Any discussion of golf in Los Cabos must begin with Palmilla. Don Koll and Jack Nicklaus set the scene for the creation of this unique blending of desert and sea, one of the world’s truly picturesque golf destinations. Nicklaus equated the experience to “designing mountains by the sea.” Nearly every hole has its own view of the shimmering, electric blue Sea of Cortez in the distance. Gentle slopes, wide fairways, and large yet challenging greens to greet players on the back tees. There’s a wonderful range of holes, led by the fifth. You’ll tee off a medium length par four over a deep canyon; then over and down another deep canyon on the second shot; with the green fronted by a deep bunker.
The Arroyo Nine, the back Mountain Nine, and the new Ocean Nine are of traditional Mexican design. The sixth hole features a long dogleg right and plays 460 yards. On the 560 yards the seventh hole, play is alongside a deep, foreboding arroyo. Diverse in length and enhanced by water and sand hazards, the mountain holes are as beautiful as they are challenging. The tenth is an incredible drive off of a cliff with the omnipotent sea at your back. But it is the fourteenth that is regarded as the greatest hole at Palmilla, with a force-carry from mountain tee boxes to a well-manicured island fairway. The fourteenth green is laid down on the natural slope of an arroyo, making it look a great deal longer than its documented 401 yards. Palmilla Golf Course still holds its own against all the newcomers.