Golfers' Paradise South of the Border

3. Swing easier than you normally would when it's windy.

Where to Stay

Try the just-opened Playa Mujeres Resort next door. Or back in Cancun, the JW Marriott, Marriott and Le Meridien all offer stay-and-play golf packages.

Palmilla Golf Club

Way ahead of its time, this award-winning, 27-hole, Jack Nicklaus-designed course in Los Cabos has been waiting for the rest of Mexico to catch up. For years The Palmilla Golf Club has enjoyed bragging rights because players can see the Sea of Cortez hole from all 27 holes.

Palmilla Golf Club, Los Cabos, Mexico (photo courtesy Palmilla Golf Club)

And every view is amazing. Rated one of the top 100 courses in the world by "Great Golf Resorts of the World," Palmilla used to be one of the only luxury courses in Mexico. But not anymore, so now Palmilla is upping the ante with some serious upgrades.

Now you'll find air-conditioning on all golf carts, and from May to November 2008 the course is undergoing a major redesign, starting with the Arroyo course. During this upgrade, Palmilla will keep 18 holes operating at all times, so you can still get in a great round.

When the project is finished Palmilla will have new grass on the greens, restored sand bunkers, an expanded practice facility and more.

Insider tip: Don't miss the chocolate chip cookies. They make them fresh every day.

Here's how Palmilla's 27 holes stack up.

El Camaleon
Par 72
Yardage
Arroyo/Mountain: 6939
Mountain/Ocean: 7036
Ocean/Arroyo: 6771

Slope
Arroyo/Mountain 138
Ocean/Arroyo 137
Mountain/Ocean 140

Rating
Arroyo/Mountain Men 73.7 & Women 69.2
Mountain/Ocean Men 74.2 & Women 71.3
Ocean/Arroyo Men 72.9 & Women 69.3

Pro Tips
By: Jason Ballog, PGA, Director of Golf, Palmilla Golf Club

1. When in the Bermuda rough, the ball tends to "shoot" as you're playing the shot, so take five to eight yards when figuring your yardage.

2. Watch your elevation change. Are you playing uphill or downhill? This significantly impacts your yardage.

3. Beware of where the ocean is; it affects how the putts and greens break.

Where to Stay

Check out the famed One & Only Palmilla (www.oneandonlyresorts.com), which features, among other amenities, massage and yoga especially for golfers.

Playa Mujeres Golf Club, Near Cancun, Mexico (photo courtesy Playa Mujeres Golf Club)

Generally speaking, playing these courses — the best in Mexico — will cost you top dollar. The rates change depending on the time of year, but high season rates reach up to $200 for a round.

Your smartest bet: take advantage of the "stay-and-play" specials offered at the different resorts. What's more, some healthy competition is on the horizon: More than a dozen new courses are being built in Mexico right now.

More: Check out Karen's Schaler's Travel Blog.

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