Cabo San Lucas was once a sleepy fishing village at the southern most tip of the Baja Peninsula. This amazing place, where the Pacific meets the Sea of Cortez, became the “hidden” playground for wealthy adventurers and now has grown to become one of the worlds finest all around resort destinations. World class fishing and partying have been joined by some of the finest golf courses you will ever see.
Cabo San Lucas is actually two towns, San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas. They are separated by a short drive and the area between them, “The Corridor”, is where the majority of the newest world class resorts, spas and golf courses can be found. The closest comparison I can make is to the high desert areas of north Scottsdale, Arizona. Imagine taking the rolling cactus strewn desert mountains of Arizona and shoving them up against the deep blue waters of the Sea of Cortez. It forms and unbeatable combination found few places in the world.
The corridor area golf courses are many and varied. At the One & Only Palmilla Resort Jack Nicklaus has crafted 27 holes made up of three very different nines. The Mountain, the Arroyo and the Ocean make up a true test of golf each with a different personality.
The Cabo del Sol resort community features a Tom Weiskopf layout and a Jack Nicklaus course as well. The Weiskopf course, called the Desert Course, offers amazing ocean views from nearly hole. Its varied terrain includes arroyos, desert and mountains. The Ocean Course, a Nicklaus masterpiece, had been called the Pebble Beach of Mexico with seven holes fronting the ocean. This is a “don’t miss” course if there ever was one.
El Dorado is another Nicklaus layout along the corridor and along with the Tom Fazio Querencia course make up two of the finest, yet private, layouts in the area.
Puerto Los Cabos will be the home to two more championship courses and a new Ritz Carlton property just outside the town of San Jose del Cabo. A Greg Norman Course will be private with a Nicklaus Signature course open to resort play. San Jose also offers a nice 9 hole municipal course for public play.
Just outside of the town of Cabo San Lucas lies the Cabo San Lucas Country Club. The Pete Dye designed track is just another shining example of the world class golf available in this exciting mountain meets ocean mecca.
While the golf and fishing are world class so are the myriad of top rated resorts. A seemingly endless array of communities and properties abound including the Westin, Sheraton Hacienda del Mar, Hilton Los Cabos and Fiesta Americana as well as those mentioned earlier. These are just the tip of the iceberg in a place where sand, sun, mountains, fishing and golf come together like few places on earth.
If you always thought that going to Puerto Vallarta meant only sun, surf, sand and margaritas then think again. This area is now one of Mexico’s newest hotspots for excellent golf.
Puerto Vallarta golf can best be divided into three locations: Puerto Vallarta the city, east of town in the Sierra Madre foothills and north of town in the Nuevo Vallarta and Punta Mita areas.
In the marina area of downtown Puerto Vallarta is the Marina Vallarta Golf Club. This par 71 layout by Joe Finger is a championship style track hard by Banderas Bay with excellent views of the Pacific shoreline. While it may lack the varied topography of the Vista Vallarta courses it makes up for it with lagoons, lush vegetation and native wildlife. Its close location to town makes this a convenient and playable option for all.
Vista Vallarta is home to two championship layouts: The Nicklaus Signature Course and the Tom Weiskopf golf course. Located in the Sierra Madre foothills just east of town, both of these designs feature dramatic rolling terrain and wonderful vistas throughout the round.
The Weiskopf course is a bit tighter than the Nicklaus eighteen and is set in a denser more jungle like setting than the Nicklaus counterpart. It rolls over hills, through arroyos and along ridge tops that offer exciting elevation changes and plenty of challenges for golfers of all abilities.
The Nicklaus course is a bit more forgiving from the tee but features more undulating greens that will surely test your short game. As with the Weiskopf course, rolling foothills of dense forest dominate the amazing vistas.
To the north of town lies Neuvo (new) Vallarta with its array of all inclusive properties, shops, restaurants and golf. This newer development is a self contained community about 25 minutes from town. It lies along the Pacific ocean and features the El Tigre and the Mayan Resorts Nuevo Vallarta courses. These courses will remind you of many layouts in southern Florida as they are more open, have less elevation changes but do feature plenty of watery challenges. Factor in the potential for wind and you will be faced with enough challenges to test any level of play.
The Nickalus private course at the Four Seasons Resort in Punta Mita is probably the tops in the area. The 25 mile drive from the international airport circles Banderas Bay and leaves you wondering where thus all leads to. The answer is a very private and magical destination with a hotel, spa and an amazing golf course set in a 1500 acre natural reserve.
The Pacifico Golf Course features eight sea or bayside holes with white sand beaches, the Sierra Madre foothills and the occasional migrating whale thrown in to distract you.
All in all, Puerto Vallarta is an amazing destination for sun, surf and championship golf with enough variety to keep you coming back for years to come.