will be a little faster and they will have a lot more character. I think it’s going to be a lot more fun.

The greens and bunkering of the new look at Pacfico make a test more intriguing.

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Lipe’s team is also reinventing the bunker complexes to better align with the overall strategy of the course.

“I think people will really like the bold look that we are offering,” he said. “It will be a whole new golf course and a new experience.”

Similar renovations are planned for next year on the 7,035-meter par 72 Bahia course, which opened in 2009. Nicklaus has incorporated a greater challenge into it, largely due to the more undulating greens that will be toned down a bit, Lipe said. . Bahia also offers panoramic views of Bahía de Banderas, as well as several lakes and bodies of water.

The Bahia course will undergo renovations in 2022.

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The unveiling of the Pacifico Course will be a perfect match with the Punta Mita Gourmet & Golf, which over the past decade has grown into one of Mexico’s premier lifestyle events for golfers and non-golfers alike.

“What makes this event so special is how immersive our experiences are,” said Carl Emberson, Marketing and Operations Manager at Punta Mita. “The emphasis is also on local and international cuisine, wines and spirits. We prioritize new and returning guest chefs and host chefs from around the world to celebrate their exquisite menus and dishes. Plus, guests will get a taste of various settings in our exclusive enclave with experiences at the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, laid-back beachfront activations, and more. The agenda is filled with four days of foodie journeys from cooking classes, various golf offerings, and even boat trips to whale watching.

Suitable for one of the country’s premier golfing destinations, Punta Mita has Mexico’s top two golfers as official ambassadors. In addition to LPGA player Gaby Lopez, world number 12 Abraham Ancer recently joined the group, deepening a rich tradition of past relationships with Johnny Miller, Lorena Ochoa, Corey Pavin, Craig Stadler and Dave Stockton. Ancer’s sponsorship includes VIP access for Club Punta Mita members to the PGA Tour events they participate in, the introduction of Flecha Azul Tequila (co-founded by Ancer) throughout the peninsula and a golf clinic that it will host in Punta Mita.

The Punta Mita seafront is attractive both by day…

Punta Mita (both)

… And at night.

Focusing your game is another reason to visit the resort, thanks to a series of guest professional instructors who will be staying at the Punta Mita Golf Academy during the coming season. Guest instructors include two-time European Tour winner Jean van de Velde and putting gurus Marius Filmalter and Dave Stockton, Jr.

To play the Punta Mita courses, you must be a guest of a member or stay at one of the two on-site resorts or residences, or rent one of the more than 450 Punta Mita homes. The Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita has 177 ocean-view suites and casitas, pools and lazy river, family-friendly programming, an energetic new bar, and restaurant in Dos Catrinas. The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, the first of its kind in Latin America, offers 89 spacious rooms and 31 luxury suites, the Remède Spa, three infinity pools and the Mita Mary Boat Bar & Bistro directly in the sand and by the sea. the water. Other dining options include Carolina (the only AAA Five Diamond Award dining experience in Punta de Mita), Las Marietas Restaurant & Bar, and the Sea Breeze Restaurant & Bar.

Real estate opportunities in Punta Mita span 18 residential communities, with house prices ranging from $ 1.35 million to $ 16 million. But for those looking for shorter term stays, Punta Mita Rentals was also recently launched to meet the needs of multigenerational families, groups, and couples. More than 60 new luxury rentals are designed to be an oceanfront home away from home for guests and range from two to three bedrooms to spacious five to eight bedroom villas with private beach access.

A 24/7 concierge service provides tenants with resort-level hospitality services, from the arrival experience to the planning of itineraries. Among the many water activities available is the new El Surf Club, where guests can enjoy surf rental and instruction from a local surfer, drinks from expert mixologists, a barefoot vibe and cuisine. Coastal Mexican Chef Sergio Chávez.

Accommodation at the property offers captivating views.

Mita Point

“While we are recognized as a world-class golf community, we also offer a wide range of amenities ranging from wellness programs, tennis, world-class surfing, farm-to-table cuisine, private beach clubs with distinct culinary concepts and creative kids’ programs and more, “says Emberson.” Our resort and gated residential enclave is a private and safe sanctuary. Here there is a strong sense of community grown to through events and programming. Our guests, members and owners come together in all facets of life and lifelong friendships are formed. Punta Mita has mastered the art of accommodating the desires and preferences of all inside from our doors.

For Lipe, the Punta Mita course renovation project comes full circle. While the course was being built, he and the construction crew ate their meals in a small house on the beach. The view outside included the island that would eventually become the “tail of the whale”.

“One day the tide was low, so I went over there to see what the space looked like,” he recalls. “I thought we had the opportunity to build one of the most unique golf holes, and Jack thought it was a great idea. Above all, he seeks to find opportunities to do different things. He totally agreed.

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