The spectacular 18-hole layout at Puerto Los Cabos could be said to have something of a split personality at the moment as the current hybrid configuration consists of a 9-hole circuit designed by Jack Nicklaus and a 9-hole loop from Greg Norman.
The long term plan is to double the Golden Bear’s nine holes, creating a public course called The Marina, and extend the holes on the Great White Shark’s existing track to form an 18-hole course named The Mission.
For now, the contrasting styles of the two nines present golfers with a game of two halves – literally – and they offer a sneak preview of what’s to come in the fullness of time when Grupo Questro, the developers, complete the golfing element of the Puerto Los Cabos estate.
The Norman front nine is characterised by deep and steep greenside bunkers – those positioned above and below the green at the par four 5th are particularly eye catching – whilst the Nicklaus back nine has more of a desert course feel with island tees forcing golfers to carry tee shots across native vegetation at many of the holes.
Both courses occupy hilly terrain that lends itself to some serious changes of elevation – none more so than at Norman’s 213-yard 6th, the signature hole on the card, where a lofty teebox is perched more than 200 feet above the fairway.The best of the Nicklaus holes is the par five 14th, where an arroyo crosses the fairway as it winds its way to an oceanside green that’s positioned between a couple of small sand dunes.
Two years and a half after my first visit I was able to go back to Puerto Los Cabos. In December 2014 the course had suffered Hurricane Odille and the small Proshop was devastated, but the course was in very good shape.
Now in my second visit the other 9 holes to complete the Nicklaus Course are almost ready and the Club House will be inaugurated in October 2017.
We played in a fantastic 25C sunny day and one of the stars were the comfort stations where you can eat and drink all you want.
Course is fantastic, the combination of the Shark and the Bear is smoth and nice. In the front 9 (Shark) holes 6-7 are the best, nicest and with breathtaking views. Then the back 9 at 14-15 you have the contact with the Ocean and in 18 a fantastic finishing hole.
It is a course where combining the sets of tee you can modifiy the hole and really have fun or test your game to the very limit.
It is a very nice starter for a 7 days and 6 rounds Tour to be combined with Palmilla, Cabo Real, Quivira and Cabo del Sol Ocean and Desert.
The Puerto Los Cabos Golf Club is unique in that it features two distinctive nine-hole layouts by two iconic golfers. The Mission Course was designed by Greg Norman and opened in 2007. It offers plenty of elevation changes with wide fairways and large fast greens. The 6th, an intimidating downhill par 3 that drops some 105 feet features the Sea of Cortez as your backdrop may be his signature hole but the next hole is my personal favorite. This visually stunning par 5 sweeps downhill like an alpine ski run then finishes with to a well-protected green perched on the edge of the expansive two mile sand beach.
The Marina Course is a Jack Nicklaus design that opened a year later featuring wide rolling fairways that resemble ski mogels with very few level lies. #15 is considered his signature hole, a par 3 that runs parallel to the beach. The 18th is a great finishing hole where the irrigation reservoir comes into play on both your tee and approach shot.
The greens here are deceptive. They break more than you think and almost always to the ocean. Both courses have Paspalum greens and fairways and offer magnificent views of the ocean and the Sierra de la Laguna Mountains. The biggest difference between the two, besides the moguls, is that Norman has built larger, more traditional tees with grass between each block whereas Nicklaus has smaller tee areas surrounded entirely by sand.
Future development will see both courses expand to a full 18 but for now you can challenge the Bear and the Shark in a single round. Puerto Los Cabos Golf Club it is located only 8 minutes from the International Airport and just north of San Jose del Cabo and I’d recommend it as your first stop on your tour of the area. Plan on spending a leisurely day here since, included in your green fees, you can fully enjoy the freshly prepared food and beverage service at holes 4, 8, 13 and 17. Dave Finn
Click to read Dave’s complete story on Golf in Los Cabos Mexico on his Golf Travel and Leisure website.