Los Cabos Courses Getting World Recognition

The Diamante (Dunes) course in Los Cabos, Mexico (Photo: Visit Los Cabos)
The Diamante (Dunes) course in Los Cabos, Mexico (Photo: Visit Los Cabos)
The Diamante (Dunes) course in Los Cabos, Mexico (Photo: Visit Los Cabos)

LOS CABOS, Mexico – Three spectacular courses in Los Cabos, Mexico’s premier golf destination, have been selected by Golf Digest’s panelists for the second biennial edition of the publication’s “World 100 Greatest Golf Courses” roster.

“The trend is clear: Seaside venues bring out the best in golf architecture,” said Ron Whitten, Golf Digest’s Senior Editor / Architecture. “The trio of Mexican courses on the World 100 are right on an ocean.” He added that while precious few seaside settings are available to designers in the United States, “elsewhere on Planet Earth, ocean waves lap up against some of the most gorgeous layouts ever seen.”

That includes the three acclaimed courses in Los Cabos featured on the 2016-2017 list.

Diamante (Dunes) moved up three spots and now sits at No. 52 on Golf Digest’s elite roster. “Mexico’s first true links (was) fashioned by Davis Love III and his design team along the Pacific Ocean from a fantastic set of white sand dunes, huge portions of which are without vegetation and seem like enormous snow drifts,” Golf Digest’s digital edition reported. “Holes hug the flowing terrain with little artificiality. Two holes on the back nine…but have been replaced by new 12th and 13th holes on the beach. So now the entire second nine is adjacent to the ocean, amidst the tallest dunes. How unique is this course? No other links in the world has cactus.”

The Ocean Course at Cabo del Sol, the venue generally credited with putting Los Cabos on the international golf map, is ranked No. 70 on the list. “When Jack Nicklaus first saw this Baja Peninsula site, what can best be described as Scottsdale-meets-the-Sea of Cortez, he told reporters, `This is my chance to design a Pebble Beach,’ the report stated. “He took full advantage of that chance, routing an exciting 18 that plays from highlands of desert cacti, over dry washes and down to the sea on both nines. When the layout opened in 1994, Nicklaus said it had the three finest finishing holes in golf. That might still be true 22 years later, given that the greens at 16, 17 and 18 are all perched atop rocks above the crashing surf of Whale Bay.”

Ranked No. 98, Querencia, like Cabo del Sol, is a newcomer on the World 100 list. “Located several miles up the road from Cabo del Sol and adjacent to the Jack Nicklaus-designed Palmilla Golf Club, this Tom Fazio design opened in 2000,” Golf Digest reported. “The routing wanders the rugged high desert plateau on the outward nine, toward the Sea of Cortez, hopscotching a dramatic canyon on the par-3 eighth. Other holes have humpbacked fairways and greens tucked beneath huge rock outcroppings.”

Jorge Carrera, CEO of Querencia, said, “This important achievement is the recognition of a job well done by many, starting with Tom Fazio and his team during the design and construction process. Being voted onto this list is a great honour for Querencia and fantastic news for Los Cabos. The 100 Greatest ranking is an acknowledgement of the great things we have to offer as a club, a community and as a world-class destination.”

According to Greg Tallman, director of golf at Cabo del Sol, “The inclusion of three courses on Golf Digest’s recent World 100 Greatest list reinforces just how special Los Cabos is as a golf destination. I cannot think of another warm-weather destination that compares when it comes not only to top level golf, as represented by these three outstanding layouts, but an additional 10 or so excellent golf facilities, all awash in warm sunshine. The simple truth is, nothing compares.”

In addition to the World 100 Greatest feature, Golf Digest also produced “The Best Courses in 206 Countries” as part of its Planet Golf report. Not surprisingly, Los Cabos dominates the Mexico entry. Seven of the top 11 spots on the 15-course roster, selected from a total of 220 facilities, are located in Los Cabos, the hemisphere’s most celebrated golf getaway. Diamante (Dunes), Cabo del Sol (Ocean), Querenica and Quivira command the four top slots on the list, respectively, followed by El Dorado (No. 7), Chileno Bay (No. 9) and Diamante – El Cardonal (No. 11).