Los Cabos, Mexico
Not too long ago, Los Cabos Swas a sleepy fishing town with one government-owned ninehole course. Now it's a genuine, if pricey, draw, with nine courses and more planned. This coastal corridor between of San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas still draws trophy anglers and party-hungry tourists, but golf now rules. Here's ...
Where you must play:
Cabo del Sol's Ocean Course remains numero uno for traveling golfers. This 1994 Jack Nicklaus design features back-to-back oceanfront par-3s on the front nine and a closing trio that's simply Mexico's best. The par-3 17th is the postcard hole: From a tee atop the cliffs it's an all-or-nothing shot over a sandy cove and rock outcropping, with the Sea of Cortez as a backdrop. 011-52-624-145-8200, cabodelsol.com; $250-$350
What's new in town:
Opened in July 2007, Club Campestre San Jose is Cabo's latest track, courtesy of the Nicklaus Design team. It's the centerpiece of a residential community, so expect it to go private eventually. Located near San Jose del Cabo and a short ride from the airport, the course oozes a manufactured feel, with vast, shallow bunkers and little of the elevation change that distinguishes the region's best courses. It's also relatively affordable for this area. 011-52-624-142-5327, clubcampestresanjose.com; $120-$215
What's worth groveling to play:
Tom Fazio's private Querencia gives Cabo del Sol a run for top-dog honors. It is a more consistent, playable layout with the quickest, meanest greens west of Augusta. loscabosquerencia.com
What's most underrated:
Jack Nicklaus' three nines at Palmilla Golf Club. There are no ocean holes, but it's a fun desert romp. 800-637-2226, oneandonlypalmilla.com; $235
What's coming up:
Slated for a spring '08 debut is Puerto Los Cabos Golf Club (puertoloscabos.com), with nines by Nicklaus and Greg Norman (both will eventually become 18-holers). Chileno Bay (chilenobayclub.com) should open the first of two Tom Fazio designs in fall 2008, followed by Diamante Cabo (diamantelife.com), just north of Cabo San Lucas, with efforts by Davis Love III and Phil Mickelson.
Where to Stay:
The Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort (800-HILTONS, hiltonloscabos.com; rooms from $299) is centrally located and has ocean views. Those willing to spend more will love the One & Only Palmilla (866-829-2977, oneandonlypalmilla.com; rooms from $575), one of Golf Magazine's Top 10 International Resorts.