GETTING THERE

Many airlines now operate direct flights from the UK to Cancun, the duration being approximately 10 hours. Thomas Cook are one such operator that fly direct (www.thomascook.com 0870 7505711).

WHERE TO PLAY

There are more than 150 clubs in Mexico (with several more under construction), and not surprisingly these attract large numbers of visitors from the US. With its fine tourist hotels, its excellent climate and fascinating history, it is certainly a destination worthy of consideration by Europeans, as well as golfers from other territories.

Many of the courses are fairly young and this means modern architects such as Jack Nicklaus, Tom Weiskopf and Robert Trent Jones Junior are well represented.

Golf isn?t restricted to the tourist attractions on the coast or major cities. Stretching to almost 2,000 miles, and with a spectacular array of topography, the country has courses

to suit every taste. Perhaps one of the most highly regarded developments is the 36-hole Cabo del Sol, with its Ocean and Desert courses situated on the Baja California peninsula in the west. Indeed, the Ocean Course is included in some lists of the world?s top 100.

A popular area that features an excellent concentration of courses is the Yucatan Peninsula. It is situated on Mexico?s eastern coast and is best-known for its tourist centre, Cancun. Here there are already 10 clubs within an hour of the airport and a further four under construction. Moon Palace is another Nicklaus design with 27 holes, Playacar is a little older and more established, and the brand new Playa Mujeres to the north of the city is an immaculately groomed Greg Norman offering.

Although some of the green fees may seem steep, one interesting feature of golf

in Mexico is that a number of the clubs, similar to so many of the hotels, operate an ?all-inclusive? policy. Typically, the price will include the green fee, share of a buggy, snacks and drinks while playing, and a meal in the clubhouse afterwards with beer or wine. This allows visitors, once signed in, to relax fully and concentrate on having a good time!

OFF COURSE

Visit the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza and Tulum, among Mexico?s most photographed attractions.

Cozumel, the diving capital of Mexico, is an island some 40 miles south of Cancun?s Hotel Zone and can be accessed by frequent shuttles or by ferry from Playa del Carmen.

CONTACTS BOOK

Cabo del Sol

T: 00 52 624 145 8200

W: www.cabodelsol.com

Moon Palace

T: 00 52 998 881 6000

W: www.moonpalace.com

Playacar

T: 00 52 984 873 0624

W: www.playacargolf.com

Playa Mujeres

T: 00 52 998 887 7322

W: www.playamujeresgolf.com

Further information

Mexico Tourism Board www.visitmexico.com, and for specific details on the nation?s golf clubs at www.golfinmexico.net.