Despite the global economic downturn, 2010 was a special year for Mexican golf course openings. Just like London buses, three top class golf courses came along one after the other to join forces with the established Cabo del Sol to turn the tip of the Baja California Sur peninsula into the hottest golfing territory in Mexico.
Numerous headline architects have now left their marks on this little finger of Mexico. Jack Nicklaus designed the Ocean course at Cabo del Sol in 1994, scooping every accolade under the sun, including the “Pebble Beach of Baja” moniker. A decade and a half later, Davis Love III teamed up with Georgia based architect Paul Cowley to create Diamante Dunes which will soon eclipse Cabo’s Ocean course. Minimalist architect Tom Doak then left his mark at the Bay of Dreams with Bahía de los Sueños (which sadly no longer exists) and Gary Player left a signature golf course here at CostaBaja Golf Club in November 2010. In 2018 CostaBaja changed its name to El Cortes Golf Club.
Located on the Sea of Cortez, the course at El Cortes Golf Club incorporates a juxtaposition of desert and sea in combination with real estate development. Clearly pleased with the result, Gary Player commented: "I am so excited to finish my first design project in Mexico at CostaBaja. La Paz is gaining wonderful momentum as a tourist destination and the golf course at this stunning site on the Sea of Cortez will do nothing but contribute to that. I look forward to experiencing the well-known Mexican hospitality during my visits to CostaBaja."The short par three 8th is the only water hole on the course and it requires a forced carry over a lake to an amphitheatre-like green that is surrounded by cacti and well protected by sand traps. But it’s the closing trio of holes that will stick in the memory, especially the par four 16th which is routed closest to the Sea of Cortez. The 17th is a cracking par three that uses the desert landscape cleverly and the home hole is a strong par five that may yield a birdie if the cacti can be avoided.