Golf Travel: Ranking the top 5 golf courses in Cabo

Going to Cabo? Take your golf clubs and your camera. If you had unlimited funds to build a golf course, what would it look like? What natural elements would you incorporate? The answers can all be found in Cabo golf.

Ocean? Yes, please. With the vistas, the sound of the sea crashing against ancient rock, the glint of sun off the water, and the lazy gulls and frigate birds riding the thermals along the shoreline. It’s the perfect backdrop for any course. It even sounds great saying Cabo golf.

Low humidity? Absolutely. That means you never work up more than the lightest sweat and there are virtually no mosquitoes to torment you while you stand over a par-saving putt.

Temperate weather? A must. How about highs in the low 80s and a cool 5 mph breeze off the water for half the year? And it never rains.

Finally, what if you could add mountains and desert to the ocean locale? Throw in some gorges, dry river beds, and a few natural-fed spring ponds, too?

You could build some pretty amazing courses in such a place.

And it’s not a dream. It is already happening. It’s the southern tip of Baja California.

In the early 90s, there were only a small handful of championship-quality courses to play in Cabo. The Cabo del Sol Ocean Course, a Jack Nicklaus Signature design, got the most attention with it’s closing holes along the ocean that the Golden Bear himself called, “the three finest closing holes in all of golf.”

It was his second foray into the peninsula having designed the 27-hole Palmilla course several years before.

Since then golf in the Cabo corridor has exploded. Nicklaus remains the premier designer, statistically speaking, with his name on several Cabo courses. You’ll also find Fazio, Pete Dye, Weiskopf, Davis Love, and Robert Trent Jones II.  Even a guy named Tiger Woods has taken a swing at carving a design out of the ocean-side dunes and arroyos.

Nicklaus once remarked about his Cabo del Sol Ocean Course that it was “the best piece of golf property I’ve ever seen.”

Golfers will be happy to know that along the Cabo corridor between San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas there are about 30 more miles of coastline that provide the same tableau that Nicklaus found at Cabo del Sol.

Cabo golf is just now reaching maturity while still providing ample room for growth. Last year it landed four courses in Golf Digest’s annual 100 Top Courses global ranking. Any golf trip should include some or all of the following Top 5 in my book.

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