Thinking of teeing it up in Mexico in the near future? Raise a glass of tequila to William Townsend while you’re there. For it was the Kentucky native who moved to Mexico and helped found that nation’s first golf club in 1897, San Pedro, a nine-hole layout on a barren patch of land in Puebla, southeast of Mexico City. Today there are an estimated 200 courses across the country, although three regions attract the vast majority of the golf tourist crowd: Baja California Sur (particularly Los Cabos), Puerto Vallarta/Riviera Nayarit and the Riviera Maya. The latter area skirts the Yucatán Peninsula coastline along Highway 307, running roughly 80 miles from the vibrant, pulsating town of Cancun in the north, past Playa del Carmen in the south to the ancient ruins of Tulum.
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