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Posted by Hood Canal Gale from 198.81.26.108 (cache-ntc-ad07.proxy.aol.com) on martes, noviembre 04, 2003 at 22:40:59 :

I promised a golf report so here goes. We were in Ixtapa/Zihua from the 14th to the 30th of Oct. The weather was still very hot and humid so both courses, Marina Ixtapa and Palma Real, had very little play. The first couple of times I played the Marina course and only saw two others in four hours.
First, the Marina Ixtapa course: The cost is $50 for greens fees and a shared cart. It is $35 if you stay at the Continental Plaza. Also, there are discount coupons from other hotels. Pretty good prices for resort golf of the caliber of this course. Try Maui or Cabo. $100-$160 or more. Carts were available as well as caddies (I didn't use one and the course is well marked so I didn't feel it was necessary). The beverage cart was operational (thankfully) and the dining room was open in spite of the small amount of play. The course is long and heavily bunkered (extremely course and even rocky sand) as well as loaded with the characteristic Von Haage mounds. Fairways are tight and water comes into play on 12 or 14 holes. It REALLY comes into play on five or six holes. Hole nine is a longer par 4 with water along the left side all the way to the green. A drive in the fairway requires a mid iron second over water all the way to the green. On this course position is everything. I enjoyed the mental aspect of having to think through every shot. Seventeen is a great "do or die" par three over water to an extremely shallow but wide green. All greens have a lot of undulations and many are multi-tiered. Eighteen is the mammoth par five of over 600 yards from the blue tees. Water lines the left side all the way to the green and even cuts in to the fairway narrowing the landing area for the tee shot. The next shot is about a 220 yd layup to a bunker crossing the entire fairway as the hole doglegs left. That leaves a mid to higher iron third shot to a deep, skinny two tiered green flanked tightly on the left by the water and by several bunkers at front and right side.
The course was a little ragged the first time I play. The fairways were fine but the bermuda rough was four to six inches deep (no exaggeration) and you could lose your ball just five feet off the green. Welcome to the US Open. The greens were really slow as well, probably due to the rainy season and non regular care. I played two days later and they were busy mowing rough, edging the traps, and making great improvements. I played a week later and the greens were up to average speed. All in all, it was a great playing experience. I only saw one crocodile but saw lots of birds and several iguana. My friend gave me a free crocodile drop when my ball was too close to a suspicious water hazard.
Palma Real Course: I played this course just one time for comparison sake. It is an older course with large trees of several species and has several good holes but is not the test that the Marina course is. It is more wide open from tee to green but certainly makes for an enjoyable round of golf. The greens fees were $80 with cart and it, too, was not receiving much play. The greens, though, were dreadfully slow. I assume it was because of the rainy season. I played early morning and there is a fair amount of dew as well. Didn't see any crocs or gators though they are highly advertised around the course. Some of the cart paths take you through suspicious looking areas. The courses definitely added to my vacation experience and I trust they will for you as well.



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