From the moment Jack Nicklaus arrived on the scene in the early 1990s, Los Cabos has been in the midst of an unprecedented golfing boom. Four of its 18 courses were ranked among the World’s 100 Best Courses (U.S. excluded) by Golf Digest in 2018: Querencia, Quivira, The Dunes at Diamante, and the Ocean Course at Cabo del Sol. That’s an astonishing percentage, especially when you consider the first course didn’t open until 1987.
Courses in Los Cabos can be grouped into three basic categories: public, private, and playable with some restrictions or limitations. The Tom Fazio designed Chileno Bay Golf Club, for example, is playable for guests at Chileno Bay Resort; and the Fred Couples designed Twin Dolphin Golf Club is playable for guests at nearby Montage Los Cabos. Quivira, Nicklaus’ spectacular cliffside masterpiece, is accessible to guests at Pueblo Bonito’s four area resorts, and to owners at several neighboring developments. Diamante’s courses from both Davis Love III (The Dunes) and Tiger Woods (El Cardonal and the 12-hole Oasis Short Course) are playable for residents and resort guests at Diamante and the newly opened Nobu Hotel Los Cabos.
Two other highly acclaimed new courses, Rancho San Lucas and Costa Palmas Golf Club, are also playable with some restrictions. Guests at Solmar Hotels & Resorts’ seven local properties, for instance, are all eligible for tee times at the Greg Norman designed course at Rancho San Lucas, while those being pampered at Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas can try their luck with Robert Trent Jones Jr.’s challenging CPGC design.
Less complicated are Cabo Real, Cabo San Lucas Country Club, Club Campestre, Palmilla, Puerto Los Cabos and Vidanta. They’re all open to the public. So too is Cabo del Sol’s Desert Course, although that status may be modified to accommodate residential members and guests at the Park Hyatt Los Cabos when the hotel opens at Cabo del Sol in 2022. El Dorado and Querencia, by contrast, are private, members-only clubs. So too is the Cabo del Sol Ocean Course, at least at present, although guests at the nearby Four Seasons Resort and Residences, tentatively scheduled to open in 2023, are expected to have tee time access.
What all the local courses have in common is a stunning mix of terrains and the Pacific Ocean or Sea of Cortés views. Some holes hug the sandy coastline, some meander through the cactus-strewn desert, others climb into the foothills of the mountain range–the Sierra de la Laguna–that forms the spine of Baja California Sur between Los Cabos and La Paz.
Most of the newer layouts also boast luxe amenities and mid-course comfort stations offering cocktails and gourmet snacks. Our top pick, Quivira Golf Club has even opened a steakhouse adjacent to its pro shop, taking the traditional 19th hole concept to an entirely new level.