Nicklaus Design and the Golden Bear (Oso Dorado) reign atop Mexico survey

Nicklaus Design continues its dominance of the golf scene in Mexico, sweeping every category in BEST’s Top 30 Golf in Mexico Awards for 2009, including the Top Private and Resort courses, the Top New Private and Resort courses, and the country’s Top Architect in Jack Nicklaus. The magazine released its fifth annual survey this week and this is the fourth year they have named Mexico’s Top Architect. The Golden Bear has been honored with the No. 1 spot in every survey.

The Jaguar Course at Yucatan Country Club in Merida was named the Top New Private course in Mexico and the Bahia Course—the second Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course at Punta Mita—was the Top New Resort golf course.

The Los Cabos market, which Nicklaus breathed golf life into just over 15 years ago, owns the ranking’s top two spots with the Ocean Course at Cabo del Sol continuing its unseated run as the No. 1 Resort course and El Dorado Golf Club again taking the Top Private club. Palmilla and Punta Mita-Pacifico finished Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, in the Resort category.

Jaguar at Yucatan Country Club led a trio of Nicklaus Design courses in the Top New Private category, followed by El Rio Country Club in Guadalajara and Bosque Real in Mexico City. Nicklaus also swept the Top New Resort list, with Punta Mita-Bahia edging out Puerto Los Cabos and Riviera Cancun.

The world-ranked Ocean Course at Cabo del Sol also took the honors for the Top Par 3 (No. 17), Par 4 (No. 18) and Par 5 (No. 12). Punta Mita-Pacifico’s ocean-island par-3 third hole finished runner-up in that category.

Nicklaus Design has artfully married quality with quantity in Mexico. Not only do the firm’s 22 courses represent 10 percent of all the golf in the country, but all 22 Nicklaus Design courses made the magazine’s ranking. Eleven of the top 24 Resort courses were Nicklaus Design.

“We have been fortunate to design some wonderful golf courses in Mexico, and one of the chief reasons for that is that it’s such a beautiful country, with lots of ruggedness but also lots of softness,” said Nicklaus, whose firm has two more courses under construction in Mexico and another 10 under design. “And just as important, we’ve formed a lot of close relationships down there that have grown over the years and will only continue to strengthen in the coming years. I really couldn’t be happier with the way things have panned out in Mexico.”

For the complete 2009 survey, you can check out the online Golf Guide to Mexico at (select FULL SCREEN view). Yucatan Country Club garnered the magazine’s cover and there is a feature on the Golden Bear (“Mexico’s Oso Dorado”) on Page 72.

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