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Puerto Vallarta Golf


BlkNGld

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Looking at spending some time at a resort in Puerto Vallarta. I'd like to play the Nicklaus and Weiskopf courses at Villa Vallarta that I'm told are about a 20 minute ride away.

 

Anyone play those courses?

 

As best as I can tell, I'll be going to the course and back as a single. I'm guessing the resort will set me up with a cab ride to the course, but is there anything I should be concerned about traveling alone and speaking essentially no Spanish?

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Was just there in March 2009 and heading back this March. Get ready for a length post.

Both the Vista Vallarta Courses are worth the trip out. It's not a bad drive out there in a cab. Every cabbie there knows all of the golfing spots and they can drive you out there no problem. There will also be various cabs that will come pick you up and bring you back to your resort. A couple quick pointers if you haven't been down there before. Trade in your Dollars for Peso's at your resort. You will get a much better exchange rate. I got 13.5 to 1 at my resort and the locals (including cabbies) try to only give you 10 to 1. Doesn't sound like much, but it adds up quick. Also, have the bell hop guy at your resort give you the price before you get in the cab. Don't wait and ask when you get to your destination as they will try to up the amount. Always agree to a price before you start driving. Don't be afraid to be firm if the guy bringing you back tries to up price on you! I had nothing but good experiences with them though.

I also played the Marina Vallarta course down there. Completely not worth it. The website shows awesome views and it was nothing like that. Tons of houses and trees blocking all views. Some gators, which was cool, but not much else to look at. The course was also pretty straight forward. Except for the heat you couldn't even tell you were in Mexico vs Florida or something. Just not worth it in my opinion.

When I head down this March, I will be playing El Tigre and possibly another course to the north of PV. I would go back to the Vista Vallarta courses, but we are staying too far North and I don't want an hour+ cab ride.

Try to hook up with some guys from your resort that might be carrying clubs around. I played 2 rounds with some cool Canadians and it made the rounds more fun because they were friendly...and boy could they drink!

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

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Flaun

Thanks for the tips.

Do you recommend arranging the return through the resort and at the time you leave? My wife is worried about some of the stuff she's read in the papers about safety so I want to make sure she's not too worried.

Did you make your tee times in advance, or when you got there?

I'd read elsewhere the marina course is right across the street, is that right?

I definitely want to play the Weiskopf and Nicklaus courses, but thought that I might head over there for a quick warmup round or range session. Maybe to take my daughter to as she's just starting out.

Guess that makes me ask, do any of these courses have any sort of warm up or practice facility.

Are any of these walkable or are carts mandatory?

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[quote name='golf_fanatik' date='21 January 2010 - 04:51 PM' timestamp='1264121511' post='2196025']
How much were the green fees at both places?
[/quote]

Think the rates are posted on their web sites. We are doing an all included package, and the VV course greens fees are included but not the (no doubt mandatory) 46 dollar cart fee.

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I went to Puerto Vallarta in September of 2008. The Nickalus Vista Vallarta course is great. Well manicured, some good views with the distant ocean in the background, elevation changes, forced carry over jungle, and nice range to warm up on. In the "rainy season" the course was deserted. I played a few holes twice, I was so alone on the course. Staff was friendly. A beer and a sandwich weren't too bad (price-wise or quality). I was suprised by the green fee, it was still pretty expensive, even in the off-season with an empty course, but it was worth it. With travel it might make sense to play both courses in one day, but I was in the same spot you are, a non-golfing spouse, so I just did the one round.

The Marina course is a waste of time and money in my opinion. A flat, boring course, surrounded by 30 year old condos. I only saw the front nine as the back nine was mostly closed (the back 9 is where the "ocean holes" are, supposedly). I don't believe the Marina course has a driving range. If you're looking to take a beginning golfer, it might be a good spot, but their regular rates (I paid a discount - $50 I think - because of the closed holes) are pretty exbortiant compared to what they have to offer. I woudn't pay the $50 again and I definitly wouldn't pay the $90 that was their "regular" rate.

... on another note, several companies offer jungle canopy "zip line" tours. We did one on the site where they filmed the Schwarzeneggar movie "Predator". It was, surprisingly, pretty fun. Don't plan on eating at the restaurant, though, its crazy expensive for basically an "outdoor shack". It's pretty far from the North end of Puerto Vallarta (we were at the Marriot close to the Marina golf course). We took a cab into down town (maybe 20 mins) , then got on a big truck with benches in the back to drive out to the "zip line" spot (15 or 20 mins of highway and 15 to 20 mins of driving up one of the mountains).

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[quote name='BlkNGld' date='22 January 2010 - 10:04 AM' timestamp='1264183491' post='2197093']
Flaun

Thanks for the tips.

Do you recommend arranging the return through the resort and at the time you leave? My wife is worried about some of the stuff she's read in the papers about safety so I want to make sure she's not too worried.

Did you make your tee times in advance, or when you got there?

I'd read elsewhere the marina course is right across the street, is that right?

I definitely want to play the Weiskopf and Nicklaus courses, but thought that I might head over there for a quick warmup round or range session. Maybe to take my daughter to as she's just starting out.

Guess that makes me ask, do any of these courses have any sort of warm up or practice facility.

Are any of these walkable or are carts mandatory?
[/quote]

Don't worry much about the safety. We thought the same thing, then as we were driving out of the airport we saw about 150+ military personel with assault rifles, and truck mounted gatlin guns. Then those same groups drive up and down the streets of town. It's basically their police force. We did not feel in danger once, even when walking through downtown late at night. But we kept to very busy areas and did not go off the beaten path.

Don't worry about the return trips. Just tell the clubhouse people that you need a ride back to town when you are done and they will get you a cab within 10-15 minutes.

Yes, the Marina course is right in the middle of the Resort area on the extreme north end of town. As a reminder, there are no ocean view holes. There is 1 par 3 that runs along the beach, but they had to build a 5 foot wall to keep locals from bothering players, so you could not see the beach. Guess what, there were still 3 guys there bugging me to buy old golf balls.

I am pretty sure that there is a little driving range at Marina. Should be just fine for your daughter to hit some balls.

I would not advise walking (which I normally do at home). The carts are included in the price and they will not give you a discount for not using a cart. With how little play these courses get, they rely too heavily on the cart portion of the income. Also, the heat and humidity can drain you pretty quickly. Plus the Vista Courses are very hilly.

Made the tee-times when I got there. I would actually not worry about it too much as I bet you could get out on any course as a walk on within 30 minutes (enough time to warm up).

Get ready to deal with a little deception here and there. Some guys I was playing with bought 6 beers before the round. They only had American Dollars. The girl tried to convince them that it was going to be $30 for some cheap cans! When they laughed and walked away, she told them to come back and said it was really $15. Just an FYI to make sure you are paying the right amount. Some people also tried to give me way less change back since it was in Pesos.

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  • 1 year later...

Hi
I just returned from 10 days, staying at the Grand Mayan resort. The on grounds golf course is being redone, but there are now 15 holes operating. The old 1st and 18th have been torn up and made into a lake (!). We had to start on the 2nd and then skip the 8th (rework) and the 9th is new, where the old 18th tee boxes used to be. Then you proceed to the new Kicklaus back nine, which opened last fall. The new 16, 17 and 18th holes are being done as I write this and should be opened by the spring, along with a new, huge clubhouse.
So to play 18, you go around the back nine three more holes and you're done. It was excellent. Long, wide and fast fairways. My ball would roll an additional 100 yds due to it being almost rock hard. Very difficult to hit an iron from the fairway, almost impossible to take a divot as the ground was so hard. The bunkers were all hard packed dirt, no sand delivery yet, so they were really tough to hit out of. But it was alot of fun, and the resort gave us $50 rounds, so it was definately worth it. Played it 5 times.

Another day, we taxied out to Vista Vallarta club. Got resort vouchers again, so we paid $100 a round. The Nicklaus course was spectacular! Rolling hills fast greens, very challenging, and knock-out beautiful cart girls!!!! It was hot (85*) and I had a few to many Modelos and Margahritas so it was kind of a blur. But I did manage 9 pars!!

Overall, I had a very positive time and would highly recomend these courses.

On another note, when we left, the airport security tore my golf bag completely apart - looking for what? - and left my luggage untouched. Funny.

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  • 10 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

[quote name='glock20128' timestamp='1326505490' post='4080829']
This is good info as I'm heading to Puerta Vallarta in a few weeks. I'm actually staying in Punta Mita...has anyone played the Four Seasons Golf Courses Pacifico and Bahia? They look really nice, but I don't want to overpay if I can find great golf elsewhere. Thanks for any help/comments.
[/quote]

Great value course just up the road north of Punta Mita - Campo de Golf Litibu . I played there over Christmas and the Greg Norman designed course was deserted. Showed up from PV (a 20 to 30 minute cab ride) and had no issues getting on. Green fees of 800 pesos ($65-$70) including cart was best value for money in the whole greater PV area. Punta Mita courses are pretty good, but green fees in the $200 range are too pricey for me. Litibu course was <5 minutes north of entrance to Punta Mita development. The course held a Canadian Tour event in the spring of 2011. Course was in good shape, had a nice routing other than the quirky drive from 18 green back to the clubhouse. I will return next time I go to PV.


Gerald

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  • 2 months later...

I played the Marina course today, April 30, 2012 at 1pm which is the start of twilight for $79 USD. This was a tee time made through the Westin where we are staying so we had %20 off the posted rates. I thought it was a decent course. Equivilent to many of the higher end Muni's I play back east. I wouldn't call it Resort Golf, because it just didn't have that feel, but for half the price of the other courses it was a great warm up. Did see about 4 crocodiles, 2 were at least 8 foot! And the hole along the water #13 I had nobody approach me and it was a great view from the green. Good course, not great, would definatley play again if in the area.
Mike

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