Today I played the Four Seasons Punta Mita Golf Club on the Riviera Nayarit where there are two Jack Nicklaus Signature courses. In June 2008, Pacifico was named the number one golf course in the world by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler. Pacifico boasts19 fairways and the world’s only natural island green. To play this signature Tail of the Whale third hole you must carry your drive about 180 yards across the Pacific Ocean. In low tide, if you haven’t made an offering to Neptune, walk over a rocky ocean-floor pathway to putt. Less adventuresome swingers can opt to play the alternate landlocked 3A.
The Jack Nicklaus Signature design takes full advantage of vistas of the surrounding Sierra Madre Mountains, white coral sand beaches and a tropical landscape of palms and bougainvillea.
Jack’s new Bahia Course may be less of an oceanside beauty queen but the severely contoured greens will challenge your putting acumen. On the number one par-four, I was on in two. Or so I thought until my ball rolled off the turtle-back green. My next chip also rolled back down the hill. The grand finale fairways 17 and 18 take golfers within steps of Punta Mita’s famed El Faro surfing beach.
Both of these tracts are in such impeccable condition, you’d swear they trim the fairways with manicure scissors and sift the sand. And just when you’re feeling a bit parched, cart gals arrive with lemon-scented iced towels, Evian spritzes and delicious guacamole with tortilla chips. I got the impression they’d tie my shoes and hit the ball if I asked. If only they could help me to hit that island green.