Golf in Los Cabos
Greens fee prices quoted include off- and high-season rates and are subject to frequent change.
San José del Cabo and the Corridor
Los Cabos has become one of the world's top golf destinations, thanks to two factors. First came the support of Fonatur, Mexico's government tourism-development agency. In 1988 it expanded Los Cabos' appeal beyond sportfishing by opening a 9-hole course in San José. The second reason is that the Cabo area features some of the best winter weather in North America—Los Cabos doesn't experience even the occasional frigid winter possible in the southern United States. Green fairways dot the arid landscape like multiple oases in the desert. You will encounter many sublime views of the Sea of Cortez, and, on a few courses, play alongside it. Otherwise the motif is desert golf. The other strength of the area is that the overall quality of golf is quite high, with the likes of Tom Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones II, Tom Weiskopf, Roy Dye, and Greg Norman applying their design talents here.
Cabo Real Golf Course. This visually attractive layout features spectacular views of the mountains and sea, as well as a challenging test. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., Cabo Real has straight and narrow fairways, difficult slopes, and strategically placed bunkers. The first six holes are in mountainous terrain, working their way up to 500 feet above sea level. The course then heads back to the water and eventually descends down to the Sea of Cortez by the 14th hole. Recovering from mistakes here can be quite difficult. In 2012, the back nine was redesigned by Jones with a new green on the 14th repositioned closer to the sea and the old 15th removed. Par changed from 72 to 71 and as of this writing a course rating and final yardage is yet to be determined. The course played host to the PGA Senior Slam in 1996 and 1999. Hwy. 1, Km 19.5, San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur, 23400. 624/173–9400 or 877/795–8727. www.questrogolf.com. 18 holes. 6,848 yards. Par 71. Slope/rating 141/72.9. Green fee: $225—includes cart, water, practice balls, and towel; $150 after 1:30 p.m. Walking is not permitted. Lessons available. Facilities: Practice range, putting green, snack bar, restaurant, golf carts, Taylormade rental clubs, $55.
Camp Campestre San Jose Golf Course. Here you are greeted by panoramic views stretching to the Sea of Cortez, canyons, and mountains on a Jack Nicklaus-design. This semi-private course also features dramatic elevation changes and undulating tricky multi-level putting surfaces. Attractive bunkering requires well-placed tee shots and very accurate iron play. They have used paspalum grass throughout the course that sets Camp Campestre among the best manicured in the region. Km. 119, Libramiento Aeropuerto, San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur. 877/795–8727. www.questrogolf.com. 18 holes. 7,045 yards. Par 71. Slope/rating 142/74.4. Greens fee: $160–$220. Facilities: Carts, practice range, putting green, short-game area, restaurant, snack bar, rental clubs.
One&Only Palmilla Golf Course. Here you will encounter 27 holes of some of the best resort golf that Mexico has to offer. Crafted by Jack Nicklaus, it was his first work here. The Mountain and Arroyo Nines came first, with the Ocean Nine finished later. Generous target-style fairways wind their way through rugged mountainous desert terrain that is beautifully landscaped. The Ocean Nine drops 600 feet in elevation as you visit the edge of the Sea of Cortez, while the Mountain and Arroyo Nines are positioned higher and further back from the water. Many will remark that the stretch of 6 to 8 holes on the Arroyo Course is one of the best anywhere, while the 3rd through 5th holes really get your attention on the Mountain Course. No matter the combination of Nines, you won't feel cheated and the conditioning is usually excellent though expensive. Hwy. 1, Km 7.5, San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur, 23400. 624/144–5250. www.palmillagc.com. 27 holes. Mountain Nine, 3,602 yards; Ocean Nine, 3,527 yards; Arroyo Nine, 3,337 yards. All nines are par 36. Slope/ratings vary between 140/74.2 and 137/72.9. Green fees: $160–$220. Facilities: Practice range, putting green, lessons, beverage cart, limited restaurant, Callaway rental clubs.
Puerto Los Cabos Golf Course. This 18-hole golf course features an unusual combination of one Nine designed by Jack Nicklaus and the other by Greg Norman. Eventually each will build a second line to make this into two separate courses. This does not detract from its appeal as this is one of the area's most popular courses for visitors. Nicklaus's Nine features more expansive driving areas whereas the Norman Nine puts more of a premium on driving accuracy. Both Nines feature attractive bunkering and paspalum putting surfaces. Paseo de los Pescadores, San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur, 23403. 624/173–9400, or 877/795–8727. www.questrogolf.com. 18 holes. Par 73. 7,461 yards. Slope rating 145/75.9 Greens fee:$150–$195. Facilities: Practice range, putting green, short-game area, carts, restaurant, rental clubs.
Punta Sur Golf Course. Los Cabos's original course opened in 1987. Of all the golf courses in the area, this one would be the "starter" golf course. Formerly known as San Jose Municipal Golf Course, the layout has wide fairways and few obstacles or slopes. It's fairly flat and good for beginners or as a warm-up. The 9-hole course is lined with residential properties (broken windows are not unusual). Some holes (particularly the 7th) have nice ocean views. Beware, you will find the three par-3's to be long and testing. The conditioning is average and this heavily played course does not take reservations as it is played on a first-come, first-served basis. It was designed by Mario Schjtanan and Joe Finger. Paseao Finisterra, No.1, San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur, 23400. 624/142–0905. www.vidantagolf.com. 9 holes. 3,153 yards. Par 35, 32 bunkers, rated at 68.2 (18-hole equivalent). Greens fee: $180, cart included. 7 a.m.–6:30 p.m. Facilities: Putting green, short game area, hitting nets, carts, pull carts, men's and women's rental clubs ($30), shoe rentals, pro shop, golf lessons, bag storage, restaurant, bar, snack bar, swimming pool, tennis, gym.
Cabo San Lucas
Cabo del Sol Desert Course. The sister to the Ocean Course, the Desert Course designed by Tom Weiskopf sits on the other side of the Corridor away from the water and features an inland desert motif complete with artistic bunkering. Don't be fooled; the layout here is still very good. In fact, Golf Digest has rated it the #6 Best Resort Course in Mexico, placing it only behind the Ocean Course among its Cabo rivals. The Desert Course is very playable, yet from the back tees it may be even harder than the Ocean Course. The attractive layout includes one of the area's longest par-5 holes at 625 yards. Special rates are available if you play both this and the Cabo del Sol Ocean Course. Hwy. 1, Km 10.3, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, 23410. 624/145–8200. www.cabodelsol.com. 18 holes, par 72, 7,049 yards, slope/rating 144/74.3. Greens fees: $190–$230. Facilities: Practice range, putting green, short game area, golf carts, men's & women's lounge with showers, golf shop, beverage cart, snack bar, restaurant, lessons, club storage, rental clubs Taylormade $65.
Cabo del Sol Ocean Course. The Ocean Course has been included in Golf Digest's ''Top 100 Courses in the World" as it combines the best of ocean and desert golf. Designer Jack Nicklaus brags that it has the best three finishing holes in the world. On the par-3 17th hole, you drive over an ocean inlet with waves crashing below. The par-4 18th hole is a mirror image of the 18th at Pebble Beach, California. Five holes are seaside, with the 5th and 17th named as one of the "Top 500 Holes in the World" by Golf World. The Ocean Course is easily the priciest public-access course in the region, but is generally considered to be the best. Hwy 1, Km 10.3, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, 23410. 624/145–8200. www.cabodelsol.com.. 18 holes, par 72, 7,091 yards, slope/rating 137/74.1. Greens fees: $255–$355. Facilities: practice range, putting green, short game area, golf carts, men's & women's lounge with showers, golf shop, beverage cart, snack bar, restaurant, lessons, club storage, rental clubs Taylormade $65.
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's