Clearance Clarence: Golfing with crocodiles? This you have to read

  • Blog Post by: Michael Rand
  • February 15, 2012 - 12:19 PM

Commenter Clarence Swamptown took a couple weeks off, during which he had a chance to unwind in Mexico. He is back, fully rested and ready to entertain you. As usual, the opinions expressed by Clarence aren't necessarily those of the Star Tribune or RandBall. Clarence?


*Outstate Golf Course of the Week: Typically, the Clearance Clarence Outstate Golf Course of the Week features an offbeat golf course located somewhere in rural Minnesota. Unfortunately, it is winter in Minnesota and all of our golf courses are closed. Last week I traveled to Ixtapa, Mexico for vacation and played their beautiful Campo de Golf course. There really are no rules to this whole Clearance Clarence thing, so even though it’s located approximately 2,000 miles south of Minnesota, let’s make Campo de Golf our official Outstate Golf Course of the Week:

Please describe the course:  Designed by famed architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr., this 18-hole course winds through resort neighborhoods and along the Pacific beachfront, back dropped by the gorgeous Sierra Madre Mountains. Like many RTJ courses it is not particularly long (~6,500 yards), but it demands accuracy, nuance and guile. Accuracy, nuance and guile are not significant parts of my golf game - or my life in general - but I still found the course enjoyable.
Please describe the signature hole:  Hole 15 is a deceivingly difficult 350-yard par-4 with an elevated tee box and incredible panoramic views of Ixtapa Bay.  The entire golf course also moonlights as a coconut plantation, so along the fairways you will see men sitting in palm trees harvesting coconuts. On the 15th hole my dad nearly hit one of these men with an errant tee shot. I speak limited Spanish, but I know certain Spanish vulgarities and colloquialisms. When the ball hit the tree, the shirtless man screamed something like, of all the places on this huge {redacted} golf course you hit me sitting up in this {redacted} tree?” When I finally stopped laughing, I politely asked the man to settle down and I provided him with some thoughtful ideas on what he could do to a goat. The man was holding a giant machete and could climb up and down a tree like a grey squirrel, so I decided that my father and I should probably hurry up and play through.
More importantly, please describe the beer cart girls:  Unfortunately there were no beer cart girls, there was only this little weirdo with slicked-back hair who drove a tired old golf cart and sold overpriced bottles of water and Yoli. Mexico is overflowing with beautiful women, so I’m not sure why the golf course employs this sketchy goofball to sell drinks. Let’s go Mexico, you have an overabundant resource (beautiful, voluptuous women) and a neglected demand (cheap golf course beer). C’mon guys, this is simple stuff. Put ‘em together. Let’s go.
Do they have a website?  No, but there is a YouTube video review of the golf course, featuring a television host named Denisse Wolf. See, THAT’S how you do it, guys.
Can I bring my own beer?  Si.
Do I have to wear a shirt?  Probably not, although I didn’t see anyone on the course without a shirt (other than Señor Loudmouth in that palm tree). I was sweating and would have loved to expose my pasty Minnesota torso to the hot Ixtapa sun, but I didn’t take the chance.
Anything else I should know?  There are a number of large crocodiles in some of the water hazards. When I asked if these crocodiles have names, the Beer Cart Guy said that one particularly fat crocodile is called something like, “Perezoso Pollo” (lazy, chicken), apparently because it sits around all day eating chickens. The entire golf course is teeming with wildlife, including goofy-looking super loud birds that I wanted to hit with my 9-iron.
Campo de Golf is probably best played early in the morning, because it gets a little steamy to play during most afternoons. Overall it’s a beautiful golf course – perhaps a little pricey (I think it was like $60/round) – but relatively challenging and generally enjoyable. Ixtapa isn’t nearly as popular a vacation destination as many cities throughout Mexico, but the weather is almost always perfect and the entire region is not very crowded. If you ever visit, I recommend playing Campo de Golf for the scenery alone.
Roughly translated, Perezoso Pollo means, “fat and lazy and eats a lot of chickens”. On a related note, this crocodile had a 6.78 ERA for the Red Sox bullpen last season.
Your thoughts on beer cart girls, the Boston Red Sox bullpen, and Hombre de Coconut are welcome in the comments below.

© 2018 Star Tribune