The Takeaway: The look throughout Twin Dolphin is consistent as it is routed through the high desert landscape with pleasing distant views of the ocean. The design variety is great, conditioning outstanding, and comfort stations an experience all their own. Grade A-
Designer: Fred Couples 2018
Phone Number: +52 624 163 6966
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Twin Dolphin Club's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Directions: Get here! - Carretera Transpeninsular Km. 12.5, Int. Bahia, Playa Santa María, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur 23450 – MEXICO
What to Expect: Twin Dolphin, one of Cabo's newest courses, does a nice job of delivering an enjoyable golfing experience with ocean views virtually all day long. Despite the course being far removed from the ocean, the elevated terrain affords distant views in every direction. With plenty of property to work with and no constraints on the terrain, Fred Couples had a virtual blank canvas to work with on the design and did a nice job of giving a wide variety of hole shapes and strategies to contend with. Couples incorporated the natural ravines and arroyos well into the design without making the course more about the hazards than the playing areas; especially considering the generous sized fairways and greens. The attractive bunkering style does a nice job of blending in with the surroundings and giving a natural, yet strategic, feel to the course. From a conditioning standpoint I don't know what else you could possibly want. The tees, fairways, bunkers, and greens were all perfect which does nothing but adds to the overall golfing experience. The quality of the par threes and fives standout more so than the par fours manage to and the back nine manages to trump the front in terms of appeal, but the whole course delivers solid holes throughout. The mandatory forecaddie that accompanies you will escort you to the various comfort stations found on the course which are extensive with great Mexican food being prepared on site, housing more snacks than your local Walmart, and offering extensive beverage options. If you complete the 18th hole and have some bets to settle, the short par three 19th awaits and plays to a virtual desert island green where you find the green or get lost in the desert. While Twin Dolphin doesn't enjoy the coastal property that sets Diamante, Quivira, and Cabo del Sol apart from the rest of the pack, it does offer great playability and plenty of views to enjoy.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 11th Hole – 181 Yard Par 3 – A beautiful one-shotter that plays downhill to an undulated green with miles of ocean creating the backdrop, the 11th is a hole you won't forget at Twin Dolphin. The swell in the middle of the green creates some distinct areas for pin placements with the front third being the most difficult to finish on. The miss is to the right of the green where the steep slope can potentially kick balls down onto the putting surface and reward a less than stellar shot. It is an exciting hole to play where getting an ace would be a Kodak moment you'd want on your office wall.
Best Par 3: 14th Hole – 212 Yards – As is the theme often at Twin Dolphin, the ocean creates the backdrop for the one-shot 14th that plays downhill to the green. The right side of the putting surface is flanked with bunkers while the left side is devoid of sand and features a hillside that pushes balls towards the green. A great play is to aim at the left edge of the green and let Mother Earth do the rest to work the ball towards the flag.
Best Par 4: 10th Hole – 416 Yards – The back nine starts with one of the more unique holes at Twin Dolphin; a two-shotter with an arroyo splitting the hole. Players start off by playing up the fairway found on the right side of the arroyo with the natural desert landscape on either side of the short grass creating the only trouble to contend with. The approach shot crosses over the arroyo to a slightly elevated green that sees two bunkers emerging from the arroyo that need to be avoided to find the green in regulation. Todd Eckenrode, who designed the course with Freddy Couples, learned the game at Pasatiempo and used the 11th hole there as the inspiration for this quality uphill par four.
Best Par 5: 16th Hole – 593 Yards – The downhill 16th features a split fairway all the way down to the green with a thin bunker slithering between the two short grass options. The fairway on the right is the one in front of the tee boxes and provides a natural connection to the hole while the fairway on the left is attached to the uphill 12th fairway. The green is found at the end of the left fairway so players have to decide when to cross over to that side of the hole; on the drive or with one of their subsequent shots. Getting stuck in the snake bunker between the fairways can be a death trap where strokes are taken in handfuls. The front of the green is receptive to balls that come bounding in on the ground while the sides and back slope off to chipping areas that will test your short game. With the ocean creating the background, the scenery is great whether your score is or not.
Birdie Time: 6th Hole – 517 Yard Par 5 – The shortest par five on the course is the 6th hole and offers an opportunity to be taken advantage of. The hole plays slightly downhill and has a large fairway bunker on the right side that should be steered clear of if you want to go for the green in two. However, playing too far left will bring into play an intruding bunker delving in from the left side that can force unconfident players into laying up. Regardless, the amount of safety to play to around the green should encourage aggressive shots, especially if you trust your short game to get you up and down for a birdie.
Bogey Beware: 17th Hole – 466 Yard Par 4 – I have to guess that Freddy Couples' life on the PGA Tour influenced the decision to have such challenging holes down the stretch at Twin Dolphin, the most difficult of which is the 17th. This long par four features a bunker on the left side of the fairway and encourages players to keep their tee ball up the right side, especially since the fairway terrain moves balls to the left. The approach shot has an arroyo that crosses in front of the green leaving more room on the right side than the left as it angles across the fairway and asks players to start the ball on the right and draw it back into the flag location. It is a tough green to hit in regulation but if you keep it up the right you'll have a chance to save par.