Latin American players are becoming big names in golf, led by Mexico's Lorena Ochoa, the reigning queen of the women's pro tour. Latin golf courses are also becoming increasingly famous—Golf Magazine's latest list of the world's top 100 courses includes entries from Baja California and the Dominican Republic. New ones are sprouting all over Mexico—$100 billion in golf-related development, including at least 30 new courses, is now underway.
The roster of names who have designed courses in Mexico reads like a Who's Who of the sport. The star attraction of La Loma Club de Golf in the city of San Luis Potosí is a par-72 Jack Nicklaus Signature Course that opened last year (www.lalomagolf.com.mx). Players who want to tackle the Greg Norman-designed, 7,000-yard-long El Camaleón near Cancún can choose from four five-star resort hotels nestled amid mangrove jungles in Mexico's Riviera Maya region (mayakobagolf.com). Both golfing legends are venturing farther afield. Nicklaus will apply his talents to a new course at a seaside spa along Nicaragua's Pacific coast, and Norman will focus on a mountain resort in Patagonia called El Desafío that will open in 2010. The venerable La Paz Golf Club in Bolivia (lapazgolfclub.com) is still tops in charm. Its groundskeepers are indigenous women who take breaks to hone their putting skills.