Unveiled in 2009, the Greg Norman-designed course at Iberostar Litibú Golf Club is located just a few kilometres along the coast from the Four Seasons Punta Mita resort, where the paspalum-carpeted holes form the sporting focus of a developing resort complex.
Nestled between acres of dense native vegetation on one side and a long stretch of Pacific coastline on the other, the sandy-soiled fairways of this 18-hole layout are routed so that future residential elements can easily be accommodated around the holes.
The most memorable holes on the front nine are undoubtedly the par threes at the 4th and 8th, where the first of these short holes sits on a little ridge above the beach while the second one plays to a peninsula green that’s surrounded by water on three sides.
On the inward half, the closing sequence of holes is very strong, starting with the 421-yard downhill 15th. The very short 17th brings a little respite, playing to a shallow angled green, before the signature par five 18th drops down to a home green which is framed by the ocean.
This Norman course is certainly worth half a day. Where it strengths lie is where Norman's did as a player - on the tee box. Nearly every hole requires a decision on club and line that isn't immediately obvious. I found myself hitting 3 wood or hybrid up severe hills or over valley carries on multiple occasions, something you don't find at many "resort" style courses like this.
The undulations are significant in a routing through the jungle that spills out to cliffs above the Pacific in the rounds most thrilling points. Pity that you can't spend more time by the sea on this routing because the Pacific's views and breezes truly cast a spell over those few holes (really just three on the front and the 18th).
True to its resort style, the distances between holes restricts the possibility of walking. The grass type is spongey and results in rough and fringe that grab at the ball, so chipping and pitching should really carry onto the proper green if you're not familiar with this turf. The wonderful surprise was that the greens rolled true, firm, and fast at this track in Feb '21. The conditions were surprisingly good.
All in all a nice track I'd recommend if in the area for a few days.