Chip Shots

Golf Vacations - - News -­va­ca­tion­s­ By Dave McKibben

May Gray and June Gloom have de­parted! The sum­mer is fi­nally heat­ing up and so are the deals at the Ba­ja­mar Golf Re­sort, also known as the “Mex­i­can Peb­ble Beach.” Stay-and-play golf pack­ages and the 11th Vendimia Open Tour­na­ment high­light the sum­mer ac­tion at Ba­ja­mar, a spec­tac­u­lar 27-hole sea­side re­sort lo­cated just an hour from down­town San Diego.

The 42-year old course, orig­i­nally de­signed by Perry Clif­ford, is of­fer­ing 18 holes of golf and a night’s lodging at the el­e­gant Ho­tel Ha­cienda for just $109 per per­son week­days and $135 on week­ends. This in­cred­i­ble pack­age also in­cludes a bucket of range balls, a wel­come cock­tail, Con­ti­nen­tal break­fast and a Fast Pass (for a short wait at the bor­der).

“You’ll not find a bet­ter value or a more pic­turesque course in this re­gion,” said Rudy Mel­lado, who played 25 years on the Mex­i­can pro tour and is in his se­cond stint as Ba­ja­mar’s head pro.

On Au­gust 18, Ba­ja­mar will host the Vendimia Open. The tour­na­ment cel­e­brates golf, wine, gas­tron­omy and mu­sic, co­in­cid­ing with Fi­es­tas de la Vendimia, a two-and-half week har­vest fes­ti­val held be­tween the first Fri­day and third Sun­day in

Au­gust. The $130 en­try fee in­cludes green fees, cart, wine tast­ings, clos­est to the pin con­tests, $2,500 in tro­phies and golf prizes and more than $6,000 in raf­fle prizes. Those in­ter­ested in en­ter­ing the tour­na­ment can call Ba­ja­mar from the United States at 888311-6076 or email the club at proshop@ golf­ba­ja­

It’s been 24 years since Ba­ja­mar opened the Ocean Course, which fea­tures four stun­ning holes along the Pa­cific Ocean and was de­signed by Robert Van Hagge. The sig­na­ture fifth hole, a par-3, 185-yard mas­ter­piece, plays over 200 yards with golfers of­ten fac­ing a stiff ocean breeze as they tee it up and gaze over the rocky cliffs be­low. Holes 6, 7 and 8 also play into the wind, but of­fer scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and wider fair­ways than most of the holes on the La­gos and Vista nines.

“Vista is our most dif­fi­cult nine, es­pe­cially when the breeze kicks up,” Mel­lado said. “It’s tight and long and you re­ally have to be hit­ting it pretty straight to score.”

The course record is 63, set in 1976, long be­fore the Ocean Course opened. The Mex­i­can pro tour stopped in Ba­ja­mar ear­lier this year and the win­ning score was 5-un­der par over three days.

Some­times golfers en­joy their Ba­ja­mar ex­pe­ri­ence so much they never leave. Over 1,500 peo­ple live in the Ba­ja­mar de­vel­op­ment (80% Amer­i­cans) of 700 homes and apart­ments. Sin­gle fam­ily houses sell for $250,000 to $350,000.

Some of the big­gest news at Ba­ja­mar this year hap­pened off the course, in the vine­yards just off the club­house. Bar­rels of Caber­net Sau­vi­gnon and Syrah are ag­ing and will go on sale to the pub­lic next spring.

For more in­for­ma­tion on Ba­ja­mar golf pack­ages, events, wed­dings and res­i­dences, visit golf­ba­ja­

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