Situated between the toll road and free highway to Tequila, some 10 miles west of Guadalajara, the Jack Nicklaus-designed El Rio Country Club course is a central component of a 900-acre residential development that opened for business in 2008.
The course is laid out on rather hilly terrain with fairways carefully routed to take full advantage of the natural changes in elevation. Over a thousand trees were planted to add definition to many of the holes and unsightly electricity pylons were also removed during construction to greatly enhance the aesthetic quality of the site.
The championship tees stretch the layout to over 7,500 yards – three of the five par fives are definite three shot holes, including the 656-yard 18th – but the regular tees are more than a thousand yards shorter, allowing most golfers a decent chance of playing to their handicap.
Gavin Robinson, Director of Golf at El Rio, provided us with the following comments:
The Jack Nicklaus Signature Course measures 7,544 yards from the Professional Tees. It has a Slope/Rating of 75.9/144 from these tees but perhaps most notable is the 72.1 slope/rating from the regular tee boxes – indicating the challenge and high level of difficulty of this golf course.
The fairway grass is Rye and greens are Bent A1 (normally between 10 and 13 on the stimpmeter). The course maintenance is of an excellent standard with a very experienced (GCSAA qualified) Course Superintendent and staff. Native (waste) areas have Ruby grass and penecetum plants.
The course has two rivers and various streams running through it and a wide variety of trees providing a very attractive environment to play golf. The signature hole is the 18th, a 656-yard par five with two fairways and a lake in front of the green providing a high level of difficulty and many options for the golfer. Only the longest hitters will have the option of going for the green in two shots.