Why there's a cave in the fairway at the 7th hole at OHL Classic host El Camaleon
PGA Tour

Why there’s a cave in the fairway at the 7th hole at OHL Classic host El Camaleon

El Camaleon features several cenote bunkers.


The OHL Classic at Mayakoba, one of two PGA Tour events in Mexico (the WGC-Mexico Championship is the other), is played at El Camaleon, a resort course designed by Greg Norman through the jungle setting that is the Riviera Maya. Amid that dense setting, Norman found a unique feature to be a centerpiece of one of the holes on the course: a cave.

That's right. A cave.

So, in the middle of the fairway on the first hole at Mayakoba Resort's El Camaleon course (the seventh for the PGA Tour routing), there's a bunker that's built into the cave. Get a look at it.

The actual term for the cave in Spanish is a cenote (say-NO-tay), which roughly translates to sinkhole. These underground caverns were created thousands, if not millions, of years ago, and they've remained intact. There are four of various sizes on the course, and cenotes are numerous throughout the Riviera Maya portion of the country. Tourists often flock to the bigger ones to explore and, in some cases, go swimming. At a theme park, Xcaret, you can actually swim through a fresh-water cenote. I should know; I did it on my honeymoon.

The bunker built into the cenote has a small rock barrier at the back end of it so golf balls won't likely roll through the sand, over it and deeper into the cave. However, golfers have been forced to pitch out backwards because of the pitch of the cave or their precarious position.


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About the author

Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for over a decade, working for NBC Sports, Golf Channel, Yahoo Sports and SB Nation. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He used to be a good golfer.

Ballengee can be reached by email at ryan[at]thegolfnewsnet.com