Rancho San Lucas the newest golf course in Los Cabos

Brian McAllen

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Los Cabos continues to be a thriving, prosperous golf destination!

In February, Australian superstar Greg Norman and Solmar Group founder Francisco Bulnes cut the ribbon at Rancho San Lucas, the 18th course to open in Los Cabos. This vibrant golf getaway has grown by leaps and bounds since the Palmilla course debuted in 1992.

The Greg Norman Signature course at Rancho San Lucas is the showpiece of an 834-acre resort and residential community fronting a virgin stretch of beach on the Pacific Ocean just 15 minutes from Cabo San Lucas. The inspiration for the versatile 7,210-yard, par-72 layout was the native terrain. Every hole features a panoramic ocean view and the course is routed within earshot of the thundering surf.

Spanning three different ecosystems, the links-style course rambles through massive dunes at the beginning, explores a thick cactus forest creased by winding arroyos, and returns players to the beach and sea at the finish.

Norman’s masterpiece complements rather than competes with the region’s mountain-desert-ocean environment. Known for his ‘least-disturbance’ design approach, Norman throttled back the bulldozers to minimize earthmoving and build a low-profile, lay-of-the-land gem. The site’s topography and contours, he stated, were ideal for the routing of a world-class course.

“Rancho San Lucas is the most spectacular piece of oceanfront property I’ve seen in a long time, so to have the opportunity to build a course on this site was truly once-in-a-lifetime,” Norman said.

“My goal was to keep it as natural as possible while showcasing the site’s arroyos, dunes and view corridors. We wanted to build a sustainable course that is playable from all perspectives, including the forward tees. I truly believe this golf course is one of the best we’ve ever built.”

Featuring a dramatic 300-foot elevation change, the breezy, wellc-strategized course has five holes on the beach, notably the par-3 third, which parallels the sea and gives players fine views of breaching whales during the winter months. There’s also a signature island green at the par-3 17th hole.

The layout’s defining characteristic is the bunkers. These sharp-edged, steep-walled sandy pits were constructed from recycled artificial turf and are nearly identical to the natural sod-walled bunkers found on British seaside links courses. Resistant to washouts, the club’s synthetic low-maintenance bunkers are a first in Mexico. Norman used them sparingly.

With two on-course comfort stations, each providing Mexican specialties and ice-cold refreshments, players can enjoy an all-inclusive experience during the round.  A handsome ranchero-style clubhouse overlooks the fairways and sea. The practice facility features a spacious driving range, an 18-hole putting course, and dedicated chipping, pitching and sand play areas.

Rancho San Lucas is a private club with exclusive access available to guests of Solmar Group hotels, including the new on-site Grand Solmar Rancho San Lucas Hotel & Resort.

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