Jack Nicklaus made the Bahia golf course at Punta Mita resort in Riviera Nayarit bold and beautiful

PUNTA MITA, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico -- When the Bahia Golf Course at Punta Mita opened in 2009, the reaction from golfers living or visiting the luxurious resort and real estate development 45 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta was typical. They declared the severe greens designed by Jack Nicklaus too difficult and went back to enjoying their leisurely rounds on the beautiful and more playable Pacifico Golf Course.

Over the years, Bahia has won them over, although the debate will forever rage about which is better. Pacifico has eight holes on the ocean; Bahia boasts six. Three of Bahia's last four holes hook left to reveal stirring views of the cresting seas.

The beach interrupts play on the par-4 17th, a dramatic Cape hole that ends at a wild elevated green clinging to land's end. If it's not better than the famed "Tail of the Whale" hole on Pacifico, it's close.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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Jack Nicklaus made the Bahia golf course at Punta Mita resort in Riviera Nayarit bold and beautiful
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