The Takeaway: Despite extinguishing its photogenic signature hole on the ocean in favor of erecting a beach club in its place, the Ocean course at Cabo del Sol is a fantastic offering and easily one of best courses in Mexico. The Nicklaus design feels like Jack’s handiwork with deep bunkers, challenging approach shots, and exhilarating tee balls complimented by pristine conditioning. Don’t leave this course off your Cabo itinerary. Grade A
Designer: Jack Nicklaus in 1994
Cost: $195.00 - $395.00 (includes cart) Click for current rates
Phone Number: +52 624 145 6300 or US 1-866-231-4677
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Cabo del Sol (Ocean)'s official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - Cabo del Sol Km 10.3 Carretera Transpeninsular, Cabo San Lucas, BCS 23410
Accolades: Ranked 3rd in Baja California Sur and 3rd in Mexico by Golf Course Gurus.
What to Expect: The Ocean course at Cabo del Sol enjoyed a 15 year run as the undisputed best course in Mexico. With the additions of the Dunes course at Diamante and Nicklaus' Quivira design, the Ocean course suddenly found itself in a dogfight for the number one spot in Cabo let alone all of Mexico. The setting of desert meeting ocean is a welcome one with players being taken down to the water on each nine. The course features plenty of elevated tees, beautiful ocean views, excellent conditioning, and memorable hole designs. The back to back par threes on the front nine along the Sea of Cortez quickly highlight the front nine routing with a member of the staff waiting to take a photo of your foursome. The signature hole was formerly the 17th which was a stunning one-shotter over ocean water along a white sand beach to a peninsula green. In late 2018 the hole was removed and a beach house began construction to take advantage of the beautiful setting. While it was surely an unfortunate blow to the golf course, there are still plenty of great holes to enjoy including the incredible finishing hole that contends as one of the best closers in the country. Ultimately the course feels like a typical Nicklaus design with plenty of forced carries, deep bunkers, and challenging hole designs that require you to be on your 'A' game to score well on. It may no longer be the king of Cabo, but it should absolutely be played on your visit to Mexico. On a side note, players will enjoy complimentary tacos at the turn as well as drinks during their round.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 18th Hole – 430 Yard Par 4 – The Ocean’s finishing hole is a fantastic offering and perhaps the best closer on the peninsula. The fairway bends from left to right with the beach and ocean hugging the inside and the green sitting as a peninsula to finish at. It’s the players choice on which challenge they want to contend with most. The more you are willing to flirt with the water on the tee shot the less it is a factor on the approach. Play away from the water on the tee shot and be ready to contend with the water more on the approach. With a classic risk/reward design and a spectacular setting, the 18th is everything you could hope for in finishing your experience at Cabo del Sol.
Best Par 3: 6th Hole – 184 Yards – When you go to Cabo del Sol there is obviously a lot of excitement to see what oceanside holes you’ll be exposed to, and the 6th doesn’t disappoint. A rocky coastline forms the left side of the hole, a pair of bunkers flank each side of the green, and beautiful blue ocean creates the perfect background. The ideal play is a draw that starts away from the water and works its way between the bunkers and into the center of the green. It’s a beautiful hole and the perfect start to back-to-back par threes.
Best Par 4: 17th Hole – 447 Yards – More stunning scenery and fun await on the 17th where players tee off from an elevated box with an unobstructed view of the fairway and ocean below. A cut shot over the cactus at the beginning of the fairway is an ideal play that will split the fairway bunkers and use the left-to-right sloping terrain to tumble the ball further down the short grass. The approach shot plays to a green with a pair of bunkers on the left, one well short of the front, and sloping terrain on the right that will send balls to the salt water below. The stunning contrast of the green grass and blue ocean is pure eye candy to enjoy while the shot making required to secure a par is equal to the setting. This memorable hole is an excellent precursor to the all-Cabo finisher.
Best Par 5: 4th Hole – 555 Yards – The par five 4th hole is a downhill journey filled with eye candy as it tumbles towards the ocean. The tee shot plays to a generous fairway with a pair of bunkers and a palm tree on the right side of the driving zone. The approach shot plays slightly to the left with a desert wash dissecting the fairway in front of the green with a pair of cavernous bunkers also flanking the front edge of the putting surface. There is a bit of a bowl effect on the right side of the green so that you can work it off the back with your wedge rather than flirting with the deep bunker on that line, while the left side of the green is flatter with a smooth slope throughout. Reaching this green in two is doable but the depth of the bunkers and desert wash area are good reasons to consider laying up and attacking the flag with a scoring club.
Birdie Time: 7th Hole – 139 Yard Par 3 – The second of back-to-back par threes, the short 7th should be a confidence builder and a great chance to snag a birdie. The wind off the ocean should be helping you from behind or coming in off the left and pushing your ball away from trouble. With a scoring club in your hand, you can take a line just left of the bunker front the green which will leave you in an accessible portion of the green and will keep you on the putting surface if the wind works your ball right. With the beach crossing between the tee and green and natural rocks adding character to the setting, it is an enjoyable and confidence building hole to take on.
Bogey Beware: 5th Hole – 490 Yard Par 4 – Players may be excited to see the ocean at the end of this hole, but they may cry before they get there. This 490 yards brute is going to make you earn a par more than another other offering on the course. Waste areas frame each side of the fairway and the wind can often be in your face; a combination that drops confidence in players not up to the task at hand. In addition, the rise in the fairway on the right side blocks seeing some of the landing area. The approach shot is bunkerless, Jack’s only mercy here, but a lip in front of the green will reject shots that don’t come in with the proper merit. A green in regulation here is a stout task, especially given the distracting scenery.