Tail of the Whale

Punta Mita’s Pacifico course is a must for golfers By: Kenneth Shapiro
The Tail of the Whale is the third hole on Punta Mita’s Pacifico course. // © 2012 Punta Mita Club de Golf
The Tail of the Whale is the third hole on Punta Mita’s Pacifico course. // © 2012 Punta Mita Club de Golf

The Details

Punta Mita Golf Club
www.puntamita.com

St. Regis Punta Mita
www.starwoodhotels.com/stregis

Golfers have their own glamour shots — photos of fantastic holes on golf courses in amazing locales that you can’t wait to experience for yourself. The third hole of the Pacifico course, in Punta Mita, Mexico, is one such hole. It’s called The Tail of the Whale, and the tee box sits on the mainland while the green is on a small natural island offshore, forcing an over-the-surf shot. It’s one of those spots that make for great bragging rights.

In fact, many of the holes at the resort course at Punta Mita — located about 45 minutes by car north of Puerto Vallarta — have stunning ocean views. Eight of the Pacifico’s 18 holes are ocean-facing. In particular, the 18th hole has a large stretch of beach running all along the right side of the fairway, and players might find that the vistas overshadow the golf. Tell your clients to make sure their cameras are charged and ready to go.

There are two Jack Nicklaus Signature courses at Punta Mita resort, the Pacifico and the Bahia courses. The Pacifico plays 7,014 yards from the back tees, while Bahia plays 7,035 yards. The greens are trickier on the Bahia course, making putting more of a challenge. Other facilities and amenities include a pro shop, a clubhouse, a driving range and a putting green. Golf instruction and club rental is available as well.

The resort at Punta Mita features two luxury properties — the St. Regis and Four Seasons. On a recent visit, I stayed at the St. Regis, which impressed me with its sophistication and quiet ambience. The coastline here feels deserted, wild and natural, making long walks on the beach a pure joy. The resort feels like it’s a world away from the hustle and bustle of Puerto Vallarta. And the hotel staff was exceptional at giving the guests their space, while being on the spot when they were needed.

Guestrooms combine a touch of rustic Provence with Mexican art and handcrafted items, as well as all-natural elements, such as river stone, marble, onyx, wood and clay. Guestrooms come with spacious terraces and a private outdoor shower. Rooms feature all the latest technology and amenities, and a large walk-in closet. All guests can utilize the St. Regis Butler Service as well as 24-hour private dining.

The resort features three pools with ocean views, including a two-level family pool, an infinity-edge beach club pool and a two-level, infinity-edge adult pool. My favorite of the five onsite restaurants was Sea Breeze, featuring Mediterranean cuisine, but Carolina, the resort’s signature fine-dining restaurant, is outstanding as well.

The St. Regis also offers the Remede Spa. The 10,000-square-foot spa features a sauna, a steam room, a fitness center, a salon, a Jacuzzi, cold plunge pools and relaxation gardens, as well as indoor and outdoor treatment options.

Between the spa and the oceanfront Jacuzzis, the apres golf scene at the St. Regis is almost as good as the on-course action — almost. After all, it would be hard to beat the drama of The Tail of the Whale or the rugged beauty along this stunning stretch of the Mexico coastline.

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