I don’t know how many times I’ve said this, and this time won’t be the last. There isn’t a better gig out there than running this golf blog. As a result I have the pleasure of reviewing some of the best golf courses and golf travel destinations in the world. Los Cabos, Mexico is home to many of those courses and is certainly in the top tier of resort destinations. My tough duty today is posting a review of the splendid time I had at the Palmilla Golf Club in Los Cabos.
Palmilla Arroyo Course, #7 Tee – Beautiful view of the fairway and the Sea of Cortez – Click for more images
Palmilla Golf Club Overview
Palmilla is a Jack Nicklaus designed, 27 hole facility comprised of the Arroyo, Mountain and Ocean nines. The track meanders through the hilly desert terrain of Los Cabos, taking advantage of the local scenery, cacti and views of the Sea of Cortez. A large percentage of the holes have ocean views. There’s something very cool and relaxing about the contrast of the green fairways and having that cool blue background of the ocean. Contrast that with the perfectly manicured and colorful local vegetation, numerous types of cacti, and you get 27 holes of photo opps. As a result, I shot about 120 photos during my round.
I played 18 of the 27 holes, so my review and image gallery features the Mountain and Arroyo nines. I’ll have to return soon to review the Ocean nine. Hint, hint.
Today is another case of “being a golf blogger doesn’t suck.”
The high temperature at home today will be somewhere around 16F. But I won’t be looking out the window at the two feet of snow on the ground, wishing I could golf. I’ll be looking out the window of a US Airways jet as I make my way to Los Cabos, Mexico. I’ll be there for four days doing golf travel reviews on some resorts as well as evaluating two area golf courses.
Golf course #1 which I will be evaluating tomorrow will be Palmilla Golf Course, a Jack Nicklaus design. Golf course #2 is Club Campestre San Jose Golf Course, a Nicklaus design as well.
I’ve played many Nicklaus designs, so I’m fairly sure I’ll be needing to work on my fade and my sand game when I hit the range tomorrow morning.
A couple of days ago I posted my review of the Golden Horseshoe Green Course. I wrote it on the airplane ride home. I’ve now had a couple of days to reminisce and look over my photos of the Golden Horseshoe Gold Course. I loved it before but the more I reminisce, the better it gets.
Designed By Robert Trent Jones, Sr.
In 1963 the Golden Horseshoe Gold Course opened. It was designed by one of the most famous course designers in golf history, Robert Trent Jones, Sr.
History is a key word because the area of Colonial Williamsburg is a goldmine of historical events, people and places. That goldmine has been preserved since 1926 thanks to the likes of Reverend Dr. W.A.R. Goodwin, rector of Bruton Parish Church and John D. Rockefeller Jr. In fact, on a few holes of both courses, a small boat house (pictured right) on the water can be seen. That boat house was owned by Rockefeller.
I’m not typically a fan of “earth mover” course designs. I prefer designs which integrate and flow with the natural surroundings and topography, and that is just what the Gold course does. Back in the early sixties golf course design construction didn’t rely heavily on big machinery and moving a lot of earth. Course designers like Jones used their great imaginations and vision to take advantage of the existing topography.
Located in Colonial Williamsburg, the Green course comprises 18 out of the 45 holes of golf at the Golden Horseshoe. Rees Jones (son of Robert Trent Jones Sr.) designed and built the course with the help of the local crew, including my new buddy Rick Viancour, long time Golden Horseshoe superintendent. The course winds through a historic area which is preserved for its history. The course is also a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, providing a wonderful and beautiful refuge for local creatures and vegetation.
The history of the course isn’t just that of pre civil war Virginia and the burgeoning independence of the USA. The course itself has a wealth of golf history dating back to its opening in 1991, including many famous championships, the making of the Ryder Cup trophy, and the famous 18th hole defeat of Michelle Wie by Ya-Ni Tseng in the 2004 Women’s Amateur Publinks Championship.
The most recent and perhaps most distinguished bit of history for the Green course, is my birdie on the 18th in almost complete darkness. I guess I play better when I can’t see what I’m doing. Hey does that mean I can beat Michelle Wie? I doubt it.
I’m well spent after a long day of great golf at the Golden Horseshoe Gold Course, and touring the historical area here in Colonial Williamsburg. Before I turn in and get ready to jump on a plane home, I have to post a couple of shots from today.
Below is the spectacular 16th hole island green. This island green predates the 17th at TPC Sawgrass by decades.
The 2nd hole, a par-5, has a great approach shot over water. Big hitters can go for it. With conditions being tough and wet, that wasn’t an option for me. Made a decent par though, the old fashioned way.
I’ll populate my image galleries for the Golden Horseshoe Green and Gold courses when the HOG World Tour returns to HOG world headquarters Monday.