|TOM FAZIO AT QUERENCIA
There are two kinds of golfers, those who have fallen in love with a Tom Fazio-designed golf course, and those who will. For those who know the game and those who know the man, Fazio is a real golfers golferthe kind of designer who magically creates courses that never intimidate high handicap golfers but remain challenging and fresh to scratch golfers as well. In late 1998, Fazio met with Mike Samis and Jim Samis, Jr., founders of Querencia; and sons of the original visionary, Jim Samis, Sr. While Fazio was initially skeptical about taking on a project of this magnitude so far away from his North Carolina home, his apprehension turned to enthusiasm once he met the people behind the project and saw the possibilities to be derived from the site. In so doing, he ultimately signed on to design his first course outside the United States since the 1960s, an eighteen-hole championship course that provides Los Cabos only private golf experience. For those who love the game, there is nothing quite like playing a Tom Fazio-designed course. From the way it looks, feels and plays, his courses are world-renowned for being equally fun and challenging to experts and novice players alike. The course at Querencia bears his unmistakable hallmark and then some. Affording an uncommon level of privacy and exclusivity, Querencia will extend just 350 coveted golf membership opportunities worldwide by invitation only. Non-homeowner golf memberships are available, subject to homeowner priority and other membership criteria. Querencia sits on 840 acres of hillside between Palmilla and Costa Azul. Querencia is a Spanish word meaning a place one returns to to feel safe, strong and at home. In addition to the eighteen holes now open, Querencia will encompass a nine-hole Fazio short course, a state-of-the-art practice facility and a private 26,000 square-foot clubhouse with sweeping Sea of Cortez views. Upon viewing the Querencia site Fazio said, When we first went to the site we knew it was a premier spot for a distinctive golf course. The landscape is extremely dramatic with numerous opportunities to play a variety of sensational holes. It reminds a person of a desert setting, but with bold topography and fantastic long-range ocean views. This environment is truly unique for golf. The Querencia development will also feature 255 home sites, 50 villas, condominiums and casitas. For more information call (114)-2-44-35 in Los Cabos; or (888)-346-6188 in the USA.
ELDORADO AT CABO REAL RESORT
The Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, Eldorado Golf Club, is Los Cabos latest public course and a winner in all respects. It was completed in late 1999 joining the internationally renowned Robert Trent Jones II course at the 3,500-acre Cabo Real resort development. This oceanfront Championship course offers ocean views from every hole and golfers say the vistas are so distracting its hard to keep your mind on the game. Its set primarily in the arroyo near the Westin Regina Hotel at the northeast end of Cabo Real, spanning both sides of the Transpeninsular Highway. Eldorado features a unique combination of ocean front and desert canyon golf. You cannot find better golf in Los Cabos or practically anywhere in the world, says Johnny Vaughan, President of the Cabo Real Development. The eighteen-holee, par 72 course is designed so that anyone can play it, whether youre teeing off from the whites or the blacks. The 7050-yard course is relatively forgiving if you can manage to avoid playing into the many sand traps. Eldorado has seven ocean holes and four lakes, hybrid Bermuda grasses, tifway fairways, tees and roughs, and champion greens with approximately 90 bunkers. Carved out of some of the most difficult terrain in Los Cabos, playing this spectacular design will kindle a golfers passion for both the game and Baja California Sur as a world class golf destination. Its said that the fourteenth hole is the most beautiful in Los Cabosyou be the judge. To avoid getting distracted by the dramatic ocean views and spouting whales, think instead of Shivas Irons saying Let the nothingness into yer shots.
ROBERT TRENT JONES II AT CABO REAL RESORT
Within the boundaries of this huge ocean-front resort development, nestled among hotels Melia Cabo Real, Las Ventanas al Paraiso, Casa del Mar, and Melia Los Cabos, lies the magnificent Robert Trent Jones II Championship golf course. The site of the 1999 PGA Senior Slam Tournament, the course is a classic design laid over more than 7,000 yards of verdant landscape with three ocean-front holes. Noted golf architect, Jones set up Cabo Real to be a real test for low handicappers, but with multiple tees it is fun for players of any level. Low handicap golfers will find the sand traps and obstacles somewhat difficult, but playable by the less experienced, says Luis Ituarte, the golf pro at Cabo Real. A picturesque and diverse course, Cabo Real features rolling fairways with strategically placed bunkers on narrow terrain that work their way up to the sixth tee, 460 feet above sea level. The first six holes are in mountainous terrain, with hills and valleys stretching into the surrounding Sierras; others are nestled near the beachan inspiring view awaits you from each of them. Stronger players may be caught overshooting the twelth hole, which sits atop a high mesa facing the sea. The most spectacular view of the course is from the fiftheenth tee, directly on the beach, and plays near the surf in front of the hotel Melia Cabo Real and the Las Ventanas al Paraiso.
JACK NICKLAUS AT CABO DEL SOL
Located within a planned complex of three eighteen-hole courses, the 1800-acre master planned Cabo del Sol development is a joint venture of Koll Resorts International and Mexicos Grupo ICA; and is becoming one of the premier golf resort communities in the world. Cabo del Sol is another Jack Nicklaus signature course, this one with 1.5 miles of oceanfront. Considered by some to be the most challenging in Los Cabos, even those who dont agree with this say it is of spectacular design and thrilling to play. Jack Nicklaus has called his perfect stretch of Los Cabos the best piece of golf property in the world. Golf Magazine named Cabo del Sol on its list of the Top 100 Courses In The World, and Pacific Golf Magazine has called it one of Nicklaus finest creations and the Mexican version of Pebble Beach. Plenty of arroyos, sand traps and other obstacles make play very interesting. The fourth hole is the longest on the front nine playing 568 yards from the championship tees. Holes six and seven are a rare surprise with back-to-back par threes that play 190 and 207 yards respectively. As well designed as the front nine, the back nine will tease intermediate players, but beginners may find themselves hitting out of arroyos. Cabo del Sol Director of Golf, Brad Wheatley, says play within yourself, dont try to do too much. Keep out of the desert, but if you get stuck, stay focused on the ball. Of the nearly two miles of ocean frontage, 1.5 miles of it is devoted to holes six, seven, eight, sixteen, seventeen and eighteen. At the par three seventeenth, the golfer is faced with a 178-yard shot over a sandy beach and rock outcroppings to a small green framed by bunkers on one side and a drop to the ocean on the other. The finishing hole, guarded by desert and cactus on the right and rock cliffs leading to the sea on the left, is modeled after the eighteenth at Pebble Beach. A wonderful combination of natural beauty and brilliant architecture, Nicklaus says Cabo del Sol has three of the best ocean finishing holes in the world. Cabo del Sol is only getting better. The new Tom Weiskopf eighteen holes will be open in November 2001, his first in México. Planned to spread across 140 acres of gently rolling desert terrain with dramatic large boulders, the target style golf course will also incorporate large landing areas and new forced carries. According to Cabo del Sol management, this will ensure an enjoyable golf experience for players of all levels. Construction costs are estimated to be $12 million and the course will offer higher elevations with desert and ocean views. Completely different in style and topography from the Nicklaus course, Weiskopfs design should be a fitting contribution to golf at Cabo Del Sol.
Cabo San Lucas Country Club
Only a few minutes east of Cabo San Lucas, The Cabo San Lucas Country Club offers a challenging eighteen-hole course designed to test the mettle of players at all levels of ability. Although seemingly not as difficult as the other courses in Cabo, the course record at The Cabo San Lucas Country Club is stubbornly set at one over par. You can’t miss the beautiful entrance with its huge flowing fountain and lavish garden. Designed by the renowned Dye Corporation, fairways are positioned on gently sloping terrain overlooking the Sea of Cortez; the only course in Los Cabos with a view of Land’s End. This 745-acre course has been built in an area of classic desert beauty while maintaining the fragile eco-system. The Cabo San Lucas Country Club remains a natural habitat for all manner of flora and fauna. Two of the most notable holes on the golf course are holes five and sixteen. Number five is the highest handicapped hole which plays 446 yards from the championship tees. The long fairway doglegs right and slopes gently uphill. The green has forward sand bunkers both right and left as well as a water hazard to the left and rear of the green. Although the green is visible from the tee boxes it is not until a player is contemplating his shot to the green that he or she realizes why this par four hole is ranked number one.
The finishing hole, par four, is less demanding than most. While not particularly ominous, number eighteen offers the most spectacular panoramic view of the Mar de Cortez and Land’s End available at The Cabo San Lucas Country Club. You’ll want to take a little more time before approaching your second shot, but only to savor an incredible vista unique to Los Cabos.
CAMPO DE GOLF FONATUR IN SAN JOSE DEL CABO
The San José Municipal Campo de Golf offers players at all levels some of the most interesting golf in Los Cabos, and though its the signature caliber of the other courses, the course maintains competitive and affordable prices. The nine-hole 2,900-yard course was built by the Mexican governments FONATUR development agency, which maintain it beautifully. Designed for intermediate and beginning golfers, this is a great course for the entire family to play in a pleasant atmosphere surrounded by well-landscaped residential properties featuring an abundance of multi-hued bougainvilleas. From the first tee you are greeted by a panoramic view of the Sea of Cortéz and the cape that comprises San José del Cabo. This par four hole slopes downward, with a wide fairway that doglegs left. Its easy to lose balls on this course, what with many condominium resorts surrounding the fairways. The 7th hole offers a wonderful view with the ocean on your left and mountains facing you as you approach the green. Theres a large lake at the bottom and to the left of the green and a lateral sand trap at the back of the green challenging over achievers. The ninth is a good finishing hole with a wide sloping fairway with sand traps to the top, right and bottom of the green. This is a heavily used course so chose your tee times carefully which are on a first-come, first-serve basis. No reservations. Check for the golf pros hours. This is a wonderful community center for locals, and an added attraction for sports minded visitors.