The Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta resort stretches across an enormous 2,500-acre property close to the Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport, where five hotels, a shopping plaza, two spas and literally dozens of swimming pools, bars and restaurants are laid out along the sandy shoreline of Banderas Bay.
In 2016, the resort’s original 18-hole Nicklaus Design course (named “Nayar”) was joined by a Greg Norman Signature layout on the other side of the Ameca River which is accessed by the longest golf cart suspension bridge in the world. The golf facilities have also been enhanced by the introduction of a new 10-hole par three course that’s floodlit in the evening.
The Norman course, the sixth Mexican project in the Shark’s design portfolio, is set out on its own little parcel of tropical tranquillity – with absolutely no residential interference –and the paspalum-grassed fairways on this layout work toward greens that are contoured enough to be of interest without causing excessive grief for the average player.
Like many modern courses, the Norman design can be brutal or benevolent, depending on which tees are chosen. No matter where golfers play from, there are water hazards, large sandy waste areas and patches of indigenous vegetation to look out for but, in the main, this is a track that’s both forgiving and fair so lost golf balls should not be an issue here.