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Architect: Jack Nicklaus

Quivira Golf Club | Cabo San Lucas, BCS, Mexico | 8th Hole / 399 Yards / Par-4

 

Jack Nicklaus

The reputation of Jack Nicklaus as course designer is clearly stated several times over when coming to the immediate Cabo San Lucas area in Mexico — located at the far southernmost point in Baha California Sur. Over a span of nearly 25 years the Golden Bear has elevated an area best known for Hollywood stars escaping the glare of the paparazzi along with its world class fishing and whale watching into a renown golf destination.

The most recent Nicklaus effort comes with Quivira — located just minutes from the core downtown area of Cabo San Lucas.

The par-72 layout provides for a rather curious routing. The first four holes contained within a loop before one takes nearly a mile cart ride to reach the top of a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean and featuring two holes hugging the coastline. The short par-4 5th and par-3 6th holes have likely been seen by many golfers given the club’s increasing visibility but the real genius of Nicklaus as a designer comes with his stellar effort at the par-4 8th.

The 8th does not abut the Pacific Ocean — it is positioned high above it. When you arrive at the tee you see a hole that goes slightly downhill to an immense landing area. What is often not fully appreciated the first time around is how Nicklaus narrows the landing area at roughly 265 yards from the championship tees. Golfers strong enough to reach this “choke point” need to be full aware that a pulled drive can reach the high grass on the left side.

Even if the rough area is not reached — the approach angle from that side becomes much more daunting. The green set high above the fairway has a frontal bunker partially blocking a portion of the putting surface. Being comfortable about one’s club selection is an absolute necessity. Anything hit half-heartedly will not bounce forward as a false front will suck balls back towards the fairway.

The prevailing winter wind is usually into the player’s faces. But, even when the 8th plays downwind the task to properly place one’s tee shot becomes even more challenging as the choke point previously mentioned becomes more of an obstacle to avoid.

The putting surface is also well prepared — consisting of a number of vexing contours and pitched from back-to-front. Successfully avoiding a quick three-putt means being keenly aware of the varied twists and turns presented.

When standing on the 8th green the view of the property is simply magnificent. You look back at where the hole started and the imagery is indelibly imprinted in your mind. Off to the right of the green is the largest of the four comfort stations providing food and drink — a true oasis. The Nicklaus team wonderfully blended the natural character of the land — giving elasticity to all handicap types — but never permitting the haplessly executed shot to remotely sniff a reward.

Beauty and strategy blended in a tour de force manner.

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