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El Camaleon Mayakoba Golf Course

PLAYA
DEL CARMEN, Mexico — From the very first hole, you get the sense that El Camaleon Golf Club is different than your typical resort course. Off in the distance, unreachable by mortal players on this 554-yard par 5, is a cenote, or sinkhole in the middle of the
fairway. The course builders didn’t know about it until a bulldozer fell through the ground
to expose it.
Instead of trying to fill it, designer Greg Norman left it there, creating an unusual
hazard. As it turns out, these cenotes exist throughout the Fairmont
Mayakoba, exposing an underground river system below. There’s another one in
behind the green of the par-3 second hole, but that’s just the beginning of the
topographical anomalies that set this 7,024-yard golf course apart from other
golf courses.
El Camaleon, which has played host to the PGA Tour’s Mayakoba Golf Classic since
2007, has become a quiet favorite among tour players. The PGA Tour event is
played opposite the WGC-Accenture Match Play in Marana, Ariz., which is open to
the top 64 available players in the world. Instead of taking the week off, many
of those players who don’t make the Accenture are choosing to make their way to
the Yucatan Peninsula, 40 minutes south of Cancun to the Mayakoba Resort. The
fields have been improving every year, not only because of the hospitality and
quality of the resort, but the golf course has impressed as well.
“It’s really been word of mouth,” said Director of Golf Kevin Sebulski.
“Guys play here and tell other guys how good it is, and they want to come.
Really, it’s not so bad to be the 65th-ranked player in the world. They have it
pretty good here.”
El Camaleon is a golf course for all levels
Operated by the Fairmont Mayakoba resort, the golf course is 100 percent paspalum,
providing perfect lies on the fairways and consistent, albeit slower green
speeds than found on most tour courses.
But around those perfect fairways is plenty of trouble, including miles of natural
mangrove forests, which are home to all kinds of natural species of wildlife,
including tropical birds and fish and iguanas everywhere (no, there are no
chameleons). Certified by Audubon International, El Camaleon has lots of holes
that are also bordered by canals that were painstakingly carved through the
limestone during construction of the resort. They reveal crystal clear water
that not only provides water hazards on the golf course, but a waterway between
hotels and the golf course. And two holes, including the signature par-3 15th,
are set against the Caribbean Sea, exposed to the sea breeze, which adds
another element of difficulty.
In short, the golf course is anything but easy for the world’s best players, who
play it as a par 71. It requires accuracy, course management and an excellent
short game. The holes are all memorable, especially the finishing stretch.
Fortunately, there are four sets of tees, playing as little as 5,000 yards from the forward
tees. For the resort player, choosing the right set of tees is paramount
because you’ll want to have a shortish club for approaches to avoid finding the
water hazards, which are present on 80 percent of the holes.
El Camaleon Golf Club: The verdict
El Camaleon Golf Club gets high marks for conditioning, interest and beauty. The
golf course is truly one of Norman’s best designs, offering a variety of holes
with different backdrops. There’s nothing boring about El Camaleon. It forces
you to pay attention, but it’s fair. If you manage your game and have
reasonable control over your shots, you can have success. If you spray it,
however, make sure you’ve got several sleeves of golf balls.
Naturally, practice facilities are also outstanding, including an extensive short-game
area, complete with practice putting greens, practice bunker and pitching
green.
Guests will also enjoy the dining at El Camaleon’s clubhouse, which serves up fresh
pico-de gallo, avocadoes, fresh seafood, burgers and quesadillas.
Mike Bailey,
Senior Staff Writer

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Don’t Worry, The Party Will Be Hotter Than The Golf Course

One of the things you will come to see about south of the border is that a lot of times you will have some heat to deal with. Some of the world’s most popular locations are either tropical, like Mexico Golf or in desert conditions such as popular golf courses in Arizona. Is it possible to enjoy the game in temperatures that could reach 100 degrees? Absolutely, but you do need to know how to prepare so let’s take a look at how that is done.

One good thing about golfing in hot conditions is that it is not too physically intense. Other forms of exercise can quickly raise the body’s temperature to the crucial 104 degrees that causes hyperthermia, but Playa Golf is not likely to cause this. While Playa del Carmen can certainly get warm, the ocean breezes offer a cooling effect that helps to reduce the intensity of the sun’s heat.

As a recent LA Times article on golfing (http://www.latimes.com/sports/golf/la-he-newcooldown4jun04,1,4046414,full.story) showed, keeping hydrated is a very important key to staying cool out there on the course. In Mexico, you will want to take along bottled water which is fortunately very low in cost. One of the good things you can do is buy a little extra. If you find yourself getting warmer than you want to be, simply dump some on yourself. It might sound silly, but it works for other athletes and it can work for you.

Obviously, asking for local advice on what to wear while enjoying playa del carmen golf courses is crucial. Your local concierge or golf instructor can help you and any locals you know could also assist you. Most people will tell you about proper water consumption, too. In fact, the Better Golf with Fitness blog (http://fitnessforbettergolf.typepad.com/better_golf_with_fitness/2006/07/heat_wave_wiesy.html) showed that taking along a little sea salt to pinch in with your water can be a huge help to you, also. The details of how rapidly you consume your water and of what type it is are going to help you make sure you spend all day enjoying your game.

Golfing in and around the Yucatan peninsula at playa golf courses can be a remarkable treat all year around. If you are planning to head down there, though, be sure that you book your stay in advance since this is a very popular part of the Yucatan to play in. Word is starting to spread about just how great this part of Mexico is for golfers who want a low key good time in a gorgeous environment, but you will still most likely have plenty of people that you can socialize with, too. That is always all the more fun.

Planning A Great Golf Vacation To Mexico

If you are thinking about planning a golf vacation to Mexico you are not alone. Mexico is the world’s number two golf destination for U.S. golfers. And Mexico is planning on taking the number one spot away from Hawaii as soon as it can. At the rate we are going it probably won’t be too long before we realize our goal. The country is diverse geographically and there are gorgeous courses located throughout Mexico.

The best time to visit might be before or after the rainy season, which is from June through September. Nevertheless, most of the courses you will encounter are well made and will drain quite well. And since it usually rains in the afternoon you can avoid the heavy downpours by booking morning tee times. Mornings are the best time to golf in Mexico anyway because of the heat. Additionally, if you travel during the low season you can save hundreds in lower hotel rates and greens fees.

The next decision will probably be picking where you want to spend your golf vacation. You will find a wide range of courses across the length and breadth of Cancun and the Riviera Maya. Teed Off Tee Times has several choices of links and the decision can be left to whatever other activities or ambiances you would like to experience. Cancun, Cozumel, or Playa del Carmen are known as party towns as well as being home to several championship style courses as well.

Another type of golf vacation to consider is having us arrange for an escorted tour of outstanding courses that would include your lodging as well as other side tours that center on the history and culture of Mexico. These tours can be designed especially with your desires in mind and can offer what would seem to be two vacations in one. You can golf in the morning, dine in the jungle for lunch, and then take a tour of a cenote. This might be just one day’s itinerary!

For someone who enjoys golf, travel to far away, exotic lands with championship style golf courses represents the ultimate get away. Mexico, with all of its myriad resort areas and complement of all different types of golf experiences can provide anyone with a great golf vacation. And, with comparable prices to a golf trip to Hawaii, traveling to Mexico for your next golf vacation can prove to be an affordable good time.

If you are thinking about planning a golf vacation to Mexico you are not alone. Mexico is the world’s number two golf destination for U.S. golfers. And Mexico is planning on taking the number one spot away from Hawaii as soon as it can. At the rate we are going it probably won’t be too long before we realize our goal. The country is diverse geographically and there are gorgeous courses located throughout Mexico.

The best time to visit might be before or after the rainy season, which is from June through September. Nevertheless, most of the courses you will encounter are well made and will drain quite well. And since it usually rains in the afternoon you can avoid the heavy downpours by booking morning tee times. Mornings are the best time to golf in Mexico anyway because of the heat. Additionally, if you travel during the low season you can save hundreds in lower hotel rates and greens fees.

The next decision will probably be picking where you want to spend your golf vacation. You will find a wide range of courses across the length and breadth of Cancun and the Riviera Maya. Teed Off Tee Times has several choices of links and the decision can be left to whatever other activities or ambiances you would like to experience. Cancun, Cozumel, or Playa del Carmen are known as party towns as well as being home to several championship style courses as well.

Another type of golf vacation to consider is having us arrange for an escorted tour of outstanding courses that would include your lodging as well as other side tours that center on the history and culture of Mexico. These tours can be designed especially with your desires in mind and can offer what would seem to be two vacations in one. You can golf in the morning, dine in the jungle for lunch, and then take a tour of a cenote. This might be just one day’s itinerary!

For someone who enjoys golf, travel to far away, exotic lands with championship style golf courses represents the ultimate get away. Mexico, with all of its myriad resort areas and complement of all different types of golf experiences can provide anyone with a great golf vacation. And, with comparable prices to a golf trip to Hawaii, traveling to Mexico for your next golf vacation can prove to be an affordable good time.

Take A Real Vacation And Try Golf In Cancun

It is somewhat ironic to think that every year, college students head to Cancun to enjoy Spring Break. Of course, a lot of the time they are engaged in so much frantic partying that they come back rather wiped out. This is not the way it has to be, though. In fact, there are a lot of activities such as Mexico golf that you can enjoy which are actually relaxing and low key. If you want to learn about how to have a chill time in Cancun, read on.

One of the things you want to do before you get here is read up a bit on what all there is to do in Cancun other than partying. The city is now showing itself off as a family destination, too, so you will find there are more calm activities that may refresh you. Spas are an excellent idea, but Cancun golf can be a leisurely way to spend the day, too. In addition to the obvious beach time you can enjoy, remember that as Cozumel blog recently pointed out (http://cozumelblog.com/blog/2011/04/07/international-travel-tips-for-a-cancun-vacation/), you can also enjoy gorgeous local parks that preserve the native ecology here. Watching nature is another great way to unwind.

You’ll want to keep the culture here in mind, as well. All fashion is not always appreciated on the golf course. While mexico golf courses tend to be laid back, you want to avoid loud and flashy attire that would be best suited to a club. Also, tipping is often appropriate in this part of the world as an All About Cancun post (http://allaboutcancun.com/about-cancun/travel-tips/) explains. You do not always have to tip your cab driver, but room service and other service people do expect a little something even if it is not cash. Asking your hotel desk person can often reveal this kind of information for you.

Of course, the golf resorts here in Cancun do stand out as wonderful ways to relax. You can recover a bit from any partying you might do and if you do not feel like having to hang out with a large group as you should do during the night time in the city, then it is a good idea to head out on the green and get in some of that gorgeous Yucatan sunshine. This gives you some physical activity while still being a calm way to relax, too.

If you do plan to enjoy Cancun area golf activities like playa golf courses just down the road, you may want to set things up in advance. The resort you are staying at could well have a tournament planned and if so you would be better off knowing in advance. A little planning goes a long way down here.

Eco Friendly Yucatan Peninsula Golfing Will Enhance Your Vacation

Golfing is a great passion for a lot of us and sometimes the reason for that is how much we love being outside. If we can be outside in a gorgeous environment, then so much the better. That’s why Mexico can make a great choice if you want to do some exotic golfing in glorious locations. Let’s take a peek at a couple of terrific options you might not have heard about before.

For golfing, a lot of the best that Mexico has to offer is going to be located on the Yucatan Peninsula, with options like Cancun golf courses. The reason for this is that this is the eastern coast of Mexico where there is a lot of white sandy beach to run on and plenty of tropical jungles or even ancient Mayan ruins to explore. Oh, and you wouldn’t want to forget the sparkling sapphire waters of the Caribbean right there for you to scuba, kite board, water ski or just go swimming in. The great part about this section of Mexico is that the people here value the preservation of nature. They go out of their way to keep things beautiful.

If you have never heard of the island of Cozumel, this is a small island off the coast of the Yucatan and located in Quintana Roo. The place is beautiful and this is where a lot of people go to enjoy a real island paradise. A recent article on Ecplaza {http://www.ecplaza.net/news/13/73787/cozumel_island_celebrates.html} shows that this is, in fact, the home of a unique golf tournament. The Annual Cozumel Island Golf Tournament is now in its 3rd year and looking like a great place to hit the green. Plenty of challenges await you and so do sights of mangrove forest and jungles, too.

A place you just might have heard of, due to its connection with the PGA Tour, is Mayakoba. A recent Fox News Latino article (http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/sports/2011/02/23/lorena-ochoa-greg-norman-design-golf-course-mexico/) shows that Mexican golfer Lorena Ochoa is going to be helping to design a golf course in this ecotourism hot spot. Once that is built you are not going to want to miss tee times here, for sure. After all, Ochoa was the top female golfer for 3 years straight so she knows what she is doing.

As you can see, Mexico has plenty for golf fans that is great golfing and eco friendly. You can check out Cozumel or Playa del Carmen golf courses or even savor some fun at Mayakoba, the choice is yours. One thing is for sure, though: the Yucatan is a tremendous place to tee off if you want to be surrounded by tropical majesty of the finest kind. Mexico is the place for golfers who love sunshine and care about natural beauty.