Another South of the Border surprise is music, and it appears to be a big part of the sport in Mexico. At Diamante, for example, range workers array speakers behind the practice range, so hard-hitting tunes from the likes of Van Halen, George Thorogood and John Cougar Mellencamp envelope golfers as they warm up or work on their games.
I notice the same fascination with song the following morning at Palmilla, another notable Cabo course. One of my playing partners pulls outs his iPod in his golf cart as we begin our round and starts a shuffle of Mexican music, primarily rancheras and corridos played by mariachi bands. He keeps it going for all 18 holes, and as strange as it initially sounds to be hitting drives and approaches as those cancions are playing, I quickly appreciate just how soothing those strains are, and how they make me feel like I am truly somewhere exotic and unique.
By the time I am ready to play on Day #3, at the terrific Robert Trent Jones-designed Cabo Real track, I understand just how deeply ingrained this music-on-the-golf-course thing is down here. That’s because of the question my playing partner asks as soon I arrive at the first tee. The interrogative has nothing to do with my handicap index, or what sort of bet we want to set up. Rather, it is all about what kinds of tunes we should listen to that day.