The Takeaway: Like Coeur d’Alene Resort and its floating green in Northern Idaho, TPC Danzante Bay hangs its reputation on a single hole; and a great one it is. And while there are some other good holes to enjoy, the course as a whole doesn’t quite live up to the hype that the marketing can lead on. The surrounding mountain range, Sea of Cortez views, great conditioning, and 15 minutes tee times add to the experience but in the end TPC Danzante Bay isn’t quite a top 10 course in Mexico. Grade B+
Designer: Rees Jones in 2017
Cost: $99.00 - $210.00 Click for current rates
Phone Number: U.S. (800) 790-4187 or Mexico 01 (800) 838-2662
Course Website: Official Website - Visit TPC Danzante Bay's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - Carretera Transpeninsular Km 84, Danzante Bay, Loreto, BCS 23880
Accolades: Ranked 4th in Baja California Sur and 4th in Mexico by Golf Course Gurus.
What to Expect: Located 5 ½ hours north of the golf rich community of Cabo San Lucas, TPC Danzante Bay is giving golfers another reason to take a trip to Mexico's desert peninsula. The course is set outside the fishing town of Loreto where the La Giganta (The Gigantic) mountain range, an extension of the Sierra Mountains, compliments the setting where desert meets ocean. This Rees Jones layout, like Cascata outside of Las Vegas, has holes going up and down canyons while also featuring a few holes on the flat land. The feature that stands out most is how flat and true the greens are. You feel like you can roll in a putt from anywhere and if PGA Tour players ever converged on Danzante Bay I’m totally convinced they would have record weeks in total length of putts made and fewest putts for a tournament. The start of each nine is a bit lackluster while the middle set of holes for each nine ramps things up with elevation changes, exciting design features, and risk/reward opportunities. The hole that everyone comes to play is the world class 17th which is a gettable par three perched on a cliff edge with sparkling salt water and rock formations creating the impressive backdrop. This hole rounds out a great collection of one-shotters with the 3rd and 13th being the pro’s two favorite holes on the course when quizzed on the subject. The course is kept in great shape which is assisted by the fact that tee times are spaced out every 15 minutes with Monday - Wednesday being busier than the weekends. Ultimately TPC Danzante Bay is a good course and worth playing, although it came in slightly under expectations for the amount of hype the facility has received.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 17th Hole – 178 Yard Par 3 – This is the hole that single handedly is responsible for the golf course marketing of TPC Danzante Bay. From every angle the hole is stunning and is certainly the climax players look forward to at the end of the round. The hole tips out just under 180 yards and plays downhill, so a scoring iron will be in the hands of most players. The green is plenty wide but relatively shallow so distance control is paramount here, otherwise sand or ocean will be the resting place for your Pro V1. Perched on a cliff edge and surrounded by desert, this stunning one-shotter plays like an island green where the do or die element will leave a big smile on your face or cause a tear to run down your cheek. Clearly the signature hole without a close runner-up, the 17th at TPC Danzante Bay can make an argument as being the signature hole for all of Baja California Sur.
Best Par 3: 3rd Hole – 207 Yards – When I asked the head professional what his favorite hole was at TPC Danzante Bay he didn't hesitate to say, "#3 and #13." Technically that is two holes, but regardless, the 3rd hole was quick to be identified by him. This uphill one-shotter plays over an arroyo with a bailout area to the left and a dropoff to the right. A rock wall establishes the backstop of the hole and is quick to send balls flying and one of a variety of different directions if you happen to hit your tee ball long enough to bring the wall into play. Once you are on the green take the time to look back at the view towards the ocean; it is one of the better vantage points on the course.
Best Par 4: 18th Hole – 520 Yards – Stunning views abound from the tee on the finishing hole at TPC Danzante Bay. Jagged mountains, blue water, sandy beaches, and desertscape consume your eye as you muster up one more tee shot that needs to find the middle of the fairway. The two bunkers on the right side of the fairway encourage players to challenge the left side of the fairway that disappears behind a hill and requires some faith to hit over. Once safely on the grass, the approach shot plays to an infinity edge green flanked in the front left by a bunker but leaving the front right as a great option to attack from. The hole plays well downhill so don't be too intimidated by the length on the card, but this will still require a pair of quality shots to find the green in two.
Best Par 5: 5th Hole – 611 Yards – WOW! That is likely the first reaction you'll have when stepping up to the tee on the downhill 5th hole. A gorgeous view awaits that is highlighted by hills on the sides, a series of bunkers down the green fairway, and brilliantly blue water in the distance. The prudent play off the tee is down the right side which features a wider area to hit to while daring players may elect to go left of the center bunker and challenge the speed slot on that side of the fairway. Both sides of the green are flanked with bunkers but the front is wide open and would allow players to bounce their ball onto the putting surface while attacking the flag. The green in reachable in two thanks to the elevation drop and you'll have a fun, and rewarding, time trying to do it.
Birdie Time: 2nd Hole – 546 Yard Par 5 – The ascending 2nd hole gives players an early chance to secure a birdie with this reachable par five. Though it plays uphill, the firm and fast fairway combines with the prevailing wind coming to your back off the ocean to create some lengthy drives that will impress you and set up an opportunity to reach the putting surface on your second shot. Approach shots need to come in from the left side and utilize the contours of the fairway to feed the ball onto the green because anyone risky enough to go straight at the green will flirt with hanging a ball out right where it can quickly get lost in the desert. Even if you layup you'll have a scoring club in your hand to attack the flag with, and given TPC Danzante Bay's flat green, you are in great shape to roll in a birdie from almost any distance. Once you are finished, take time to enjoy the view from the green back to the tee; it's a beauty.
Bogey Beware: 16th Hole – 345 Yard Par 4 – 345 yards as a Bogey Beware hole? You've got to be kidding, right? Nope, it is tougher than meets the eye. The tee shot is straightforward enough although players that hit driver, or even 3 wood, my bring the fairway bunker up the right side into play before the fairway doglegs left and out of view. The challenge here is all in the approach shot. You'll likely be hitting a high spin shot with a wedge or low iron which could prove problematic if you don't carry it far enough as it can spin right off the green, down the false front, and leave an awkward 30 yard chip back into the green. The putting surface has a tier running across it which can add to the challenge of where to land your approach and the bunker short left lies in wait for shots that are slightly pulled. Play it smart and you could card a birdie, but bogey or worse is a real possibility if you can't conquer the slick front of the green.