The Takeaway: Nicklaus II has a slow start before descending on a handful of holes with massive elevation changes that ties in well with the dramatic Norman nine terrain. The bunkering style, conditioning, and views aren’t anything to write home about compared to the top tier courses in the area, but Puerto Los Cabos is a fun track that is easier on the pocket book than many of its neighbors. Grade B
Designer: Nicklaus II nine by Jack Nicklaus in 2018 and Norman nine by Greg Norman in 2008
Cost: $150.00 - $285.00 Click for current rates
Phone Number: U.S. (877) 795-8727 or Mexico +52 (624) 173-9400
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Puerto Los Cabos Golf Club (Nicklaus II and Norman)'s official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - Bulevar Mar de Cortez S/n, Col. La playita, San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur 23403 – MEXICO
Accolades: Ranked 8th in Baja California Sur and 8th in Mexico by Golf Course Gurus.
What to Expect: Puerto Los Cabos is a public access facility that recently added its third nine hole track with aspirations of Greg Norman eventually adding the final nine holes so that it will features 18 Nicklaus and 18 Norman holes. The newest nine, Nicklaus II, opened 10 years after the original 18 holes went in and features some of the best holes on the property. The start of the course is a bit slow with uninspiring terrain and design features which are further hindered by the surrounding development that can be a bit distracting. After a slow start though, Nicklaus cranks things up with some engaging holes featuring entertaining terrain to play on. The Nicklaus and Norman courses blend together nicely with design styles that compliment each other well enough that it can be hard to distinguish the difference between the architects styles. One things you’ll notice on each nine the how many elevated tee shots you’ll have and the boost that it gives your ego. These elevation changes and transitions from one hole to the next are enough to keep virtually everyone in golf carts when they come to tee it up. The course features plenty of ocean views but they are from a distance with players never being given the opportunity to play along the water itself. The conditioning of the turf is good, but nothing special, and the bunkering is a bit boring in its presentation compared to what you’d typically find at Nicklaus or Norman course. Food and drinks are provided on the course though I didn’t find the tacos as fresh or tasty as competing courses in the area that offer a similar setup. Part of the Questro group of properties, package deals can be attained when playing Cabo Real, Puerto Los Cabos, and Club Campestre San Jose.
By the Numbers
|Roja (Red) (Women)||72||5121||69.7||123|
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 9th (Nicklaus II) Hole – 546 Yard Par 5 – The Nicklaus II nine finishes in impressive fashion with this dramatic downhill par five that features ocean views and exciting terrain. Your tee shot seems to carry forever and is plummets off the elevated tee box to the bunkerless fairway below before doglegging right and traversing towards a pond. The back edge of the green borders the water and will punish any ball that is bladed enroute to the putting surface while a large bunker flanks the right side. The downhill terrain makes this hole reachable in two and a great way to walk off with a birdie.
Best Par 3: 6th (Norman) Hole – 213 Yards – Reminiscent in terrain, views, and length of the 3rd hole at Cabo Real, the 6th hole on Norman’s course at Puerto Los Cabos will grab your attention quickly when you step on the tee box. A two club drop awaits to the green that is protected five bunkers around the putting surface and two additional bunkers right of the green that will gobble up balls that try to bail out of attacking the flag. The ocean in the background offers an inspiring view and can distract you from the subtleties on the green, including a ridge directly behind the center bunker which will feed balls to either the right or left tier. Get on the wrong tier and you have your work cut out for you trying to two putt. It is an exciting hole and definitely a Kodak moment (for you millennials, that means a time to take a picture).
Best Par 4: 5th (Nicklaus II) Hole – 393 Yards – Perhaps the thing that stands out most to me about Puerto Los Cabos is how dramatic the elevation changes are. The 5th hole on the Nicklaus II nine is a perfect example of this with a staggering drop from tee to green. There aren’t any fairway bunkers on this hole but each side of it is lined with native desert sand and foliage that you don’t want to search for you ball in. The fairway bottoms out before taking a climb back uphill to the green that is fronted by a single bunker that gets is fair share of action when players don’t property account for the elevation climb with their approach shot. A big drive will result in a flip wedge to the green and a chance to card a birdie, so let loose the cannon here and take a stroke back from Old Man Par.
Best Par 5: 7th (Norman) Hole – 623 Yards – Norman takes players to a pinnacle tee with commanding views of the ocean and over 600 yards to cover to reach the green on the expansive 7th hole. The ideal line is a draw off the edge of the peninsula found in the distance which will result in a ball tumbling well downhill before the fairway bends left straight towards the ocean. If the length of the hole wasn’t enough to keep you from reaching this green in two, then the bunker protection around the putting surface will be. The raised green is flanked on both sides with bunkers with the right side being especially treacherous with a trio of deep sand pits lying in wait. A sliver of an opening is offered at the front left corner but you’d need the same precision it takes to thread the eye of a needle to work a ball into that spot from 250+ yards. Most mortals will come up short with their second shot and hit a wedge onto the green where they have a club that will hold the putting surface easier without as much concern for the surrounding bunkers. It is a tough, yet beautiful, hole that is engaging from start to finish.
Birdie Time: 6th (Nicklaus II) Hole – 369 Yard Par 4 – The bold will be rewarded on this short dogleg left that features a shallow ravine on the inside of the bend. A safe shot up the right side of the fairway will leave a 7 or 8 iron into the green, however you didn’t come here to play it safe did you? A bomb over the several bunkers protecting the left side of the fairway will leave you with a short chip into the green with a club you should be able to score well with. The far side of the fairway slopes well uphill so even if you go further than you planned off the tee, the terrain will work you back from the junk assuming you didn’t take too conservative of a line. Even 3-wood off the tee here will leave you with a wedge into the green, so take the most aggressive line you feel good about and pick up a birdie.
Bogey Beware: 8th (Norman) Hole – 459 Yard Par 4 – Greg Norman always has a couple of holes that are just beasts and at Puerto Los Cabos you’ll face one of them on the 8th. The tee shot featured a desert island in the middle of the fairway while bunkers and trouble line both sides of the short grass effectively putting a premium on your tee shot. A wash cross the fairway enroute to the green as one more element to contend with while traversing 459 yards to the green. The length is already plenty of challenging to hit this green in regulation, but with everything else going on it can get ugly quick. Minimize the damage and move on.