Golf on Baja’s Gold Coast offers magnificent vistas, geographic challenges and lots of opportunities to par, birdie or even….
By David Quiroz
EDITOR’S NOTE: Bajamar is offering a 2012 holiday special for first-time Bajamar golfers. With a paid first round, the second round is 20% off for Baja.com readers (offer not valid on Saturdays or holidays). Ask for golf pro David Quiroz.
Golf on Baja’s Gold Coast is spectacular. I just learned that fact: I am a relative newcomer to this part of Baja (having moved here from the Cabo area earlier in 2012). It all began in 1976, when architect Percy Clifford designed the first and most challenging nine holes (called the Vista course) of what are now 27 holes at Bajamar Oceanfront Resort, at kilometer 77.5 (just south of La Salina) on the toll road.
That was 36 years ago — and the wind still brushes down the hillsides and ripples the pond waters, and far out on the ocean, whales spout and dolphins play. In 1991 Bajamar opened the Lagos Golf Course. Lagos is situated on the eastern side of the property, furthest away from the Pacific Ocean. The residential style course, Lagos course begins with a straightforward Par 5 that will test your accuracy skills on your approach shot into the sand bunker guarded green. Bajamar’s Ocean golf course, which opened in 1994 with the help of architect Robert Von Hagge, is the final puzzle piece of the 27-holes of ocean front golf resort. The most played of the 3 nines, Ocean has been quoted as “The Pebble Beach of Mexico.” With 4 golf holes nestled above the Pacific Ocean, you better have your camera ready because your friends wont believe it if you just tell them about it.
For me, holes #1-4 of Vista play down-wind, making it a very short and enjoyable scoring opportunity, and then, standing on the tee box of #5, you feel the winds coming from the north…winds that will play directly into you for the next three holes! (So, keep in mind that club selection can be as much as two to three golf clubs longer than normal.) Hole #8 is a tough 3-par that plays into a cross wind that makes club selection crucial. Being short is ok but go long and you’ll be playing your next shot from a sand bunker. Hole #9 has got to be one of the toughest golf holes I have ever played. You must hit the fairway off the tee on this dog-leg left monster, which will make your approach into the green on your second shot much easier. My favorite of these 9 holes has to be the short yet scenic #3. The first of the 3-pars on this 9, at only 170 yards from the back tees, has the most amazing view I have ever seen. (It is also where I had my first Hole-In-One this last August.) I highly recommend saving some space on your camera memory card for this great picture opportunity.
Lagos is a residential style-course, beginning with a straightforward Par 5 that tests accuracy skills on the approach shot into the sand bunker-guarded green. My favorite hole on this David Fleming design is by far the 547-yard 5-par #4. The elevated tee makes you feel like you’re on top of the world when you’re teeing off (that’s part of the beauty of playing golf on Baja’s Gold Coast). Lagos, which means lakes in Spanish, is exactly what this golf course offers you as you begin with lakes on the left of the #1 tee and finish with a lake on the tough 3-par #9.
Bajamar’s Ocean Golf Course has four golf holes nestled above the Pacific Ocean. Surprisingly, this is the course to play on a windy day, when north winds help you on the last four holes, giving you some extra distance. The signature hole #5 is a long 3-par measuring 185 yards, where you have to hit over the water and lava rocks that protect this large green. With the right golf club, a par is great and a birdie is even better.
Golf on Baja’s Gold Coast: When I became the Bajamar golf pro, I knew this was a special place. I didn’t know that every time I played this course, I would find something new and challenging and interesting (not to mention a few roadrunners, bobcats, redtail hawks and heron who visit us sometimes) that would keep me coming back. It is not the same as the courses in Mexico, definitely. But playing golf here, only an hour from the US border, has its own sets of challenges and rewards that I wouldn’t trade!
David Quiroz is the golf professional at Bajamar Oceanfront Resort.
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