Thursday, January 17, 2008
Swinging the Clubs in Cancun
As the number of championship caliber courses in the Cancun area continues to grow, golf will undoubtedly become one of Cancunâ™s most popular activities. With a number of courses already conveniently located in The Hotel Zone â" adjacent to all of Cancunâ™s other activities â" a great round of golf is easy to add to your Cancun itinerary. Most of the courses you will encounter were designed with the environment and natural landscape in mind by some of the worldâ™s finest golf course architects. For the more committed golfing traveler, several excellent courses are located throughout the Riviera Maya, just south of Cancun. Regardless of where you decide to play, you will be treated to some excellent scenery and an unforgettable round of golf. Located in the heart of the Hotel Zone, the Cancun Golf Club at Pok ta Pok is one of the oldest and most renowned courses in the area. Constructed in 1976 by Robert Trent Jones Jr., this Cancun golf treasure makes excellent use of the picturesque shoreline and scattered Mayan ruins. Though the course has hosted numerous prestigious tournaments, this par 72 offers an enjoyable experience to golfers of all skill levels. The site also features top-notch practice facilities and a restaurant with panoramic views of Cancun and the Caribbean Sea. Also in the Hotel Zone, the Hilton Cancun Beach and Golf Resort, an 18-hole championship course amongst abundant wildlife and Mayan ruins, is highlighted by the âœisland teeâ on the majestic 7th hole. Jack Nicklausâ™ signature Cancun golf course is located at The Moon Spa and Golf Club. Composed of three distinct 9-hole courses â" Jungle, Lakes and Dunes â" The Moon Spa and Golf Club is a shining example of the ecological conservation employed in Cancun golf course construction. In addition to the exotic vegetation and animal life surrounding the course, players will be treated to incredible views of the Riviera Maya. Like a few other courses in the area, The Moon Spa and Golf Club features all-inclusive service with complimentary food and drinks, as well as transportation from your Cancun resort. Located 45 minutes south of Cancun is Greg Normanâ™s excellent contribution to Cancun golf, El Camaleon Mayakoba. True to its name, the course features an incredibly distinctive layout amongst a fluctuating landscape of jungles, mangrove, subterranean caves, pristine lagoons and stretches of Caribbean sand. Many players have also been impressed by El Camaleonâ™s GPS-equipped golf carts that not only measure your shots, but also allow you to record your scores electronically and order refreshments. Also south of Cancun is a pair of courses perfect for adventurous golfers, Iberostar Playa Paraiso Golf Club and Playacar Golf Club. Designed by P.B. Dye, Iberostar Playa Paraiso Golf Club features narrow fairways and deep sand traps cut from the vibrant Mayan jungle. The Playacar Golf Club, designed by Robert von Hagge, is surrounded by a number of lakes, while several holes hug the Caribbean shoreline. The first golf course on the island of Cozumel, just southeast of Cancun â" the Cozumel Country Club â" is also one of the most challenging courses ever designed by Jack Nicklaus. Carved from the Mayan jungles and limestone bluffs at the northwestern tip of the island, the course took five years to be constructed. However, the course was designed with the environment in mind, receiving a certification in Environmental Planning from the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary System. Given this growing popularity of golf in Cancun, it is no surprise that several more tournament quality courses are scheduled to open in the near future. The Puerto Cancun Golf Course, designed by Tom Weiskopf, is currently being constructed between The Hotel Zone and downtown Cancun. Though Puerto Cancun wonâ™t be completed until late 2008, the course will add another championship caliber challenge within close reach of Cancunâ™s premier resorts. Scheduled to open in late 2007, The Tournament Players Course (TPC) of Cancun has potential to be one of the finest courses in all of Mexico. Designed by Tom Fazio, one of todayâ™s most celebrated golf course architects, The TPC of Cancun will feature 36 sprawling holes and plenty of unique challenges. Also under construction is much anticipated La Roca Country Club, designed by PGA Tour legend Nick Price. This article was written by Justin Burch. Justin writes select pieces about travel in Mexico for the Casa Magna Cancun Resort .