….and the Golf – It Doesn’t Get Much Better
Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez on three sides and 1,600 kilometres (1,000 miles) of expansive desert that separates it from California, Los Cabos has turned itself into one of the few safe havens for golfers and travelers to get some of the heat and sunshine.
In a recent interview on the IAGTO News Channel, with IAGTO Chief Executive Peter Walton, Rodrigo Esponda, Director General of Los Cabos Tourism, described Los Cabos as “Its own island. The only way to get here is by air and because of that we are able to enforce strict airport protocols and contact tracing formats for visitors. All protocols have been implemented in a working partnership between the private sector and the Government.” Providing that all admission protocols are met, there is no quarantine period entering Los Cabos.
Esponda went on to add that the private sector, working hand in hand with the government in Los Cabos has become a model for all of Mexico and currently there are fewer active cases, and lower hospitalization than in April and May when Mexico was in lockdown. After all, it is in the best interest of the private sector to control the virus and remain open.
Golf quickly became recognized as one of the safest participation sports that one can get involved in during COVID. With that, all golf courses in Los Cabos are open and have enjoyed a good golf season considering. 80% of golf rounds have been recovered and a strong percentage of that being international rounds.
The situation though is far from normal, all hotels that are open, including staff, have had to go through a Hotel Certification program before being allowed to open. Hotel occupancy is capped at 50%, as touchless as possible and activities within the hotel are limited. All tourism related staff members are constantly being tested.
For anyone that has been to Los Cabos the one thing that you will find missing is the nightlife. Clubs and discos are closed although you can enjoy drinks and dinners up to the 11PM curfew.
Exceptional Golf and it Only Get Better
There are now 18 golf courses and you can probably count on one hand the number of fairways where you cannot find yourself mesmerized by the trifecta of vistas that include ocean, mountains and desert.
With more golf courses per capita, and on everyone’s best of the best list if you are a bucket list golfer there is no way that you can over look Los Cabos. There is a reason as to why 2.8 million visitors descended on Los Cabos in 2019. No doubt that some of that visitation has to do with the sun-drenched climate; 320 plus days of sunshine, ideal average temperatures of 24 degrees C or 78F, add to that sun drenched beaches, a little tequila and margaritas and you are in the Baja Peninsula’s heaven.
Interestingly, the number of visitors coming to Los Cabos primarily to play golf increased from 3% in 2019 to 6% in Covid-stricken 2020!
Los Cabos boasts an extraordinary mountain-desert-ocean environment where golf’s top designers have crafted some of the finest courses in the world. The best of the best has stamped their mark and they include luminaries such as: Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio, Robert Trent Jones Jr., Tiger Woods and Greg Norman.
Four courses are on Golf Digest’s elite “World 100 Greatest Golf Courses” list and seven of the top 10 courses in Mexico as rated by the magazine, Los Cabos is the undisputed golf capital of Latin America.
Within the past year, three new spectacular courses have pushed the destination to another level, again raising the alure for golfers. A destination to which this Traveling Golfer would put up against any in North America?
First up…the Fred Couples Signature Golf Course – Twin Dolphin Golf Club
There’s a reason why this special property became home to one of Cabo’s first hotels. It tops the list of Mexico’s most spectacular settings — the mountains, arroyos, and Blue Flag beaches tell a story that spoke to Twin Dolphin.
The Sea of Cortez and Pacific Ocean form the backdrop on nearly every hole on this 7,100-yard hillside layout. Built into the mountainous backdrop of the Sierra Laguana Mountains and the Baja desert, arroyos (washed out stretches of desert) are attention getters. You play into some, out of others and they criss-cross the rippled fairways all day long. They add beauty to the background of rock outcroppings, a home to some of the oldest Cactuses in the world, while adding fun and interest for all. The par-3 14th sits at the property’s highest point, 300 feet above sea level, yielding glorious ocean vistas and you will undoubtably meet some Baja winds on this peak. Equally spectacular is the 420-yard, par-4 15th, which skirts an arroyo and then tumbles down to the sea.
It is Championship Golf for the everyday player and the Twin Dolphin Club is Cabo’s best private golf and outdoor adventures club — exclusive to Maravilla Residential Community and Club and Montage International Resort, Los Cabos. www.twindolphinloscabos.com
The name Robert Trent Jones is most familiar to the Cabo area and his return put another high mark on the destinations golf scene with The Costa Palmas Golf Club.
A world-class 18-hole championship golf course by Jones II, features desert and ocean views, perfectly manicured dunes, and fairways that unravel down hillsides.
Designed to delight!! Artfully mimicking the gentle rise and fall of the coastal landscape the course is designed to challenge and excite golfers from around the world. The course takes advantage of Baja’s distinctive topography to create a novel golf experience comprised of three movements and punctuated by two transitions. The ‘Dunescape’ covers the first six holes of the course, featuring greens with unguarded entrances from the fairways; these lead on to the next six holes—the ‘Upland’, which offer generously wide landing areas off the tee, trees and plenty of strategically placed bunkers. Rounding off this journey is the ‘Marina’, the final quartet of holes that provides glimpses of the Costa Palmas Marina—the gently sweeping final hole finishes with a yacht cove in the background. The Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos makes for the ideal stay & play option. costapalmas.com/golf/
If there is one man who has left his print on the Mexican Golf Scene it is Greg Norman.
Rancho San Lucas is a Greg Norman Signature golf course and is 7,210-yards of fairways and greens specifically tailored to Cabo’s terrain that flows naturally with the dune and desert landscape.
The course hugs huge windswept dunes and parallels the beach at the start before climbing through a thick cactus forest creased by arroyos. The back nine descends from desert foothills to the wave-tossed sea for a rousing finish. One of the defining traits of the links-style course at Rancho San Lucas is its riveted pot bunkers. These sharp-edged, steep-walled sandy pits, constructed from recycled artificial turf, are identical to the natural sod-walled bunkers found on British seaside courses.
The island green, par-3 17th is the penultimate hole, with onshore breezes complicating club selection.
The Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas Resort is the perfect option for your stay and play here with three distinct categories of luxurious accommodations, all with ocean views. ranchosanlucas.com/golf/
Do you have the itch to go? I certainly do! The weather will be reliably warm and sunny and the golf is down right HOT!!!
For more information: www.visitloscabos.travel/golf/