Charles “Chuck” Kinder, CTC, the Laguna Beach, Calif.-based
publisher of the “Golf Guide to Mexico” and “Golf Guide to Los
Cabos” (offered free to travel agents), has his finger on the pulse
of Mexico’s best-known niche product, golf.
“Approximately 5,000 individual U.S. travel agents have some
sort of golf market,” he noted, “whether a little or a lot.”
After 14 years as a Mexico golf product expert, Kinder is
finding that, “surprisingly, Mexico’s golf is going national,” with
groundbreaking going beyond Los Cabos, the Puerto Vallarta area and
the Cancun-Riviera Maya golf courses promoting to the U.S.
“About 30 new golf courses are under contract to be built in
Mexico,” within a few years, said Kinder, adding to the current
165-course inventory. One-third of existing courses are 9-hole,
one-third are resort courses and the remaining courses are
Travel agents selling Mexico can tap into what Kinder described
as “relatively inexpensive golf” for “aging Baby Boomers not as
inclined to sit on a beach as they once were.”
Mexico is the No. 1 foreign destination for U.S. golf
enthusiasts, he noted, because awareness of Mexico’s golf product
is increasing. (The Cabo del Sol course, in Los Cabos, received a
ranking of 68 in Golf Magazine’s “Top 100 Courses in the World”
issue.) Besides, Kinder pointed out, these days “Mexico is seen as
safe, secure and close.”
Kinder estimated that within five to six years, Mexico golf
courses’ real estate, land and home value will represent $6.5
billion of built-out value. And where will clients find those new
Expect the booming Riviera Maya to add six courses within the
next year for a total approaching 20 in Quintana Roo State. Courses
are planned for La Paz in Baja and two 18-hole championship courses
are in the works for Loreto as part of the Mexican government’s
Escalera Nautica (Nautical Stair) plan for upper Baja Peninsula
ports. Puerto Penasco at the north end of the Gulf of Mexico has a
Jack Nicklaus-designed course under way.
There is new course construction in Mexico City and Guadalajara.
The expanding Mexican middle class, Kinder said, is building homes
around non-beach destinations in Mexico’s interior at spots near
San Miguel de Allende, Morelia (Michoacan) and Torreon (210 miles
west of Monterrey). Even Campeche, with virgin beaches waiting to
be discovered on the western side of the Yucatan Peninsula, could
be on the horizon, said Kinder.