The 10 Best Publicly Playable Golf Courses in Los Cabos



From the moment Jack Nicklaus arrived on the scene in the early 1990s, Los Cabos has been in the midst of an unprecedented golfing boom. Four of its 15 courses are now ranked among the World’s 100 Best Courses (U.S. excluded) by Golf Digest: Querencia, Quivira, The Dunes at Diamante, and the Ocean Course at Cabo del Sol. That's a mind-blowing 27 percent of the municipality’s currently operating layouts. The word currently is important, as five more high-profile courses are in the developmental stage, with designs from major champions Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Greg Norman and Fred Couples expected to open in coming years.

The courses fall into three basic categories: public, private, and playable with some restrictions or strings attached. The Tom Fazio designed Chileno Bay Golf Club, for example, is playable for guests at Chileno Bay Resort. Quivira, Nicklaus' spectacular cliffside masterpiece, is accessible to guests at Pueblo Bonito's four area resorts, and to owners at several neighboring developments. Diamante’s courses from both Davis Love III (The Dunes) and Tiger Woods (El Cardonal and the 12-hole Oasis Short Course) are playable for residents and resort guests, and in some cases as a bonus to those who’ve attended Diamante relevant time share presentations. Less complicated are Cabo del Sol’s Ocean and Desert Courses, Cabo Real, Cabo San Lucas Country Club, Campestre, Palmilla, Puerto Los Cabos, and Vidanta. They’re all open to the public. El Dorado and Querencia, by contrast, are private, members-only clubs.

What all the local courses have in common is a stunning mix of terrains and Pacific Ocean or Sea of Cortés views. Some holes hug the sandy coastline, some meander through cactus-strewn desert, others climb into the foothills of the mountain range – the Sierra de la Laguna – that forms the spine of Baja California Sur between Los Cabos and La Paz. Most of the newer layouts also boast luxe amenities like golf carts outfitted with GPS yardage displays, and mid-course comfort stations offering cocktails and snacks. Out top pick, Quivira Golf Club, has even opened a steakhouse adjacent its pro shop, taking the traditional 19th hole concept to an entirely new level.




The Vidanta Course in San José del Cabo is the oldest in Los Cabos; the granddaddy of them all. It's modest in comparison to the championship-level layouts that followed, a 9-hole municipal course designed in 1987 by Mario Schjetnan. Originally...  Read More




The Cabo San Lucas Country Club was part of the first wave of the Los Cabos golf boom, although it was called Campo de Carlos when it opened back in 1994. This Roy and Matt Dye design winds elegantly through both desert and mountain terrain, and...  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 sculpted fairways are covered with seashore papsalum, a tropical grass common...  Read More




Cabo Real is one of a trio of layouts managed by Questro Golf (Campestre and Puerto Los Cabos are the other two), meaning visitors can buy multiple-round passes good at any of the three area golf courses. Cabo Real was the first of the group to...  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, which opened in 2001, plays from five sets of tees (ranging from 4,919 to 7,049-yards in length) and...  Read More




Palmilla was Jack Nicklaus' first course design in Los Cabos, and his first of many in Latin America. Brought down at the behest of then prominent developer Don Koll, Nicklaus unveiled his 9-hole Mountain and Arroyo Courses in 1992, returning...  Read More




Puerto Los Cabos opened in 2008 with an irresistible twist: the world's only composite course from Jack "The Golden Bear" Nicklaus and Greg "The Great White Shark" Norman. Norman designed the front-nine Mission Course, highlighted by the...  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 18-time major champion Jack Nicklaus was the one who put the area on the map. The Ocean Course at Cabo del Sol was...  Read More




Davis Love III's links style Dunes Course at Diamante was a revelation when it opened in 2009. It's currently rated as the best course in México by Golf Digest, and the 38th best course in the world by Golf Magazine. To play this challenging...  Read More




Quivira is legendary golfer and designer Jack Nicklaus' sixth Los Cabos layout, and his second local masterpiece. "Our team worked with the canvas Mother Nature provided," Nicklaus said, "to create one of the most spectacular courses in the...  Read More


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Meet Chris Sands

Chris Sands is co-founder of CaboVivo, co-writer of Fodor's Los Cabos travel guidebook, Editor at Baja.com, and a contributor to Forbes and 10Best at USA Today, as well as other websites and...  More About Chris

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