The Golf Capital of Latin America: Los Cabos to Showcase Golfing Glories at Autumn Convention

Los Cabos has the goods when it comes to championship-level golf. Despite building its first course only 30 years ago,
the Land’s End municipality now boasts three of the world’s 100 top ranked layouts, and was recently named as the 2017 Golf Destination of the Year for Latin America and the Caribbean by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO).

It is only fitting, therefore, that cape cities Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo have been chosen to host the 2nd annual IAGTO Mexico Golf Tourism Convention, a large-scale get-together that attracts golf industry professionals from around the world.

The golf convention is scheduled from Oct. 29 through Nov. 4, and will allow visiting tour operators to network with regional representatives, to play rounds on the area’s many spectacular courses, and of course to visit hotels and premier tourist attractions.

This familiarization process is important, as the IAGTO has tour operators in 61 countries, who last year generated over 2.5 billion dollars in tourism revenue. Forty delegates attended the inaugural convention on the Riviera Maya in 2016, and even more are expected this year due to Los Cabos’ prestige as an elite international golfing destination.

“Golf is one of the key drivers of tourism to Los Cabos,” noted Eduardo Regules Bukantz, Commercial Director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board. “We are excited to welcome top tour operators so they can see for themselves why their clientele will have a great experience on and off our fantastic golf courses.”

Peter Walton, President and Chief Executive of IAGTO, agreed saying, “I had the opportunity to visit Los Cabos for the first time in 2003, and in my opinion it stands out as one of the most spectacular golf destinations on the planet. We will be taking hand-picked golf tour operators to Los Cabos for the 2nd annual Mexico Golf Tourism Convention at the end of October, where they will meet with members of the local golf tourism industry and plan their 2018 golf packages, group promotions and amateur tournaments.”

That means more occupancy in late October, early November, a time which already sees large numbers of travelers arriving for yearly events like Bisbee’s Black & Blue marlin fishing tournament and the Los Cabos International Film Festival.

It also means an even greater degree of anticipation around new courses from major champions Greg Norman and Fred Couples, which are expected to open in early 2018: Norman’s at Rancho San Lucas, on the Pacific Coast north of Cabo San Lucas; Couples’ on the scenic shores of Santa Maria Bay in the tourist corridor that connects the cape cities.

Photo of Puerto Los Cabos courtesy of Greg Norman Golf Course Design.

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Jim Flick Invitational Returns to Cabo del Sol Golf Courses in November

Los Cabos currently has three courses ranked among the 100 Best in the World, but only one of them regularly hosts tournaments. That’s the Cabo del Sol Ocean Course, which along with its neighboring Desert Course, is the site of the annual Los Cabos Pro-Am and the Jim Flick Invitational.

The latter also showcases a pro-am format, with professionals competing for $100,000 over 72-holes of stroke play, and foursomes (featuring one professional and three amateurs) battling in handicap-adjusted best ball formats to win a 5-day trip to the birthplace of golf, St. Andrews in Scotland. The 2017 Jim Flick Invitational is scheduled for November 7 – 12.

Formerly the TaylorMade Invitational, the tournament was recently renamed in honor of the late Jim Flick, a PGA Professional and golf instructor for more than 50 years. Flick taught golf in 23 countries and worked with pros like Tom Lehman and Jack Nicklaus, with whom he founded the Nicklaus-Flick Golf Schools.

Nicklaus’s breathtaking Ocean Course is of course the star attraction. Ranked in the top 100 in the world for 15 years running by GOLF Magazine, the Ocean Course hugs the coastline, offering stunning mountain, desert and Sea of Cortez views before concluding with what Nicklaus himself has called “the three finest holes in golf.”

Although lacking the same accolades as its Ocean neighbor, Tom Weiskopf’s Desert loop also offers an unforgettable golfing experience, and is certainly worthy of sharing the Cabo del Sol imprimatur.  The scenically sculpted layout is currently rated as the 6th best course in Mexico, and was included among Golf Week’s 50 top courses in Mexico and the Caribbean for 2017.

The inaugural Jim Flick Invitational in 2016 was won by Michael Block, head professional at the Arroyo Trabuco Country Club in Mission Viejo, California; and in the team category by the foursome of Jason Marciniec, Alan Marthinsen, Chris Raftis and Bill Sarris. As a bonus, nearly $40,000 was raised for the PGA of America’s Junior League Golf during the post-tournament Trophy Night.

Jack Nicklaus was honored with the first ever Jim Flick Trophy last year, an appropriate selection given the relationship between Nicklaus and Flick, Nicklaus’ unrivaled status as 18-time major champion, and his contributions to Los Cabos golf.

Nicklaus effectively put Los Cabos on the golfing map in the early 1990s with spectacular layouts at Palmilla, Eldorado and Cabo del Sol (Ocean); and has since built upon this legacy with the magnificent Quivira, challenging Campestre, and a unique collaboration with Greg Norman at Puerto Los Cabos. His son Jackie accepted the trophy on his behalf.

This second edition of the Jim Flick Invitational will boast an impressive list of sponsors, headlined by the PGA, Corona, Pepsi and Adidas. For registration and other information, visit jimflickinvitational.com.

For tips on resorts or rental accommodations, including luxury villas, Call Us TOLL FREE at 1-888-655-4548, visit www.LosCabosVillas.com, or email us at Info@LosCabosVillas.com.

Photo courtesy of the Jim Flick Invitational.

 

 

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

What Do The Masters Golf Tournament and Los Cabos Have in Common?

Sunday saw the concluding round of The Masters tournament, one of the golf’s four major competitions, and an annual rite of spring for North American sports viewers. Spain’s Sergio Garcia won in a playoff, but Fred Couples once again made a strong showing, as the 57-year-old showed flashes of the form that earned him the coveted green jacket at Augusta National back in 1992.

Couples has also been in the news for another reason:  the start of construction on the Twin Dolphin Golf Club in Los Cabos. The 64-time professional winner is working with Todd Eckenrode of Origins Golf Design on the course layout, which is expected to be ready for play by late 2018. “We want this to be a course that all players can enjoy,” Couples said.  “With its multiple sets of tees, it will vary in length and will feature undulating greens, dramatic elevation changes, impeccable fairways and natural bunkering.”

Named for an iconic Los Cabos resort that was open for decades on the same site, the Twin Dolphin Golf Club is set above scenic Santa Maria Bay, about six miles from Land’s End in the tourist corridor than connects cape cities Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.

The March 28 announcement that ground had broken on this high-profile project added even more luster to an already unparalleled region for golf. Three of Los Cabos’ 15 operating courses are currently ranked among the top 100 in the world.  Six were designed by Jack Nicklaus, who holds the all-time record for major championships with 18; two more were designed by Tiger Woods, who is second on that list; and one each was designed by major champions Greg Norman, Davis Love III and Tom Weiskopf. Woods, Norman and now Couples are all currently at work on new layouts.

In addition to the championship level 18-hole golf course, which is set within a larger 1,400 acre hotel and residential development, Twin Dolphin Golf Club will also include a full practice range, short-game practice chipping areas, practice putting greens, a full-service clubhouse, on-course amenities and service staff, and of course, as befits a former Masters champion’s signature design, caddies.

Want to tee it up in Los Cabos? Contact Los Cabos Vacation Rentals for info on luxurious but affordably priced villa accommodations and custom tailored “stay and play” golf packages.

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Los Cabos Golf

Photo courtesy of Flickr user SN#1.

 

Golfing for a Good Cause – Paws ‘n Claws Tournament Returns

No one rallies the Los Cabos community around a good cause quite

as effectively as the local Humane Society.

Their secret? Great events.

Each winter esteemed Señoras and Señors gladly don holiday finery for the always popular Dressed to the K9s, an elegant costume themed gala featuring dinner, drinks and dancing. And every spring, sporting types hit the links for a golf tournament, the famed “Paws ‘n Claws,” reliving their most memorable shots over dinner the same evening.

The end result of these convivial social gatherings, besides a great time had by all, is continued funding for local spay and neuter programs, adoption efforts, and other animal focused initiatives.

This year, the 12th annual Paws ‘n Claws Open Golf Tournament & BBQ will take place Saturday, April 1, on the Mountain and Arroyo Courses at Palmilla Golf Club. Palmilla’s unique 27-hole layout – spread over three 9-hole courses: Ocean, Mountain and Arroyo – was designed by none other than 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus.

“The Golden Bear” is the godfather of golf in Los Cabos, having crafted six world-class courses locally: Palmilla, Cabo del Sol’s Ocean Course, El Dorado, Club Campestre, Quivira, and a composite design with Greg Norman at Puerto Los Cabos. Palmilla Golf Club was his first design, not only in Los Cabos, but in all of Latin America. The Mountain and Arroyo Courses were completed in 1992, the complementary Ocean layout five years later. Over the past 25 years, Palmilla has hosted many tournaments, including the 1997 PGA Senior Slam – in which Nicklaus was narrowly defeated by Hale Irwin – and the 2007 Audi World Cup Finals.

The post-tournament dinner this year is actually an afternoon BBQ hosted by Acre, one of the leading lights (along with Flora Farm and Huerta Los Tamarindos) of the local farm-to-table movement. The 25-acre Acre farm is acclaimed for its fresh produce and onsite restaurant and cocktail bar, and will soon be the site of the area’s only treehouse accommodations. The BBQ is scheduled for 2 – 6 p.m., and as always will be accompanied by live entertainment and a silent auction.

For more information about the Paws ‘n Claws Open Golf Tournament and BBQ, call Linda at (624) 172-6349 or visit www.loscaboshumanesociety.com. To purchase tickets, call Margarita at (624) 129-7399, or Barbara at (624) 143-2726.

Photo courtesy of Los Cabos Humane Society.

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Tiger Woods Opens Second Golf Course in Cabo San Lucas

The first golf course design from legendary player Tiger Woods was El Cardonal in Cabo San Lucas, an old-school, So-Cal parkland style course that opened at Diamante in 2014.  A few weeks ago, the 14-time major champion returned to the private 1,500 acre Pacific Coast luxury community, this time for the unveiling of his new par 3, dubbed Oasis Short Course.

Woods and former baseball star Roger Clemens were both on hand for the inaugural round at Oasis, along with a select group of Diamante members, local VIPs, and top Mexican golfers.

Distances at the truncated 12-hole layout range from 41 to 143 yards, and thus are perfect for young golfers, as well as recreational players looking for a more relaxed experience than that offered by some of the region’s more difficult courses; including The Dunes, the Davis Love III designed links course that put Diamante on the map in 2009.

“I learned how to play on a short par 3 course in Long Beach, California,” Woods said while explaining his rationale for the design at Oasis. “When I was a kid, a 100-yard hole for me at Heartwell Golf Course was a driver and a 7-iron, so I can relate to the challenges faced by younger players.”

Oasis is the 15th golf course to open in Los Cabos. Three of these, or a whopping 20 percent, are currently ranked among the 100 best in the world by Golf Digest:  The Dunes Course; Tom Fazio’s gorgeous layout at Querencia, and Jack Nicklaus’ Ocean Course at Cabo del Sol, which the “Golden Bear” once referred to as “the best golf property I’ve ever seen.”

No wonder the region was recently declared the Latin American and Caribbean Golf Destination of the Year for 2017 by the IAGTO (the International Association of Golf Tour Operators).

Incredibly, even more world-class courses are in the works for Baja California Sur’s premier getaway destination. New layouts from major champions Greg Norman and Fred Couples are currently in development, and Woods and Diamante are in the planning stages for a third course at the exclusive coastal property.

Like The Dunes and El Cardonal, the Oasis Short Course is open only to Diamante members and their guests.

Photo courtesy of the Los Cabos Tourism Board.

 

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Los Cabos Pro-Am Golf Tournament Tees Off Again in January 2017

Los Cabos is one of the most remarkable golfing spots on earth. A stunning three of its 14 completed cabo-del-sol-oceancourses – Querencia, The Dunes at Diamante and the Ocean Course at Cabo del Sol – are currently ranked among the 100 Best in the World by Golf Digest, and the Land’s End getaway was recently declared the 2017 Golfing Destination of the Year for Latin America and the Caribbean by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators.

But unlike other regional golf meccas such as Scotland and Northern California, Los Cabos has virtually no history and very little tradition. The first course in the area wasn’t built until 1987, and that was the nine-hole municipal course in San Jose del Cabo.

18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus kicked off the Los Cabos golf boom in the early 1990s with a trio of breathtaking coastal layouts at Palmilla, El Dorado and Cabo del Sol. But it was a Senior Slam event at Cabo Real in 1996 that really put Los Cabos on the international map, when television cameras spied humpback whales breaching spectacularly near seaside greens.

Since then fellow major champions Greg Norman, Tom Weiskopf and Davis Love III have joined Nicklaus with prestigious area loops, and new layouts are on the way from Norman, Woods and Fred Couples.

Professional tournaments appeared with some regularity during the 90s boom – including two Senior Slams, three Taylor Made Pro-Ams, and three Las Americas Tournaments – but in recent years the biggest draw has been the Los Cabos Pro-Am, the 9th annual edition of which is scheduled for January 16 – 20, 2017 at Cabo del Sol’s Ocean and Desert Courses.

The Ocean Course, the second of six Nicklaus layouts in Los Cabos, drew rave reviews from The Golden Bear, who famously called its site “the best golf property I’ve ever seen.” Take that Pebble Beach!

Fellow major champion Tom Weiskopf sculpted the neighboring Desert Course, which although less heralded, is still ranked among the best in Mexico, with dramatic views of desert, mountains and the Sea of Cortez.

Sheraton’s gorgeous Hacienda del Mar property will once again host participants in the Los Cabos Pro-Am. For registration or information about stay and play packages, email Barry Fleming at b_fleming@hargray.com, or call (843) 384-5342.

Photo of the Cabo del Sol Ocean Course courtesy of Nicklaus Design.

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Los Cabos Open – 3rd Annual Golf Tournament – October 17, 2015

los cabos Open2015EngLoLos Cabos Open –
3rd Annual Golf Tournament –
October 17, 2015

 

 

Omar Martinez

M.624-122-5011

www.LosCabosOpen.com

Los Cabos Golf Vacations

The Baja Peninsula is known for many things, from activities like parasailing and snorkeling to fine Palmilla Golfdining and shopping experiences. The golfing options that the region has to offer, however, truly set it apart from other vacation destinations. Whether you’re a semi-professional golfer who is looking to try some of the world’s most challenging courses or you are a novice golfer who is simply interested in seeing the views from Cabo’s courses, you are sure to love a golf excursion in this area.

At Los Cabos Villas, we can not only help you find the perfect Cabo San Lucas or San Jose del Cabo vacation property for your stay, but we can work with you to put together the ideal golfing getaway. There are many courses in the region, including some designed by golf greats Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman. Contact us to begin discussing your needs. We will work closely with you to make sure your Cabo holiday home is the ideal fit for you and your companions.

In order to learn more about the golf courses that dot the Baja Peninsula, visit your favorite search engine. Some of the most popular courses are Cabo Real and Puerto Los Cabos. You won’t want to miss either of these during your stay in this beautiful region! You can even book golf vacation packages that allow you to experience a number of the best courses for one all-inclusive price.

If you are traveling with people who aren’t golfers, rest assured that they won’t be bored while you hit the links! There are so many other things to do in the Los Cabos region that everyone in your party will have an amazing time, regardless of where their interests lie. Booking one of the aforementioned golf packages is actually a great idea for those will be traveling with non-golfing enthusiasts, as these other individuals can enjoy hotel spas, boutiques, and five-star pools that are included in the package rate.

8th Annual Fred Duckett Golf Challenge – March 20-22, 2015

Golfing is one of the Los Cabos region’s biggest draws. People who enjoy playing this game come from all over the globe to  Palmilla Golfexperience our incredible courses. While you can, of course, pay to take a turn on any of the world class golf courses in Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, there’s nothing better than golf with a heart. If you’d like to combine your love of golf and your passion for charitable giving, you should consider participating in the 8th Annual Fred Duckett Challenge.

The 2015 tournament is set to take place on March 20-22 at the exclusive, beautiful Querencia and Palmilla golf courses. If you’ve never played these courses before, you are truly in for a treat. You and your significant other will get to enjoy fabulous food, breathtaking views, and the companionship of great people during your time in Los Cabos. The team behind the Fred Duckett Challenge works hard all year to ensure that attendees have the time of their lives. You won’t regret registering for this event.

We are excited about the fact that proceeds from the Fred Duckett challenge will once again benefit the Los Cabos Children’s Foundation, which aids the region’s less fortunate youngsters. This is a cause that is dear to many residents’ and tourists’ hearts. Whether you’re a local or a traveler, you can feel great about supporting LCCF by participating in this upcoming golf tournament.

We at Los Cabos Villas look forward to assisting you in planning your golf vacation. While you are not on the course, you’ll have plenty of time to take-in all of the exciting activities that our area has to offer. Simply let us know what you’re interested in doing and we will help you make the necessary reservations. We can also make it easy to book the perfect Cabo vacation home for your early spring holiday.

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