The final Hooked on Golf Blog world tour stop of 2018 was at TPC Danzante Bay golf course, on property at Villa del Palmar Beach Resort and Spa at the Islands of Loreto, Mexico. TPC Danzante Bay is a Reese Jones design, winding amongst the mountains that surround the beautiful Danzante Bay.
Reese Jones is the son of one of golf’s all time greatest architects Robert Trent Jones Senior. I’ve had the opportunity to play many Rees Jones courses and TPC Danzante Bay is right there amongst the best of them.
TPC Danzante Bay Is located approximately 300 miles northeast of Cabo, Mexico, on the east coast of the Mexican Baja. The nearest town is the quaint and historic seaside town of Loreto, Mexico. Loreto and its airport is approximately 45 minutes away. The course’s home is the rugged desert hills and vistas in the Sierra de la Giganta mountain range, which overlooks the bay.
The golf course plays to a par value of 72, 36 front and 36 back. From the longest set of tees, the blacks, the course stretches to 7,237 yards. There are four other sets of tees for golfers of varying abilities.
I would normally post the course slope and rating but my score card and information I have on the course shows neither. Perhaps it is so new (2016) it has not been rated yet.
I found the course routing to be quite enjoyable. There is a wide and interesting variance as the course travels through the valley floor, up the side hills, to the tops of the mountains and back down by the sea. Along its journey the course provides stunning visuals and vistas worthy of photography on practically every hole. I nearly spent as much time taking pictures of the golf course as I did playing it.
I felt right at home and enjoyed the elevation changes on many of the holes which reminded me of my home mountain golf. Some of the most entertaining elevation drops are on the par-3 17th and the par-3 9th. The par-4 15th and 16th holes present a fun elevation increase where calculating the proper club on approach is challenging. If the golfer picks a club which is too short or doesn’t make solid contact, the ball could land short and roll all the way back to his position.
Tee shots are a blast and on this course you’ll love blasting your tee shots to the fairly forgiving and wide fairways. There are some forced carries from many of the tees, as much of the course style is desert target. If the golfer is playing from the appropriate tee, carrying the native areas should not be an issue. I really enjoyed how each different tee not only gave the golfer a different choice in terms of length, but angle and elevation as well.
There are some extremely fun par-4’s and par-5’s with large elevation changes which make driving the golf ball a hell of a lot of fun. The par-5 fifth, par-4 seventh, and par-4 18th holes come to mind. On the par-4 7th I had one of those blasts. I hit a towering draw which caught the speed slot and traveled all the way down to about 120 yards from the green, some 320+ yards from the tee.
As I mentioned the fairways are fairly wide and accessible. Only tee shots which are very errant will miss and find desert areas or natural hazards. There is some minor undulation in the fairways but uneven lies are not much of an issue.
I was very satisfied with the quality and grow-in of the fairways. The turf conditioning was terrific and there were no bad lies to be had.
Fairway bunkering is strategic and well-placed. Most fairway bunkers are navigable and the golfer has a chance to make the green with a well executed shot.
There are a few forced carries to some of the greens like the highly publicized par-3 17th, where carrying the ball all the way to the green is necessary. Most of the par-4’s and par-5’s, however, allow the golfer to choose the option of flying it all the way or hitting a links-style running shot short and bouncing it up onto the surface.
I found the greens at TPC Danzante Bay to be quite enjoyable to putt. Undulations and sloping are manageable. Two-putting from just about any quadrant to another is a fair proposition. Green conditioning was terrific, consistent, and the putts rolled true.
Par three and putting courses have really taken off in the last few years. It all started with the Himalayas, the putting course near the second tee of the old course in St. Andrews, Scotland.
TPC Danzante Bay offers a very fun 9-hole putting course which I enjoyed playing very much. The putting course is a great place for golfers and non-golfers to enjoy aspects of the game, settle bets from the big course, or just enjoy green grass and some frosty beverages in a friendly competition.
The practice area is terrific. On the fun driving range golfers hit uphill, similar to the par-4 15th and 16th holes. Near the range is a short-game practice area which gives the golfer the ability to practice every possible chip, pitch, and bunker shot he might encounter playing the course.
The pro shop is small and modest and sits next to a café which serves great food and beverages. From the patio patrons of the café enjoy a lovely view of the resort and bay below.
The course is part of the Villa del Palmar Beach Resort and Spa at the Islands of Loreto, Mexico. The resort offers luxury suites, beach and water activities, spa, fine dining, hiking, and much more. Check out the Villa del Palmar review here.
Before you book a golf trip to Cabo, Mexico I strongly suggest considering Villa del Palmar and TPC Danzante Bay. The golf course is extremely fun and fair to play. It doesn’t beat the golfer up too much like one might expect a TPC course to do. The views and variances one experiences on the course make every hole interesting and keep the golfer’s attention. When not golfing one can enjoy all of the great activities the resort has to offer.
Villa del Palmar Beach Resort and Spa at the Islands of Loreto, Mexico review.
TPC Danzante Bay image gallery
Current situation at Hooked on Golf Blog World Headquarters: snowed in. We are in a massive winter storm here. Many roads are closed. While I love skiing and winter sports, I found myself daydreaming about relaxing by the beach with a frosty beverage in hand. Great time to write my review of my recent trip to the Islands of Loreto, Mexico and the Villa del Palmar Beach Resort and Spa at The Islands of Loreto. Off we go to fantasy island.
Location Location Location
Villa del Palmar is located in the Baja California Sur, a sliver of land which extends several hundred miles south from San Diego, California and sits west of the Mexican mainland. The Baja is home to a very well known tourist destination, Los Cabos/Cabo San Lucas. Villa del Palmar is about 300 miles northeast of Cabo on the Baja’s east coast, about 30 minutes south of the town of Loreto, Mexico. Loreto is a friendly, quaint, scenic, and relaxing place with terrific shops, restaurants and great nearby activities.
Villa del Palmar Overview
Villa del Palmar resort is a gated resort occupying hundreds of acres of pristine oceanfront land, overlooking Danzante Bay and the Islands of Loreto. The resort features numerous 1-3 bedroom suites and penthouses up to four bedrooms.
Resort amenities include five swimming pools, hot tub, 39,000 square foot spa and wellness center, arcade room, kids club, fitness center, convenience store, night club, and shuttle service to/from downtown Loreto.
Resort guests can enjoy numerous activities. On property is TPC Danzante Bay Golf Course, a world class golf course by Rees Jones. Other activities include swimming, beach relaxing, biking, ATV’s, hiking the local mountains, snorkeling, sport-fishing, whale watching, paddle-boarding, kayaking, breathing fresh air, having your 5-year-old bury you up to the head in sand.
The resort features several dining options, from the casual Casa Mia restaurant to the elegant Danzante gourmet restaurant.
The bay is coral blue with barely any waves or water currents. Seriously. The largest wave I saw was about two inches. It’s dead calm, unlike many of the violent and dangerous waters in Cabo San Lucas.
The water is shallow and walkable, even hundreds of feet from the shore. The beach is perfect for families who have small children and don’t want the fear of issues with waves. Note how calm the water is in the photo below, where I was relaxing and enjoying the sea, sand, scenery, and serenity.
Activities in the bay include boating, snorkeling, swimming, building sand castles, kayaking, paddle-boarding and much, much more.
There are numerous pools and a hot tub for swimming and sunbathing, sans sand and salt water. The swimming pools at Villa del Palmar Beach Resort and Spa at the Islands of Loreto are shaped like turtles. It took me awhile to realize that. I didn’t make it to the hot tub, but it looked nice and large.
As a single player, my suite was the one-bedroom. The one-bedroom is very spacious, and can accommodate 2-4 adults. The main bedroom has a king size bed, and the living room has a sofa-bed for the kids or extra guests.
There’s a kitchen area in the one-bedroom, complete with a refrigerator, oven, stove, microwave, dishwasher, cupboards, and even a washer/dryer in the side closet.
The bathroom area is large, with a big jetted tub, separate shower, closet, separate toilet, and dual sinks.
The balcony of the room is huge and comes with a table and chair set, and lounge chair setup. Oh, and depending on the room there are views of the ocean or the resort.
One remarkable thing to mention regarding the suite is the service. Each day my suite was cleaned and made up to perfection.
I would return from the day’s activities of golf, hiking, boating to bedroom messages made from polished stones (photo above). “Towel sculptures” of birds and fish greeted my at the entrance to the shower. Very nice and fun touches.
I enjoyed meals at all of the dining options at Villa del Palmar Beach Resort and Spa at the Islands of Loreto. The breakfast buffet at The Market (photo below) was terrific. Enjoying breakfast and the perfect weather on the patio every morning was a great way to start the day.
One “gourmet” night at the classy Danzante Restaurant I enjoyed a terrific filet with all the accoutrements. One special part of the evening at Danzante Restaurant was getting “Mexican coffee.” This is special coffee drink prepared at table-side. Oh, and I should mention that the drink is on fire (photo below).
This section could really take a long time to express. There are so many great activities at Villa del Palmar Beach Resort and Spa at the Islands of Loreto Islands of Loreto. From boating, kayaking, swimming, snorkeling to sport fishing, it is all there. I can’t cover it all, but here are some highlights of my recent trip.
I really enjoyed the boat ride via the resort to the Islands of Loreto. What a beautiful area. The ride was smooth as glass and the islands are stunning. The last quarter of the boat ride was a stop by one of the islands where we dawned snorkels and did some snorkeling.
Naturally I spent a ton of time checking out TPC Danzante Bay, the Rees Jones designed golf course on the property. The golf course is tremendous, and doesn’t beat the golfer up like most TPC courses do. The design and scenery added up to such a thrilling golf experience. On my final round I managed to make a satisfying birdie on the par-3 17th, the course’s most famous hole (photo below).
On my next trip to the resort, and there will most definitely be one, I need to get in some of the activities I missed, like kayaking, hiking and so on. Can’t wait for that.
Getting to Villa del Palmar Beach Resort and Spa at the Islands of Loreto Islands of Loreto isn’t quite as easy as getting to Cabo or Mazatlan. The Loreto airport is 30 minutes away and does service jets from a couple of airlines. But honestly, that’s part of what makes the resort and the area around Loreto, Mexico so great. It’s not overrun with millions of tourists.
Warm weather, great golf, great water activities, relaxing on the beach… It all makes up a great offering from Villa del Palmar Beach Resort and Spa at the Islands of Loreto Islands of Loreto. The next time you are considering a trip to Mexico, take a solid look at Villa del Palmar Beach Resort and Spa at the Islands of Loreto Islands of Loreto and the area of Loreto before you book another trip to Cancun, Cabo, Mazatlan or any of the other heavily trafficked Mexican tourist destinations.
The latest stop on the HOG World Tour was TPC Danzante Bay, about 40 minutes from the town of Loreto, Mexico. Loreto is on the east coast of the Baja Peninsula, looking over the Gulf of California.
TPC Danzante Bay is a Rees Jones design which takes advantage of the local mountains to produce dramatic views, challenging carries, and elevation changes.
The course is part of the Villa del Palmar resort, which offers other great vacationing activities like great beaches, snorkeling, boating, hiking and more.
After a full day of traveling from the frozen tundra of Salt Lake, I’ve arrived in the warmth of Mexico at a great resort called Villa del Palmar (pictures soon). I just managed to squeeze in 9-holes at TPC Danzante Bay, the Rees Jones course here with the famous 17th hole. The 17th is shown below. Even after the sun has gone down it still looks awesome.
I’ll be exploring the resort and playing several rounds over the next 3-4 days at TPC Danzante, and of course reporting and posting many more photos. Stay tuned.
Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to a beach party! Woot!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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