"Imagine playing golf where the Mayans played ball more than 2000 years ago." This is a quote from the Jack Nicklaus Designs Golf Website. I think it's kind of funny. I have never imagined the Mayans GOLFING exactly. Nor do I imagine golfers contemplating archaeological ruins. Imagine what you will, it is still a beautiful restoration of a Mayan site.
In May, 2008, the Jaguar Golf Course was opened in the area around the ruins of Dzibilchaltún. I had never heard of it until our friend Mikey showed us in December 2009. Last weekend my brother Jay, an avid golfer, was visiting us so we included a drive-by of the new course in Friday's tour. It isn't easy getting into the gate, but my brother looks like a golfer and was wearing a PGA cap, so we got the first class treatment. One of the caddies drove us around the course in a golf cart, pointing out ruined Mayan temples as well as reciting all of the course's golfing data. Since I don't golf, it is Greek to me....but for those of you who do golf, this par 72 campo de golf is one of Jack Nicklaus' signature courses. The 7282 yard masterpiece has a unique layout including five restored authentic Mayan ruins, 5 par five holes, 8 par fours, and 5 par threes. My brother and Cherie, his wife, read the stats on the course and both felt they could accommodate their skill levels at the Jaguar. Although they didn't indulge in a day of golf on this trip, I imagine next time they will. They were very impressed with everything about Jack Nicklaus' Signature Jaguar Golf Course at the Yucatán Country Club.
The website states Mérida has been overlooked as a tourist or retirement destination because of the lack of great golf. I have my doubts about that, since the people I know who have retired to this area don't have the bucks to play USD$200 rounds of golf every day. Then again I have never hung out with the golfing set, other than caddying for my brother once when I was in high school. Back to this golf course....the grounds are beautiful. 720 acres of plush green carpet. Hidden deep inside is a pro shop, a restaurant/bar, big gymnastic complex, four giant swimming pools: babies, little kids, Olympic, and Indoor Olympic. Photos below.
Jaguar Golf Club is hyped as "soon to be home to one of the most important PGA Championships" and it plans to offer Mexico's first "Active Adult Community". There is a lot of land attached for future upscale housing developments, but for now it is still dry jungle scrub with an emerald green 18 hole gem smack in its center.
Pro Shop and 19th Hole.
The indoor pool.
The adult outdoor pool.
Clubhouse, restaurant, gymnasium etc.