Course by Greg Norman and Lorena Ochoa underway in Yucatan

The world’s first golf course co-designed by Greg Norman and Lorena Ochoa will be part of the evolving, eco-friendly Mayakoba resort on the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mayakoba is located along a mile of beachfront on the Riviera Maya, Mexico’s Caribbean coast, 45 miles south of Cancun. The 1,625-acre resort community, just north of Playa del Carmen, currently has houses, three upscale, full-service hotels (operated by Fairmount, Banyan Tree, and Rosewood), and a Jim McLean Golf School. Its centerpiece is El Camaleon Golf Club, whose 7,039-yard, Norman-designed golf course is the home of the Mayakoba Golf Classic, an annual stop on the PGA Tour.

OHL Desarrollos hasn’t yet completed the main body of Mayakoba – two hotels and other amenities are still under construction – but it’s begun to focus on the resort’s second phase, a 987-acre inland site that will include at least one more hotel, more attractions for vacationers, houses for employees, the Norman/Ochoa golf course, and a possible third golf course.

“The development of the second stage of the project is becoming an obsession,” OHL’s president, Juan Miguel Villar, said in a press release.

OHL Desarrollos is a subsidiary of Grupo OHL, a Spanish construction company that’s been in business since 1912 and nowadays works in 16 countries on four continents. The company has clearly made a point of trying to preserve Mayakoba’s mangrove forests, tropical flora and fauna, wetlands, and other natural attractions, and it’s even created a system of canals, channels, and lagoons that tourists can use to get from their hotels to other places on the property.

Norman, who’s based in West Palm Beach, Florida, formed a partnership with Ochoa last year, promising to work on behalf of “men and women alike, regardless of age and ability” who want to play on golf courses that “turn a normal round of golf into an ‘experience.’ ”

At Mayakoba, they’ll have a chance to show exactly what that experience is like.

This story originally appeared in the World Edition of the Golf Course Report, in a slightly different form. For a sample copy of the World Edition, call 301/680-9460 or write to WorldEdition@aol.com.

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