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Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco): Golf

Rocky Point Golf is becoming ever more popular with beautiful sand dune courses

Many of our visitors are asking about golf in Penasco (Rocky Point).  We receive many e-mails daily requesting details on available golf courses, pricing, group discounts, ect... We are trying to provide you with the most up to date information.  Below you will find a bit of history about a few of the existing golf courses in town.
 
One of the most popular golf courses in Rocky Point is The Links at Las Palomas....This golf course has its own story for our visitors to enjoy, please read along:
 
The Links at Las Palomas Story (source The Links - Story)
 
Golf, it is said, began among the dunes. On the remote shores of Scotland, where sandy lowland meets the sea, the traditions and challenges of great golf courses have remained virtually unchanged for the past 600 years. Here golfers enjoy the “links.” Often the term “links” is universally applied to golf, but it is an inappropriate label for most courses, for only on true linksland can one experience the game as it was originally played. Only through sand dunes located along the sea can golfers relive this ancient game in all its glory. It is here — across unique landforms created by the wind and the tides — the true spirit of golf unfolds. Only here, on an authentic links course, can the hearts of golfers be captured forever.
 
So where does one go for such spirit? Does the modern golfer have to travel afar to the British Isles? Must our quest for “golf as it was meant to be” include long-distance travel?
Introducing The Links at Las Palomas — a true links golf experience on the dunes above the Sea of Cortez. This remarkable golf course is located in Puerto Peñasco, just a few hours south of Phoenix, Arizona and Southern California.
 
The story of The Links at Las Palomas began with passion. Golf course architects Forrest Richardson and Arthur Jack Snyder spent endless hours studying the land at Las Palomas. Their objective: find the perfect land for an 18-hole course. In the end, their design included 19-holes — an extra “bonus hole” was “too perfect” not to be built. As the course came to life, shaping and details were brought to the surface. While it appeared they were “creating” a golf course, both men admitted that their role was just as much about “finding” a golf course. For on true linksland, golf goes where it is interesting and adventurous. Fairways become one with the landscape. Greens are nestled into pockets. Holes blend into the surrounds. Golf and land become intertwined.
For Richardson, creator of celebrated courses throughout the west, the course would eventually become symbolic of his long association with Snyder. Sadly, Snyder passed away in 2005, just as the first turf was being established at the course. Although Jack Snyder got to see some of his vision come to life, it was up to Richardson to put the finishing touches on the work. Richardson became a temporary resident in Peñasco, working alongside his trusted shapers, sculpting the course from the natural terrain.
 
Your journey at The Links at Las Palomas begins from atop a ridge. In the distance are a sprinkling of sand dunes and tranquil lagoons. From here the course meanders back into the dunes on two more occasions. Periodically, the Sonoran Desert gives way to views of the Sea of Cortez. You are faced with towering mounds of sand. “Blow-outs” as they are called. These are great dunes carved by the wind and held in place by native plants. The wise golfer learns to respect these hazards. “Bunkers turned inside-out”, some will say — no place be unless you are up for the adventure.
 
At Las Palomas the golfer will do well to consider a cardinal rule of links golf — the game is often played on the ground. There can often be just as much break on the fairways as one may find on the large and undulating greens. Besides, we have another foe wherever the land meets the sea — the wind. And where great golf is played, the wind is like another opponent. Its presence can be a blessing…or a curse. The smart player does not always hit the ball high and far. When the wind comes along, and it almost always does, golfers learn to play creative shots — occasionally low, sometimes curving, but always with dead aim.
 
The Links at Las Palomas is one of the first courses ever planted with a new variety of grass called Sea Dwaft Paspalum. Known for its perfect carpet-like appearance, Paspalum originated in South Africa along natural shorelines and marshes. It creates fast fairways and slick putting surfaces, two qualities that go hand-in-hand to create a true links experience. The lure of any golf course should be how often the golfer wants to return. A great course must be played time and time again to be conquered. The Links at Las Palomas draws every golfer into this challenge, mystifying and rewarding players of all skill levels with each new round. The course can be attacked from the very back tees — at nearly 7,000-yards — or from members tee markers, club tees or forward tees. This special course provides members and guests a layout they will never tire of playing.
 
There are other golf courses besides The Links in Rocky Point.  We are investigating details about the Mayan Palace Golf Course which supposedly have been functional for a while (it is called the Mayan Palace Golf and Tennis Club).  Casa Blanca also offers golfing experience and we will have more information on this golf course shortly.
 
The information below is no longer up to date but we have chosen to leave it on for our readers to see how everything once began (Update was done May1st, 2008)

Updated 06/25/2013:

Mayan Palace Golf Course
Mayan Palace Golf Course isn’t your average golf course. It is a luxury golf course known as a Nicklaus Legacy course, which means Jack Nicklaus and Jack Nicklaus II co designed this course. It is one of the longer and more challenging courses you will play and it is 7,210 yards, 18 holes, and a par 72 course.  This golf course was built on a two-mile peninsula and is entirely surrounded by water. To one side of the golf course you find an estuary, on the other side you’ll find the Sea of Cortez and to the south there is an inlet. Not only do you get to golf one of the best golf courses in the world, but the nature and beautiful land that surrounds the golf course is another part of this experience! You will be golfing with the ocean right next to you throughout nine of the holes on this course and it will go above and beyond any expectations you may have!
Hole #3 is the Nicklaus signature hole of this course. This may one of the most challenging holes on the course, but as you work your way down the fairway you will be granted some visual surprises

Laguna Del Mar Golf Course
Laguna Del Mar Golf Course is another golf course in Rocky Point that is a Jack Nicklaus signature course. The design and layout of all the holes are gorgeous, not to mention the salt water lagoons and beautiful scenery that surround the course. While you are playing 18 holes on this course you will have wonderful views of the surrounding landscape, which includes the “Cerro Prieto” mountain and the marvelous Sea of Cortez. Playing golf so close to the ocean provides for a much different experience and we definitely recommend doing it if you haven’t before. Laguna Del Mar Course is not one of the easier courses you will play in your day, but the holes are designed for the players to be able to have a fun and positive experience on the course. If you are ever in need of any beverages, the temporary club house has a beverage service on both the course and the terrace. There is also a small golf shop that can provide you with any basic golf essentials you may need.
 

People have been clamoring for years to get some golf courses up and running in Puerto Penasco. Developers are now busy trying to meet the demand.

As of May 1st, 2006, the Mayan Palace Course is Open!

So, please, for the love of god, stop emailing me. Contact the Mayan Palace instead.

If you think about it, getting a golf course up and running in the Sonoran Desert is a tricky thing - you've got a limited water supply, sandy soil conditions, and the ocean often just yards away - upping the salinity and creating all kinds of neat wind and erosion problems. And then there's temperature ...

On the other hand, golfing next to a nice Mexican beach with a slight sea breeze .. count me in.

If you have more information or questions, please feel free to drop me a line. Many places are/were behind schedule, as you can see from the notes below ...  

  • Laguna Del Mar - http://www.lagunadelmar.com/ - Toll Free: 877-536-4636 (Rocky Point: 383-0031) is apparently not yet open for business. Rockypointdirectory.com has some photos of the course available here but the last I heard (05.2005) there isn't a solid target completion date. At this point, I'm not sure what is going to happen with the LGM project in general. See also the mention in Luxury Living (PDF)
  • Mayan Palace - http://www.mayanpalace.com/penasco/ - Designers: Jack Nicklaus & Jack Nicklaus Jr. - 18 hole, par 72 - club house, pro-shop, restaurant and bar, driving range.

    Updated May 1st, 2006 - THE MAYAN PALACE GOLF COURSE IS OPEN, they have 9 holes ready to go. It's about $55 for a reservation and no, you don't have to be a current MP guest in order to play. From the US, dial 011 52 (638) 383-0400, hit '1' for 'English', and then '1' again for the front desk. Their rates per round - as reported 01/2007, thanks Neal :) - are:
    $100 – Visitor
    $80 - Resort Guest
    $50 – Twilight rate (after 1:00pm)

    Updated 06/25/2007 - Neal writes in with a quick review of the Mayan Palace course (Thanks Neal!):

    I played Mayan Palace again a few weeks ago – finally getting around to giving you the details.

    Prices: Hotel guests - $100, Non-Hotel guests - $199, Twilight rate - $119 (after 2:00pm) Prices will be lowered shortly (hot season)

    They have a nice snack bar & pro shop, and there is now a beverage cart.

    You can see the ocean from #’s 3, 4, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 17, & 18. #6 is their signature hole, and it overlooks the estuary.

    Jack Nicklaus Jr. is building a 2nd course, and Greg Norman is building a 3rd course on their property. Norman was in Rocky Point a few months ago.

    The course is FANTASTIC – worth the money.


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