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Golf Communities Sprout in La Paz, Mexico—Page 2

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More than 70 bunkers, most of them pot like the ones in Scotland and Ireland, add to the challenge, leaving golfers with little chance to do more than just get the ball out of them.

There's really no rough to speak of as the wide fairways end where the sandy dunes and desert await errant shots. If you cannot find your ball, these desert areas are played as lateral hazards, allowing golfers to drop a ball where it entered and take a one-stroke penalty. This will speed up play.

However, we didn't have to worry about the pace of play the day we played as there was only a father and two of his sons playing. We got around 18 holes twice in less than three hours each time, but I evidently did not get enough liquids along the way. I got dehydrated and had to spend the night in the hospital. Thankfully it was as nice as any back in my home of Texas.

Owning at Paraiso del Mar, Costa Baja, or Bahia de los Sunes

While the homeowners will enjoy golf memberships, other visitors may opt to rent one of the condos and play the golf course or just take the water taxi ride over to get in a round. The green fees are about half what they are in Los Cabos.

The first phase of the Paraiso del Mar resort community consists of 294 luxurious Mexican-style two-bedroom and three-bedroom homes and more than 400 condominiums with prices ranging from the $200,000s to more than $1 million. Additional high-rise condo buildings stand ready to be added when the need arises.

More than 800 acres on the secluded peninsula have been set aside for wildlife sanctuaries, mangrove preserves and a biological corridor.

It will not be long until La Paz is considered a true golf destination as two other courses are scheduled to open within the next year.

Costa Baja, a master planned resort community on 550 acres, will open a Gary Player Signature course, featuring a desert-by-the-sea landscape, in the summer of 2010. Beachfront residences, condominiums, and hillside homes will be offered. Costa Baja also has a state-of-the-art 250-slip double-basin marina. The Costa Baja Beach Club will serve as the community's social hub.< p>

Architect Tom Doak's first design in Mexico is now open at Bahia de los Sueños (Bay of Dreams) about 45 minutes southeast of LaPaz.

Americans and Canadians who missed out on opportunities at more mature developments, such as the ones in Los Cabos and Cabo San Lucas, definitely should consider looking into investing in one of the La Paz golfing communities before the late followers join the pioneers.

Story by James McAfee, photos courtesy of the developments.

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