“Oso Dorado” (The Golden Bear) takes top designer honors again
Best’s Golf Guides to Mexico recently announced its rankings of the top golf experiences south of the border and again Nicklaus Design, often recognized as a pioneer and leader in Mexico’s golf course development, dominated the survey. Nicklaus captured three of the top four spots in the Resort category, led by the Ocean Course at Cabo del Sol, and Jack Nicklaus was once again named the country’s top golf course designer by an overwhelming margin.
This is the third year Best’s Golf Guides to Mexico has released a survey and ranking of the country’s top golf experiences. This is, however, the first year the publication has split the rankings into Private and Resort. The Ocean Course at Cabo del Sol (No. 73 in GOLF Magazine’s World Top 100) had taken the overall No. 1 spot in Mexico in the 2005 and ’06 survey. Nicklaus Design’s first-ever Cabo layout, Palmilla Golf Club and its 27 holes of Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf, took the third spot in Resort, while Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita near Puerto Vallarta came in at No. 4.
Vista Vallarta’s No. 7 ranking gave Nicklaus four of the top seven in the Resort category. Moon Palace (No. 12) and Cozumel Country Club (No. 21) rounded out the Nicklaus Design entries.
Nicklaus Design also made a big splash in the Private category with four courses being named to the top 25. Those courses included Nicklaus Design’s top spot in that category, El Dorado Golf Course in Los Cabos, which in the last year converted from daily fee to private and debuted at No. 2 on the list. It was also named runner-up in Best New Private, just ahead of La Loma in San Luis Potosi.
Other Nicklaus courses to make the Private list were Club de Golf Bosques (Hidalgo) at No. 10, Tres Marias (Morelia) at No. 12, and No. 24 Canadas de Santa Fe (Mexico City).
According to the publisher, Jack was the runaway winner of Mexico’s Top Architect, with Robert von Hagge and Tom Fazio finishing behind him.
The survery also ranked some of Mexico’s top golf holes, and Nicklaus once again dominated. The 17th at Cabo del Sol took honors as the top par 3, followed by the ocean island third hole at Punta Mita. The 18th at Cabo del Sol, which hugs the coastline on its right, was named the best par 4. Cozumel’s No. 13 took third. Cabo del Sol nearly made it a clean sweep, taking third in the best par 5 category with its 12th hole.