Jason Scott Deegan

Senior Staff Writer

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. He is a regular contributor with Athlon Sports and PGA Magazine. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. His favorite golf destinations are Ireland and New Zealand, along with Michigan and California, where he lives with his wife and two children. Jason rarely touched a golf club until his college days at Eastern Michigan University, but now his passion for the game knows no out of bounds. He got his start writing with the TravelGolf Network in 1999. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.

  • 4.0 stars from 5

    Vista Vallarta - Weiskopf Course

    "Golf in the jungles of Puerto Vallarta"

    The debate rages on: Which is the best course at Vista Vallarta? My take remains the same from when I played the two courses more than a decade ago: I like the Nicklaus course a tiny bit better, but a good argument could easily sway me to the other team. It's that close. I do think the Weiskopf course sports the best stretch of holes on property - from holes 12-15 - and some of the best holes on property (no. 12 and no. 15 specifically). I also love No. 8, a short par 5 (450 yards from the blues) that proves Weiskopf has a better understanding than Nicklaus for how most amateurs play. Or is he simply more sympathetic to our plight? I was near the green in two (with no excuse for not reaching in two) and still only made par. I like that he ends the round with his signature drivable par 4 (310 yards from the blues), but I think it could have been better executed. Vista Vallarta's Hacienda-style clubhouse is a great spot for food and drinks. This might be ClubCorp's best public facility. I haven't found one better yet. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Vista Vallarta - Nicklaus Course

    "I'm drinking the 'Jack' at Vista Vallarta"

    I can't exactly pinpoint why I like the Nicklaus course better than the Weiskopf course at Vista Vallarta. Maybe it's the tournament history, dating to the 2002 World Golf Championships-World Cup, won by the Japanese team of Toshimitsu Izawa and Shigeki Maruyama over the American team of Phil Mickelson and David Toms. It's just got a great flow with constant views of the surrounding Sierra Madre Mountains and nice elevation changes. Bright pink bougainvilleas flowers were popping against the jungle foilage. It was beautiful. Although the Nicklaus course is longer and hosted the tournament, the Weiskopf seems to be harder. You can lose more balls in the water/jungle and there's a tricky hole or two. Both had greens running viciously fast. If you only have time to play one, don't fret. They're both equally enjoyable. I just happen to favor the Nicklaus by a nose. more »

    4.0 stars from 5

    Marina Vallarta Golf Course

    "Crocs and the Ocean!"

    My return to Marina Vallarta was a good one. More than 11 years ago, I played the front nine before racing off to catch my flight at the airport that's right next door to the course. Little did I know how cool the back nine is. These last nine holes are reason alone to play. The course has its own version of Amen Corner once you cross the street to the back portion of the property. Holes 11-13 each deliver something special. No. 11 is called the 'X' hole - a short par 4 named for the two palm tree trunks that criss-cross behind a sloping green guarded by water. Ponds filled with crocodiles pinch either side of the fairway on the par-4 12th. Be careful playing this hole. And finally, the par-3 13th plays directly along a public beach on the Bay of Banderas, providing striking views of Puerto Vallarta in the distance. A few closing holes cut a narrow path through trees on the way back to the clubhouse, where a nice patio and bar beckons for food and drinks. Some of the traps, cart paths and homes along the course show their age, but overall, Marina Vallarta still rates as a fun place to play. Guests staying nearby at Casa Velas, Velas Vallarta, the Marriott Puerto Vallarta and the Westin Puerto Vallarta can easily walk there. Guests at the adults-only, all-inclusive Casa Velas (like me) can play as often as they wish for the cost of a cart fee ($57 per round). That's a great deal for golf south of the border in high season. more »