More Golf Courses Are on the Way from Big-Names Like Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman
Los Cabos has been riding the crest of an unprecedented golfing boom for close to three decades now. Since the first modest 9-hole course appeared in San Jose del Cabo in 1987, championship-level loops have been premiering on a regular basis. Jack Nicklaus kick-started the local boom in the 1990s with memorable courses at Palmilla, El Dorado, and Cabo del Sol; but other major champions soon followed, including Tom Weiskopf, Greg Norman, Davis Love III and Tiger Woods.
As of April 2018, there are 15 courses operating in Los Cabos, and four of them – an astonishing 27% – made Golf Digest’s recent list of the 100 best international courses. Love’s Dunes Course at Diamante sits at 38th overall in Golf Magazine’s ratings, which encompasses courses from every country on earth. Nicklaus’ Ocean Course has been rated among the top 100 for 15 consecutive years, and his spectacular course at Quivira cracked the elite rankings after being open for only three years.
Amazingly, there are no signs that the pace of new courses in lessening. Quite the contrary. As many as a half-dozen new courses are slated to open in the next few years, including challenging new layouts from Woods, Nicklaus, Norman, Fred Couples and Robert Trent Jones II.
Here are the top 5 new courses expected to open by 2020…
The First Fred Couples Design in Los Cabos
Fred Couples only captured one major championship – the 1992 Masters Tournament at Augusta National – but his sweet, seemingly effortless swing and consistent play translated to over 60 total wins, and better than two decades of stardom on the PGA Tour. Now he’s coming to Los Cabos, designing the highly anticipated Twin Dolphin Golf Club. If the name Twin Dolphin sounds familiar, it’s because it is: it was the name of a pioneer resort which originally opened in the Los Cabos tourist corridor during the 1970s. The reincarnated version will accompany Montage and Maravilla, two new resort and residential projects overlooking Bahia Santa Maria. Play is expected to begin later this year.
A New Greg Norman Course at Rancho San Lucas
Solmar Group is not only one of the premier Los Cabos hospitality brands, but a legacy company whose history is inextricably tied up with the growth of tourism in Cabo San Lucas. The group’s founder, Don Luis Bulnes Molleda, was the manager of the Land’s End community’s cannery before he partnered with Luis Coppola on Finisterra, and then opened his own Hotel Solmar in 1974. Rancho San Lucas is Solmar’s ambitious new resort and residential development on Cabo San Lucas’ Pacific Coast. It joins a portfolio that already includes Solmar Resort, Grand Solmar and Playa Grande, and will be centered around an 18-hole golf course from Norman that is expected be open by late 2018 or early 2019.
A Second Jack Nicklaus Course at Quivira
When legendary champion Jack Nicklaus kick-started the Los Cabos golfing boom in the early 1990s, his natural canvases were found at tourist corridor properties like Palmilla and Cabo del Sol. Now, with the success of Diamante and Nicklaus’ first magnificent effort at Quivira, the golf focus has shifted to the Pacific Coast. Quivira Golf Club opened in 2014 and has climbed the world rankings in near record time, so reports that Nicklaus is returning to design a second course for the Pueblo Bonito affiliated development counts as big news. Groundbreaking on the new layout is expected to happen next summer.
A Second Robert Trent Jones II Course in Los Cabos
Robert Trent Jones II is one of the least heralded Los Cabos course architects. There’s no secret why. He’s one of the few that has never won a major championship. Then again, he is the son of the most prolific designer ever, and a man who has designed over 270 courses around the world during his own acclaimed 50-year career. Jones helped put Los Cabos on the golfing map when television cameras caught whales breaching near a seaside green during a 1996 PGA Senior Grand Slam event at his Cabo Real course. Now he’s returning to design a second local loop, this time for luxury brand Four Seasons at their new Costa Palmas resort on Los Cabos’ gorgeous East Cape. Expect the new golf course to open in mid to late 2019.
A Third Tiger Woods Course at Diamante
Diamante ushered in the second wave of the Los Cabos golf boom with Davis Love III’s majestic links style Dunes Course, which has been showered in accolades ever since it opened in 2009. The Dunes may be the showpiece, but the star at Diamante is now 14-time major champion Tiger Woods, who has already designed two courses for the resort and residential development north of Cabo San Lucas – the parkland El Cardonal and the 12-hole Oasis short course – and has another in the development stages. Woods, who has made news recently with a return to form following years of back and knee-related injuries, will be a favorite at next month’s Masters Tournament. Groundbreaking on his third Diamante offering, a lush layout in the style of Shadow Creek in Las Vegas, is expected to begin in 2019.
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