Although Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is a twin resort, all the major golf action takes place in Ixtapa. This makes sense since Ixtapa was developed as a luxury destination while Zihuatanejo has grown up from a fishing village to a medium-size, medium-range destination. The two resorts are only a few miles apart but could hardly be more different in style, allowing visitors to experience totally different kinds of destination with a minimum of fuss and road-time. The luxury resort of Ixtapa was developed in the 1970s by Fonatur, the state tourism agency, on what was a huge coconut plantation. Palma Real Golf Course was opened in 1977 in the original resort development area and was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., while Marina Ixtapa Golf Course was opened in 1994 as a part of the Marina Ixtapa project and was designed by Robert Van Hagge.
Although each course belongs to a completely separate stage in Ixtapa’s development, they are only a five-minute drive away from each other at opposite ends of the hotel strip. An advantage of a modern planned resort like Ixtapa is that ecological issues were thought out carefully from the very beginning, while resorts that have grown up over time are constantly improvising. Both golf courses in Ixtapa draw oxygenated and purified water from an advanced irrigation system and water treatment plant, meaning that advanced sprinkler systems keep the courses beautifully lush and green while constantly recycling the water through the course.
Palma Real is an 18-hole, par-72 course which effortlessly blends in with its natural surroundings, making excellent use of the lush vegetation, lagoons, and natural lakes that run along the Pacific coastline and which are framed by the beautiful Sierra Madre Mountains.
There are some spectacular views and some pretty tough holes at Palma Real, where the lush jungle, sand traps, lakes, lagoons, and sundry obstacles can make keeping up to par quite a challenge. The flora and fauna on the course are quite amazing; you can see iguanas, eagles, rabbits, exotic birds, and even crocodiles, as well as all kinds of flora including coconut, guava, lime, mango, almond, and orange trees . Marina Ixtapa Golf Club is also an 18-hole, par-72 course that presents its own challenges, including canals, bridges, and plenty of dunes. Great weather, beautiful beaches, an array of five-star hotels, and these two golf courses make Ixtapa an excellent vacation and golfing getaway.