The Takeaway: An underrated course that delivers some fun holes on an engaging piece of property, though the facilities are showing their age. The scenery engages your senses by changing from mountains, to canyons, to the Sea of Cortez throughout. Grade B
Designer: Jack Nicklaus 2007
Cost: $165 - $220 Click for current rates
Phone Number: US: 877.795.8727 MEX: +52.624.173.9400
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Club Campestre San Jose Golf Course's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - Lib. al Aeropuerto Km. 119, Campo de Golf Fonatur, San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur 23405 – MEXICO
What to Expect: While the facilities and amenities at the course are a bit tired compared to some of the updated club's in Cabo, what isn't tired is the golf course at Club Campestre San Jose. The greens are some of the best designs I've ever seen from Jack Nicklaus, which is saying something considering I've played over 50 of his courses. The shaping and variety of the putting surfaces are absolutely top shelf, although some of what makes them so interesting comes at the cost of a reduced number of pin placements that are possible. The front nine features some impressive elevation changes and shotmaking opportunities while the back nine delivers a bit more of a traditional test before the climatic finish. Esthetically the course boasts a nice variety of ocean, mountain, and desert views so that you feel like you are on an adventure rather than being contained to the same environment all round long. Carts are included in the green fee so it will be rare for you to find anyone that is walking during their round. Given the hype of the top tier courses in Cabo my expectations weren't super high, so I was pleasantly surprised with how good Club Campestre was and can see why it stays so busy with local play.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 18th Hole – 422 Yard Par 4 – A majestic view presents itself on the tee box of the 18th with a commanding view down the fairway and out to the ocean in the distance. A large cross bunker engulfs the left side of the driving zone which should encourage players to drive it to the right side of the fairway or attempt the heroic carry over the sand. The approach shot calls for a fade that splits the bunkers fronting the green when coming in from the left, but approaches from the right have the shallow depth of the green to work with and makes for a more demanding shot. Take the easier drive and tougher approach, or the tougher drive and easier approach; the choice is yours.
Best Par 3: 2nd Hole – 179 Yards – Jack takes players straight towards the ocean with the 1st and 2nd holes with the 2nd green getting as close to the Pacific as Club Campestre gets. The green angles from front right to back left which begs for players to hit a draw that will carve between the bunkers lining either side of the putting surface. The bunkers on the left are the deepest to contend with and should be avoided at all costs while misses to the right will provide a solid opportunity to save par.
Best Par 4: 12th Hole – 461 Yards – The #1 handicap at Club Campestre is also its best two-shotter. This 90 degree dogleg right features a large fairway that stretches over 100 yards in width at its deepest point, but tee shots need to stay up the left side to maximize the amount of fairway for the ball to fly over. A desert wash then cuts the fairway off from the green with two bunkers emerging out of the wash and advancing towards the green to encompass the front and left sides of the target. The highly undulated green can make some pin positions challenging to attack by air or on the ground and will always require the best out of your flatstick.
Best Par 5: 7th Hole – 541 Yards – The 7th is as pretty to look at as it is fun to play. The elevated tee shot offers a panoramic view of the ocean with the fairway sloping from left to right towards a pond near a group of palm trees resting in the area drives with want to land on that line. The double dogleg fairway bends around water and sand enroute to the peninsula green that has a trio of bunkers surrounding it and nowhere else to go but on the putting surface or long of it to avoid a watery grave. With the edges of the green falling off towards the water, you have to have some guts to go after this green in two.
Birdie Time: 5th Hole – 343 Yard Par 4 – The short uphill 5th hole provides an opportunity to take a stroke back from Old Man Par if you coughed one up early in the round. The smart play is to hit a shot that finishes 100 yards from the green which will keep you short of the fairway bunkers and put a scoring club in your hand for the approach shot. The fairway slopes from right to left, so keeping it up the right half of the fairway will find the ideal position to score from. A backstop is provided behind the green and the small hill on the right side of the green will kick balls onto the green, so be aggressive on the second shot knowing you have some forgiveness to play with.
Bogey Beware: 17th Hole – 606 Yard Par 5 – Tipping out over 600 yards, the 17th has a lot of turf to cover before getting home. Whenever that is the case, there is the chance that something can go wrong. The downhill tee shot features a small bunker in the center of the fairway near the driving zone. The wash in front of the green prevents most anyone from going for the green in two so a forced layup will require players to hit to their favorite yardage. There is half as much depth as there is width to work with on the approach shot which will have to carry a waste area and a pair of bunkers before seeing the green. This is a bruiser of a hole to contend with and walking away with par is an accomplishment to be proud of.