Archives for July 5, 2017

The History of Golf in Los Cabos

Life in Los Cabos didn’t always include world-class golf courses with picturesque ocean, desert and mountain views, and pampering comfort food stations set at discreet intervals. Once upon a time, there wasn’t any golf at all.

The first course was built only 30 years ago: that was the San Jose del Cabo Municipal Golf Course, a nine-hole layout designed by Mario Shedjanan that opened at Punta Sur in 1987. The muni course would later be renamed after the nearby Mayan Palace resort, and today is managed by Mexican hospitality brand Vidanta.

The first true golden age of golf in Los Cabos began in the 1990s, when legendary 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus followed up his breathtaking courses at Palmilla (the Mountain and Arroyo Courses opened in 1992; the Ocean Course in 1999) with an absolute masterpiece at Cabo del Sol. Nicklaus claimed at the time that The Ocean Course at Cabo del Sol was “the best golf property I’ve ever seen,” and it continues to be ranked among the 100 best courses in the world by GOLF Magazine.

Roy Dye and his son Matt designed Campo de Carlos (later renamed the Cabo San Lucas Country Club) in 1994, but it was Robert Trent Jones Jr.’s Cabo Real that really put the area on the map in 1996, when whales were spotted breaching just offshore during a televised Senior Slam event.

By the time Nicklaus returned to open El Dorado in 1999, the die had been cast. Tom Fazio’s Querencia followed in 2000, and is now rated one of the world’s 100 best by Golf Digest; and British Open champion Tom Weiskopf added an impressive Desert Course to go along with Nicklaus’ landmark Ocean Course at Cabo del Sol in 2001.

Davis Love III’s The Dunes Course for the 1,500 acre Diamante development was yet another triumph, and was the highest rated Los Cabos course to date (the seaside links is currently ranked 38th in the world by GOLF Magazine). Not content to rest on its laurels, Diamante brought in 14-time major champion Tiger Woods to design the parkland style El Cardonal (2014) and the 12-hole Oasis Short Course (2016).

Nicklaus, the godfather of Los Cabos golf, added to his rich local legacy with Club Campestre (2007), Puerto Los Cabos (the only composite design from Nicklaus and Australian champion Greg Norman opened in 2008), and the spectacular cliffside Quivira (voted best new international course for 2015 by GOLF Magazine); and Tom Fazio has proven his stunning Querencia course was no fluke, adding a magnificent loop at Chileno Bay in 2016.

That’s 15 gorgeous courses and counting, with more in the pipeline:  including a full 18-hole course from Greg Norman at Rancho San Lucas, which is scheduled to open early next year; and a Twin Dolphin course from Masters champion Fred Couples that’s also slated for 2018.

Photo courtesy of Quivira Golf Club.

Los Cabos Golf Courses

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