Published on : Tuesday, February 7, 2017
“We wanted flashed faces in the bunkers where it was needed for visibility, but overall we eliminated steepness in the bunkers to enhance playability,” Lipe explained. “Taking out superfluous formal bunkers enabled us to bring the desert back into the golf course.”
In addition to the remedial bunker work, two new ladies’ tees were added late last year. At the 14th hole, a short par 4, the new tee box occupies “a fairer and more attractive location” than previously, according to Tallman. At the spectacular par-4 18th hole, a grand left-to-right dogleg that traces the curve of the rocky, wave-tossed shore, a new seaside ladies tee now presents a more beautiful prospect from the red markers.
A final tweak was made to strengthen the par-5 15th hole, which tumbles downhill from the high point of the course to a broad fairway backdropped by the sparkling Sea of Cortés. A new back tee has stretched the hole from 530 to 550 yards, while a new bunker in the driving zone, suggested by Nicklaus, is intended to give big hitters pause for thought.
While often overshadowed by the Ocean Course, the Desert Course at Cabo del Sol, a Tom Weiskopf design routed high above the Ocean Course and the Sea of Cortes, is a well-balanced test that takes golfers on a roller-coaster ride across barrancas and through cactus-covered foothills. Shot-for-shot, the Desert Course, opened in 2001, ranks among the finest and most complete tests of golf in Los Cabos.
Following rain and wind from a minor hurricane last fall, all bunkers on the Desert Course were cleaned of debris and later filled with new sand. Two bunkers were removed; two bunkers were converted to large “Baja bunkers,” or waste bunkers. In addition to the post-storm clean-up, an extensive clearing program on the Desert Course restored vast amounts of playable desert areas beside the fairways. The course now offers players a reasonable chance to recover from a wayward shot that departs the fairway.
Cabo del Sol’s magnificent 40,000-square-foot clubhouse serves both the Ocean and Desert courses. This elegant edifice fuses colonial and traditional architecture with modern amenities to create a distinctive Mexican hacienda design. Marked by magnificent arches, rich stone floors and high-beamed ceilings, the clubhouse features indoor and outdoor dining areas, an expansive golf shop, men’s and women’s locker rooms, and picturesque ocean and golf course views from its open-air verandas and landscaped terraces.