Where the Desert Meets the Sea: Public Golf Courses in Los Cabos

Jack Nicklaus kickstarted the Los Cabos golfing boom in the early 1990s with superb course designs at Palmilla, Cabo del Sol and El Dorado. In the years since, the area has seen a proliferation of beautifully-crafted layouts from other legendary names, including Greg Norman, Davis Love III and Tiger Woods.

Two local courses are currently ranked in Golf Magazine's list of the world's 100 best: Cabo del Sol's Ocean Course, and the Dunes Course at Diamante. The former is public, the latter is private, although it is possible to play under certain circumstances. In Los Cabos, courses are often key perks in upscale residential communities, and thus may be played by prospective full-time or fractional owners. Nicklaus’ newest course, the spectacular cliffside Quivira, also has some strings attached; but since it is open to guests at all four local Pueblo Bonito hotels, we’ll consider it semi-public for the purposes of this list.

The Cabo San Lucas Country Club is one of the area's oldest courses, and the Roy Dye design offers expansive fairways rimmed with bougainvillea, cardón cactus, and palo blanco trees, as well as some pretty spectacular looks at Land's End and El Arco. Cabo Real has hosted two Senior Grand Slam events, and Puerto Los Cabos offers an interesting conceit: a loop featuring nine-hole layouts from major champions Nicklaus and Greg Norman. For golfers interested in a day-trip destination, yet another major champion, Gary Player, has designed a memorable course at Costa Baja near La Paz.

Punta Sur is the oldest course in Los Cabos - it opened in 1987 - and it's still a locals' favorite, since the 9-hole course is both beginner and budget friendly. The 3,153 yard layout is generally flat, with narrow fairways, moderate bunkering...  Read More

Yet another great Los Cabos course by Jack Nicklaus. Club Campestre opened in 2007, with a 6,966 yard layout tucked into the foothills of the Sierra de la Laguna. The expansive fairways are seeded with seashore papsalum, a coastal grass that...  Read More

Jack Nicklaus' Ocean Course gets all the plaudits, but Tom Weiskopf's superb Desert Course also deserves its share of praise. The inland layout plays from five sets of tees, ranging from 5,300 to 7,100 yards in length, and provides a challenging...  Read More

One of the oldest and finest of the local links, this lengthy 7,220 yard loops offers wide fairways that wind elegantly through both desert and mountain terrain, and often bordered by bougainvillea, palo blanco trees and towering cardón, the...  Read More

Of all the great courses in Los Cabos, Cabo Real is one of the least heralded, although it is the only area layout to host two PGA Senior Grand Slam Events. Cabo Real boasts a sweet set-up, with lush fairways, swaying palm trees, towering cactus...  Read More

Jack Nicklaus has designed so many great golf courses in Los Cabos, he should be eligible for dual citizenship. Palmilla is one of his crown jewels. This is one of three local courses that have been ranked among the best in the world, and the...  Read More

Costa Baja Resort & Spa is the first five star resort in Baja Sur's capital city of La Paz, and among the many splendid offerings at this luxury development is a Gary Player designed golf course. Rated as one of the best courses in México,...  Read More

Two-time major champion Greg "The Great White Shark" Norman meets 18-time major champion and local golf icon Jack "The Golden Bear" Nicklaus in one of the area's most unique layouts. Norman designed the front nine Mission Course, Nicklaus the...  Read More

Quivira is legendary golfer and designer Jack Nicklaus' sixth local layout. Set on the Pacific Coast north of Cabo San Lucas, this 7,139 yard resort course is gorgeous in every respect, with 18 holes winding spectacularly along sheer cliffs, and...  Read More

Los Cabos has drawn a host of legendary names to design the ever-increasing number of championship-level loops in the region, but nonpareil golfer Jack Nicklaus was the one who put the area on the map. The Ocean Course at Cabo del Sol is...  Read More


Meet Chris Sands

Chris Sands is Editor at Baja.com, co-writer of Fodor’s 2015 guide to Los Cabos, and a regular contributor to Los Cabos Magazine and 10 Best/USA Today. He lives in Cabo San Lucas.

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