- AddressCarr. Transpeninsular Km 7.5 Fracc. Palmilla, 23400 San José del Cabo, B.C.S., Mexico
Routed through a landscape peppered with giant cardon cacti, the stunningly beautiful Palmilla was Jack Nicklaus’s first foray into golf design in Latin America in the early 1990s. Two decades later, it still stands up very well against the many top-end layouts that have sprung up along the coastline between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.
The layout has been enhanced since it was initially formed, with the 9-hole Ocean course added in 1999 to complement the original Arroyo and Mountain nines. The new loop features a drop in elevation of over 500 feet between holes 1 and 6 and those from the 3rd to 7th are never more than a pitching wedge in distance from the beach.
Holes 6 and 7 on the Arroyo are particularly challenging. The former is a tough, right doglegged par four (designated the lowest stroke index for the nine) and it’s followed by a par five that runs alongside a deep, treacherous arroyo.
Several of the Mountain holes are played round four man-made lakes, with the 401-yard 5th regarded by many as the finest hole on the property as the tee shot must carry a long way from an elevated tee position to an island fairway before an approach can be played to a green that lies on the slope of an arroyo.
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Jack Nicklaus will forever be associated with greatness on the golf course, but it’s his design work that should also be remembered in equal measure to his magnificent competitive achievements on the links.