Jim Lipe, former Nicklaus Design associate, is overseeing a multi-phase renovation project on the Pacifico golf course at Punta Mita, a high-end 1,500-acre resort and residential community near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Punta Mita lies on a peninsula with over nine miles of white sand beaches on the Pacific Ocean and Banderas Bay. Both of the resort’s Jack Nicklaus Signature courses (Pacifico and Bahia) are available to members and guests of the residential community, as well as guests of the Four Seasons Resort and St. Regis Punta Mita Resort.
Punta Mita plans to renovate both courses over a five-year period. “We are happy to have Jim Lipe overseeing this project,” said Punta Mita director of golf John McIntyre. “He has a foundational understanding of the original design elements for both the Pacifico and Bahia golf courses and will deliver a new energy to the area.”
The first phase, which began in late April, focuses on the Pacifico course and will see work on greens, bunkers, surrounds and tees. Greens will be grassed with TifEagle and surrounds with Trinity Zoysia. Work is scheduled to be complete by November 2021.
The highlight of the Pacifico course is its natural island green third hole, dubbed the Tail of the Whale.
“Golf is an exceptional part of the Punta Mita experience,” said John O’Sullivan, general manager and regional vice president at Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita. “We cannot think of Punta Mita without golf or vice versa. It becomes almost poetic to see how this quintessential activity is constantly evolving to keep its prominent position as a worldwide leader in the golf community.”
The second phase will start in April 2022, focusing on Bahia’s greens, surrounds and tees. Plans for phases three and four tentatively include replacing grass on fairways with Trinity Zoysia.
Both courses will remain open for play during the destination’s high season of November to April.
“The end result is to have stronger playability and an aesthetically pleasing appeal that will improve the member and guest golf experience,” said director of club marketing and operations Carl Emberson.