HOG World Tour
For the millionth time I must say I have one of the coolest gigs in the world. To be able to travel to fantastic golf vacation destinations like Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, for the purpose of reviewing world class golf courses, is a privilege I don’t take lightly.
Cabo del Sol Ocean Course – Los Cabos – click for more
On my recent Hooked On Golf Blog World Tour stop to Cabo, I had the pleasure of playing Cabo del Sol, a Jack Nicklaus signature design course built in 1994. The course is ranked by many top publications in the top 100 in the world, as well as ranked #1 in Mexico.
Part of what makes Cabo del Sol and the other golf courses in Cabo so great is the location. Los Cabos is located about 1,000 miles south of Los Angeles on the Baja California peninsula. That’s barely a 2.5 hour flight from Denver.
The weather in Cabo is fantastic all year, averaging 78 degrees. There are 350 sunny days per year, meaning one could take 10 days break from golfing per year for other activities, like going to a spa.
Jack Nicklaus had some fantastic real estate to work with when designing Cabo del Sol. Nearly half of the course’s 7,091 yards are on the ocean in the form of holes 5, 6, 7, 8, 16, 17 and 18. Can you say “Pebble South?” Jack Nicklaus himself said about the course, “the best piece of golf property I’ve ever seen.”
There are five sets of tees at Cabo del Sol. The longest playing set of tees (Black), measures at 7,091 yards. Slope from the back tees is 145 with a course rating of 74.4. In other words, the course is plenty of challenge even for scratch players or pros.
One of the most dramatic parts of the course is the stretch from hole five green through hole eight tee. Hole five is ranked the toughest on the course, a 490 yard par-4. From there holes six (pictured above) and seven are back-to-back par-3’s on the sea. Absolutely fantastic stretch of golf.
Carve this tee shot left to right. Try not to let the Sea of Cortez distract you!
Teeing areas at Cabo del Sol are typical of desert target style courses. The tees are mini islands in the desert, framed by finely manicured desert foliage and large cacti.
Many tee shots require some forced carries but nothing crazy. They’re completely manageable. Movement of the ball in both directions can help the player navigate the course from the tee and many tee shots tempt the player to hit driver when perhaps a more conservative play may be a better idea.
Cabo del Sol’s fairways are much wider than they appear from the tee. The landing areas are spacious. Missing the wide fairways is possible though, and penal. Native desert areas are often the last resting place for a chance at par.
Looking at the fairway and the Sea of Cortez as a pirate ship passes by in the background. Where else does this happen?
Hitting approaches from the fairways can be a challenge. Stances can be slightly uneven, influencing shot lines which may be opposite what may be optimal.
Approaching the greens at Cabo del Sol is challenging, Nicklaus style. Jack’s bunker complexes and design angles make approach shots the most critical shot on most of the holes. Proper approaches are the key to making par or birdie here.
Not a bad green complex, if you like tremendous scenery. Click to zoom.
The greens at Cabo del Sol are quite fun to putt. They’re large, with some very tasteful and fair undulations. Good reads and properly executed putts won’t produce any unwanted surprises. They’ll produce birdies and pars.
Make your own tacos! Brilliant – click to zoom
One of the highlights of my ENTIRE trip to Cabo was the taco stand at Cabo del Sol. The course is world famous for their tacos, to such an extent that sometimes the tacos get more press than the golf. Please note that I dedicated only one paragraph to the tacos…
The practice area is very well maintained with high quality range balls and cleaning stations. I was happy to hit the range before my round. The back was not happy. But after a few swings and loosening up in the warm Cabo weather, my back was back…so to speak.
There’s a practice putting area right next to the 1st tee, surrounded by large cacti and beautiful desert foliage.
Clubhouse as seen from #1 tee. Click to zoom.
The 40,000 square foot clubhouse at Cabo del Sol is home to a well appointed and classy pro shop. The open air building also boasts fine dining, men’s and women’s lounges, lockers and meeting facilities.
Even better than the courses and the places I get to see on my golf press trips are the fantastic people who run them, like my new friend and director of golf at Cabo del Sol, Greg Tallman. I had a fantastic time playing my round with Greg. I’m still amazed by the driver “off the deck” shot. Brilliant…
The service at Cabo del Sol was impressive, as has been my experience with just about every course and resort in the area. On the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, customer service is as good as anywhere I’ve been.
Cabo del Sol deserves all the accolades and awards it has received. The golf experience at Cabo del Sol does not disappoint. The facility has no weaknesses. From course design to amenities to course conditioning, throw in one of the best locations on the planet, the golf experience is tough to beat.
Hooked On Golf Blog Cabo del Sol photo gallery
Cabo del Sol website
Didn’t lose a golf ball in Mexico!
I’ve had a hell of a record going for an entire month of golf on some very tough golf courses. Coming into yesterday I’d gone 192 holes without losing a golf ball. Yesterday’s round was a Greek charity scramble. Scrambles are a different animal in golf. You try shots you normally wouldn’t when other players are already safely in play. I lost a ball on the 8th hole at Wingpointe, a short par-3 over water. I came up short and heard the sound of my ball hitting a rock. Never saw where it went. For all I know it was sitting nicely on a tuft of grass somewhere, but I’ll never know. Didn’t see a splash. So after seven holes yesterday it came to an end at the heartbreaking number of 199! Wow.
199 consecutive holes played without losing a golf ball!
I started the new record, but that one ended exactly nine holes later, on another par-3, the 17th. My record now stands at one. I managed play the finishing hole without losing a ball!
Here’s the final tally of holes/courses
7/4/13 Kingsbarns, Scotland 3
7/5/13 Carnoustie Golf Links, Scotland 18
7/6/13 Castle Course, Scotland 18
7/6/13 Balcomie Golf Links, Scotland 18
7/10/13 Bonneville Golf Club, Salt Lake City 9
7/15/13 Bonneville Golf Club, Salt Lake city 18
7/18/13 Cabo del Sol, Los Cabos Mexico 18
7/19/13 Cabo Real, Los Cabos Mexico 18
7/19/13 Diamante, Los Cabos Mexico 18
7/24/13 Bonneville Golf Club, Salt Lake City 18
7/25/13 Fore Lakes Executive Course, Murray UT 9
7/30/13 River Oaks Front Nine, Sandy UT 9 (174)
7/31/13 Bonneville Golf Club, Salt Lake City 18 (192)
8/3/13 Wingpointe Golf Course, Salt Lake City 7 holes (199)
The record spanned three countries and 12 courses (some I played more than once). It started in Scotland then went from there to the USA, Mexico and back to the USA.
That was fun.
Played 112 conescutive holes with ONE golf ball
One of the three courses the Hooked On Golf Blog (HOG) World Tour stopped at last week in Los Cabos, Mexico was Cabo Real. Cabo Real is the work of golf architect Robert Trent Jones II.
Cabo Real Golf Course – Los Cabos, Mexico – click for more
Enjoy the Cabo Real photos for now, and stay tuned for my review coming soon!
Cabo del Sol Golf Course
Diamante Image Gallery
Puerto Los Cabos Photos
Palmilla Golf Club
I’ve just uploaded a new gallery of Diamante golf course photos from the latest HOG World Tour stop in Los Cabos, Mexico. Diamante is a fabulous new golf course designed by Davis Love III. The course was built on pure sand dunes and is ranked #58 in the world and #1 in all of Mexico.
The best description my group could come up with for the course is “Mexico’s version of Whistling Straights.”
Diamante’s 16th Green – click for more
The site is also the future home of a Tiger Woods course which will be the 2nd on the property. I have some photos of the land under construction which I’ll post soon.
Cabo del Sol Ocean Course – Los Cabos – click for more
I had the pleasure of playing a round of golf last week in Los Cabos, Mexico at the Cabo del Sol Ocean Course. It was a pleasure playing with the Director of Golf (DoG) Greg Tallman.
The Ocean Course is a Jack Nicklaus signature design with some great elevation changes and some fantastic seaside holes. The taco stand at the turn is world renowned.
I’ve just uploaded some featured Cabo del Sol Ocean Course photos to the Hooked On Golf Blog image gallery for your enjoyment. I’ll be posting my review later so stay tuned.