Tiger Woods To Design Northern Baja Golf Course

David Simmonds

Tiger Woods, the best golfer ever, is getting into the golf course design business. Maybe this bad knee of his is worse than reported and he sees his playing days coming to a close. Many of golf’s greats have become designers, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Greg Norman being three of the biggest that come to mind. I remember about 15 years ago when Nicklaus had plans to build a new course just outside the small town of Tepoztlan, south of Mexico City. Tepoztlan is a very spiritual place with a long pre-Hispanic history and the birthplace of revoltionary hero Emiliano Zapata. Many local people still speak Nuhuatl and they didn’t like the idea of old Jack coming in and messing with their sacred land, even though the earth moving equipment was in place and ready to roll. Wisely, Jack pulled out and the course was never built, and had it been I doubt that it would still be there today. You don’t mess with the ancestors of Zapata.

So now Tiger wants to build a course and a multi-million dollar home development in Punta Banda, down on the peninsula south of Ensenada where the famous blow-hole is. I damn near drowned there one time during a winter storm when a rogue wave swept me off the rocks and sucked me out to see in dead winter when the water temp was about 58 degrees. It took me 1 1/2 hours of swimming against the current before a guy in a Zodiac miraculously came and pulled me out, surely saving my life. I couldn’t swim straight in because the huge waves and the rocks would have killed me for sure. So I know something about the area. And I tell you it is stunning just the way it is. A big green golf course is not what it needs and these plans need to be reconsidered.

I have adapted to the idea that from the border to Ensenada will all be built on one day, but south of there needs to be preserved. And now with the world economic crisis in the mix I’m not sure the timing is right anyway. This could easily be one the those relics that get half built when the money disappears for one reason or another, but the environmental damage would be done. I don’t imagine that Tiger’s own money is financing the project, but whoever it is must be savvy enough to know that Northern Baja has some security problems these days and with a few trillion dollars lost in the stock market crash, the demand may no longer be there for this millionaire’s-club retreat.

My advice to Tiger: go buy a Caribbean island closer to your Florida home and build whatever you want there. Leave Punta Banda as it is. Please.

7 thoughts on “Tiger Woods To Design Northern Baja Golf Course”

  1. I lived here on Punta Banda for 30 years.I have seen many changes some good some bad. I see this as a great plan for all concerned.Yes the economy is struggling in the states. The people here in Mexico have a very hard time makings ends meet also. This golf course is a great lift to thies folks.The mexican people love our way of life and Americans also.Mexico has it’s problems with drugs but then again so do we in the USA.What better way to give mexico a taste of Americana than by playing some golf.

  2. Dude…you must know that this course is not being built for Mexicans to play on. It will only be open to the very wealthy homeowners who can afford multi-million dollar estates. The Mexicans will get a few jobs mowing lawns and cleaning houses, and at what cost? The permanent destruction of some of the most beautiful, natural land in Mexico. Ensenada can do better than to sell out their unique natural resources to a handful of billionaires to build another playground that you and I will never be invited to.

    You live in a beautiful area of Mexico…preserve what makes it special and develop projects that will benefit everyone, while preserving what makes it so special.

    Dave Simmonds

  3. Hello Everybody:

    As you know, the real name of the site for the proposed development is “Punta Banda” and not “Punta Brava”. The promoters of the project are avoiding mentioning the real name because they don´t want their project to be related to a huge scam and fiasco in Punta Banda a few years ago.
    Also, I wanted to let you know that this project has created a lot of social stir here in Ensenada, because the project plans to remove more than 90% of the vegetation destroying a pristine ecosystem of coastal sage scrub and more than 25 archaeological sites in that area. Of course, since the project is very exclusive, the rest of the people from Ensenada won’t have access to that cultural landscape anymore, it will be alienated.
    My perception of the project is that in fact they do not care about cultural and natural heritage issues as well as local economical development or better: sustainable development, In fact, they looked to approach to us (a group of citizens interested in the conservation of the site) in order to obtain sensible data or first-hand information that could help them to improve the presentation of their project and this way manage to successfully surpass “paperwork” without changing the essence of their project. This way, they would also manage to legitimize or certify it to the eyes of the Mexican authorities and public opinion. Because of all these reasons, we decided not to establish any kind of negotiation with the promoters of the project and we have made a series of decisions that could result in integral conservation of the area, by recognizing its character of Cultural Landscape because of its irreplaceable natural and cultural attributes. Finally, the area is located on top of a major active geological fault (Agua Blanca fault).
    I see a lot of money, interests and corruption in this matter. Do you understand the concept of Cultural Landscape? Heritage? Public Interest? It´s like building a golf course on Chichen Itzá, Paquimé, Big Sur or Point Reyes…

    I am Mexican, I know the American way of life, I have a lot of good friends from the U.S. and admire certain aspects from your society, but I don´t dream of becoming “American” or to establish your way of living in my Country. I prefer to be myself and look, as a nation, for our own dream…

    Saludos from Ensenada.

  4. I agree with you Mr. Simmonds, because the area that the Developers call “Punta Brava” for us, in Ensenada is call “La Lobera”, is not only a very well preserved area of mediterranean flora, is one of the few patches we had left because all the development from the border to here, but it also has very important area we call “concheros” that are the remains from the first humans living in the peninsula, more than 5,000 years ago. In this part of Mexico, we don’t have piramids, we only have this remains (concheros), we also have wonderfull submarine caves, a marvelous view and many other gifts that nature gave us, and as soon as it became a “high class development” you can be certain that the gates for all of us Mexicans will be close to enjoy that espectacular place, that we want to continue calling “La Lobera”. It should be preserved.

  5. Finally, next Tuesday, December 09, 2008, there will be a Public Hearing which will be held here in Ensenada (Hotel San Nicolas, 8:30 a.m.) in order to present arguments in favor or against the project (Punta Brava)as well as questions and observations regarding the way the project is planned to be developed. We will insist on the integral conservation of the Cultural Landscape of the Punta Banda Peninsula.
    We will keep you posted and let you know about the advances of the hearings.
    By the way! The proper translation of “conchero” is “shell midden”, archaeological sites very common to coastal areas. Check this site:


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