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Mexico: A golf destination where language is no barrier

William K. WolfrumBy William K. Wolfrum,
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Cabo Real Golf Club - Mexico
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Cabo Real Golf Club is a Robert Trent Jones Jr. design that adds to Mexicos reputation as a great golf destination (Chris Baldwin/worldGolf.com)

Sure, they might speak another language in Mexico, but they understand golf courses down there south of the border, from Los Cabos' Cabo del Sol Ocean Course to Cancun's Moon Palace Golf Club, and lots of places in between.

When Angel Cabrera was faced with the press following his stunning 2007 U.S. Open victory, a reporter questioned the Argentinean on why he was able to understand English, yet answered the questions in Spanish.

"I don't speak much English because -- I understand, but I'm not fluent enough, so I feel that I cannot be myself," said Cabrera.

Golf travelers in the U.S. could relate to his answer. Because while most don't make the trip to South America to play such legendary Argentinean golf courses like the Jockey Club, plenty have traveled just south of the U.S. border to play golf in another Spanish-speaking nation - Mexico. And while there is a language difference, one thing is for sure - they understand golfers down Mexico way.

More than ever before, it's boom times for Mexico golf. And nowhere is it hitting bigger than Los Cabos. Head south from the West Coast in the U.S., and you'll find yourself in a golf mecca destined to please. Starting at Jack Nicklaus' astounding Cabo del Sol Ocean, you'll be golfing on an ocean course where language is no barrier, though you're game may be one on the Golden Bear's Mexican sensation, which has received favorable comparisons to Pebble Beach for its views and play.

Add to that Robert Trent Jones Jr's Cabo Real course, as well as all the beach and other activities you'd expect from a coastal Mexican oasis like Cabo, and golf travelers will have no problem adapting to the friendly south-of-the-border culture.

Cabo is more than a place to just visit, however. Seemingly overnight, thriving golf communities have erupted on this scenic stretch of Mexico, with sales of homes and condos booming, as dedicated players look to cash in on amazing private courses designed by the likes of Nicklaus, Greg Norman and Tom Fazio.

"Golf put Cabo on the map for the world,'' said Cabo del Sol pro Fernando Ortiz. "It's been very good for Cabo."

Of course, the golf scene of Mexico doesn't begin or end in Los Cabos. Mexico has long made it clear that golf is a big part of its long-term tourism plans. Cancun is a perfect example of that planning.

"Cancun is gearing up to grab its share of a much more upscale market, which is where golf comes in," wrote Tim McDonald. "The area, which was basically invented by the Mexican government in the 1970s to draw the Yankee dollar, has Wal-Marts and Hooters, but is beginning to lure more, shall we say, refined commercial enterprises, like Cartier's."

With golf courses like the Golf Club at Iberostar, Moon Palace Golf Club, the Hilton Cancun Golf Resort and others, golfers can enjoy their favorite game while being exposed to Mayan ruins and other Mexican culture.

Of course, for golfers looking to keep their trip short and easy, even Tijuana has options. Tijuana Country Club will have you right in the middle of the urban sprawl of this city that rests on the U.S. border and is known for it's party atmosphere. Of course, if you want stunning ocean views, Ensenada's Bajamar Golf Resort will have you feeling that you're at Pebble Beach South, just a short trip from San Diego.

"While not quite a world-class course, it's long been a favorite of road trippers from California and Arizona," wrote Andrew Resnick. "If nothing else, the course features four holes that run directly along the ocean, an hour or so of golf that visitors remember, photograph, and talk about long after their trip is over."

So as the golf world celebrates the victory of the Spanish-speaking Cabrera, remember that for many, a trip to the Spanish-speaking Mexico is just the ticket. And ask any who've made the trip to Los Cabos, Cancun, Ensenada or any other great Mexican golf destination - they'll understand you just fine, and neither language nor golf will hold any barriers.

William K. Wolfrum keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation. You can follow him on Twitter @Wolfrum.

 
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