The best publicly playable golf courses in Cabo

Arroyos. Mountains. Deserts. Cliffs. Pacific Ocean. Sea of Cortez. Combine all this with over 11 months of sunshine and you’ve got the perfect formula for a golf mecca.

Since Jack Nicklaus put his fingerprint on Cabo the early 1990s, Los Cabos has become the ‘Golf Capital of Latin America” and one most highly regarded golf destinations in the world. Three amazing courses in Cabo have been selected by Golf Digest’s panelists in the magazine’s most recent edition of its “World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses” list: The Dunes at Diamante, Querencia, and Quivira.

Whether its stunning cactus-strewn desert terrains or sandy coastlines, Pacific Ocean or Sea of Cortéz views, or foothills of the Sierra de la Laguna mountains, the golf scene in Cabo has something for everyone. If you live to golf, where is a growing number of golf course communities where you can live right on the links.

To help you pick the right course for your visit, we’ve taken the liberty of grouping the local courses in Cabo into three main categories: 1. Public; 2. Publicly playable by meeting certain stipulations; 3, Private.

Top golf courses in Cabo which are open to the public:

1. Cabo Real

Opened in 1994, the 7,037 yard Cabo Real course was designed by pioneering golf course architect Robert Trent Jones. In fact, it was whales breeching just yards offshore the first three holes of a 1996 PGA Senior Grand Slam event at Cabo Real that truly put Los Cabos golf on the world map. Cabo Real possesses what is widely considered the toughest front nine of golf in Cabo and is favorite of many pros.

Hot tip: Managed by Questro Golf, visitors are able to purchase discounted two-, three- and five-round passes good at the three local Questro properties (Cabo Real, Club Campestre and Puerto Los Cabos). The passes expire 14 days after the first round has been played.

Love playing Cabo Real? Check out the latest home listings in Cabo Real.

2. Club Campestre

Opened in 2007, the 7,055-yard Club Campestre course was designed by Jack Nicklaus. Nestled between the Sierra de la Laguna foothills and downtown San José del Cabo, Club Campestre features intense elevation changes, complex bunkers, challenging multi-tiered greens, and spectacular Sea of Cortéz views.

Hot tip: Is eco-travel your thing? Club Campestre’s fairways use paspalum, a tropical, disease resistant grass popular that uses far less fertilizers than other area courses. Also,

Love playing Club Campestre? Check out the latest home listings in Club Campestre.

3. Palmilla

Palmilla was the first Jack Nicklaus in all of Latin America, let along Los Cabos. With prominent developer Don Koll, Nicklaus unveiled the 9-hole Mountain and Arroyo Courses in 1992. He then returned in 199 to add the 9-hole Ocean Course, featuring over 600-feet of elevation changes within the first 6 holes alone and has scenic palm trees framing the Sea of Cortéz vistas.

Hot tip: At Palmilla, players are permitted to select their choice of two of the three nine-hole layouts to make up their round – that’s 6 different possible combinations or orders!

Love playing Palmilla? Check out the latest home listings in Palmilla.

4. Puerto Los Cabos

Opened in 2007, Puerto Los Cabos is the world’s only course co-designed by “The Golden Bear” (Jack Nicklaus) and “The Great White Shark” (Greg Norman). The nine-hole Mission Course, designed by Norman, showcases a 213-yard par-3 sixth hole with a 10-story high elevated tee box over a bunker fringed green and miles of gorgeous coastline. The nine-hole Ocean Course (aka Nicklaus I), was expanded by The Golden Bear in 2018 with a second ninehole course dubbed Nicklaus II. Similar to  Palmilla, visiting golfers can mix and match their favorite 18 out of the the 27 available holes.

Hot tip: Come hungry to golf at Puerto Los Cabos. The on-course refreshment stations every 3 holes feature some of the best shrimp tacos and burritos around as well as beverages of your choice.

Love playing Puerto Los Cabos? Check out the latest home listings in Puerto Los Cabos.

5. Vidanta

The oldest golf course in Los Cabos, Vidanta, is a 9-hole course designed by Mario Schjetnan, a prominent Mexico City based architect. Originally known as Punta Sur, the course is located near the Vidanta Los Cabos resort in San José del Cabo and operated by Grupo Vidanta. Despite opening in 1987, many seasoned players still swear by this 3,153-yard layout with narrow fairways, moderate bunkers, and one major water hazard.

Hot tip:  Vidanta is Cabo’s most budget-friendly municipal course yet still features glimpses of the Sea of Cortéz and the Sierra de la Laguna mountains.

Love playing Vidanta? Check out the opportunities to own in nearby San José del Cabo.

Other public courses in Los Cabos:

Top golf courses in Cabo which are playable if you are staying at a certain property:

1. Quivira

Prerequisites: Playable by guests at the four local Pueblo Bonito resorts (Blanco, Rosé, Pacifica, and Sunset) and Pueblo Bonito’s luxury residential developments Quivira, Copala, Montecristo Estates, and Novaispania.

Quivira is the legendary Jack Nicklaus’ sixth course in Cabo. Using the canvas provided by Mother Nature, The Golden Bear created a 7,085-yard masterpiece that is truly breathtaking in every respect. Set on the Pacific Coast, Quivera’s 18 ocean view holes wind tightly along sheer cliffs, through windswept dunes, and amidst desert foothills. Keep watch for roadrunners and even breeching whales. This is widely renown as the most spectacular golf course in Cabo. Nicklaus has a second Quivira course in development.

Hot tip: Ranked #87 in the world by Golf Digest, everything is perfect here, including the practice area with its own picturesque ocean views. There are also four on-course comfort stations complete with tasty snacks and cocktails.

Love playing Quivira? Check out the latest home listings in Quivira.

2. The Dunes at Diamante

Prerequisites: Playable by resort guests at Diamante and the Nobu Hotel Los Cabos.

Opened in 2009, Davis Love III’s 7,300-yard Dunes Course redefined golf in Los Cabos. It remains Golf Digest’s 50th best course in the world and the top-rated course in México. Fashioned to showcase white sand dunes set along the Pacific Ocean, many say the course looks like giant show drifts encompassing holes which naturally hug the flowing terrain.

Hot tip: Just enjoy a magical round; honestly, how often do you get to play a country’s #1 course? Try a slider, a tamale, and have a margarita in the comfort stations, but do yourself a favor and don’t go overboard – you’ll want to remember this day for long time.

Love playing at Diamante? Check out the latest home listings in Diamante.

3. El Cardonal at Diamante

Prerequisites: Playable by resort guests at Diamante and the Nobu Hotel Los Cabos.

Opened in 2014, The 7,363-yard El Cardonal is Tiger Woods’ architectural debut and has drawn universal acclaim. He had other projects underway before breaking ground in Cabo, however, this was the first to welcome play, with Tiger himself hitting the opening tee shot at the ribbon cutting. Desiring an “old California” style course similar to those he grew up playing, the incredible site is routed through dunes, desert and arroyos and features water views from all 18 holes. In its design, Woods aimed to force golfers make strategic choices about shot selection and angles of approach; regardless of handicap, he wanted there to be different ways to play each hole. Woods’ 12-hole short course at Diamante, The Oasis, is the only par-3 layout of its kind in Los Cabos.

Hot Tip: The course name was inspired by Tiger’s alma mater, Stanford University, where Woods won a school record-tying 11 tournaments, including eight wins in 13 starts in 1996.

Love playing at Diamante? Check out the latest home listings in Diamante.

4. Rancho San Lucas

Prerequisites: Playable by guests at Solmar Hotels & Resorts’ seven local properties (Grand Solmar Land’s End, Grand Solmar Pacific Dunes, Grand Solmar The Residences, The Ridge at Playa Grande, Playa Grande Resort, Solmar Resort, and Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas)

The cornerstone of the Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas, a 7,210-yard Greg Norman designed masterpiece set along the Pacific Ocean, opened in February 2020, Possessing amazing ocean views on all 18 holes, it immediately won acclaim from the golfing community including a Golf Digest Editor’s Choice award. Norman’s goal was to employ a ‘least-disturbance’ approach with the course to keep it as natural as possible and weave through Rancho San Lucas’ three unique ecosystems: the ocean, the sand dunes and the arroyos. The most memorable hole is the 161-yard par-3 17th featuring an island green

Hot tip: Players enjoy complementary food and drink at several Shark Shack on-course comfort stations.

Love playing at Rancho San Lucas? Check out the latest home listings in Rancho San Lucas.

5. Costa Palmas Golf Club

Prerequisites: Playable by guests at Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas

Two and a half decades after Cabo Real, renown golf course architect Robert Trent Jones II unveiled the 7,221-yard Costa Palmas in 2019. It’s the first course of significance on the East Cape, debuting in conjunction with the ultra-luxe Four Seasons, and shows off breathtaking views of the Sierra de la Laguna mountains, the Sea of Cortéz beyond, and a yacht-filled marina.

Hot tip: There are two on-course refreshment stations, Bouchie’s and Lucha Libre, to help soothe your soul after a sliced tee shot or drifted putt. Still hungry afterwards? Check out the renowned al pastor at nearby Taquería Pinches Tacos del Toro.

Love playing at Costas Palmas? Check out the latest home listings in the East Cape of Baja.

Other golf courses in Cabo which are playable with certain stipulations:

Private golf courses in Cabo:

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