Public-access facility overlooking sea revived by Mexican golf architect Agustin Piza
(Los Cabos, Mexico) – Cabo San Lucas Country Club, one of the oldest and most centrally located golf facilities in Los Cabos, has successfully completed a major renovation project.
According to Alfonso Terrazas Cecena, the club’s project manager, “We needed to demonstrate to visitors and the community that Cabo San Lucas Country Club was not wiped out by Tropical Storm Lidia in September, 2017. We were hurt (by torrential rains), but the damage was superficial and certainly not catastrophic. We’ve bounced back as part of a five-month renovation project, and I believe we’ve succeeded in restoring confidence and credibility in the club.”
Located just minutes from downtown Cabo San Lucas and the only course in Los Cabos with views of the iconic sea arch and rock formations at Land’s End, the Country Club’s original 18-hole course was laid out by Roy Dye, brother of Pete Dye. The course was completed by Roy’s son Matt Dye, a second-generation architect.
The parkland-style layout, previously one of the longest and most challenging courses in Los Cabos, has been significantly remodeled. Now stretching to 6,852 yards (par 71) from the black tees, the Country Club compares favorably to golf courses in Palm Springs, California. Gently rolling fairways girdled by waste bunkers, cardon cactus, palo blanco trees and colorful bougainvillea characterize the layout. Tall stony mountains frame the course to the north. Lakes bring water into play at seven holes, notably at the testing par-4 ninth and 18th holes, where a large rock-rimmed lagoon protects each green.
Agustin Piza, a Mexican designer who has worked extensively throughout Latin America, altered several holes to improve sightlines and enhance playability. In particular, the club’s back nine was shortened and its corridors widened to expand the layout’s ocean views. The new and revised holes feature improved flexibility from the forward tees, better risk-reward scenarios from the back tees, and more undulating greens. Bunkers throughout the course were reshaped and upgraded. Pruning of trees and vegetation has created a breezier, links-style environment. The club, readily accessible by area hotels and cruise ship passengers, also features the only lighted driving range in Los Cabos.
In the wake of the remedial work by Piza, holes one through seven remain the same, while the par-3 eighth and par-4 ninth holes were swapped for the par-3 17th and par-4 18th holes, respectively.
The most noticeable changes are found on the back nine, specifically holes 10 through 16. The par-4 10th plays from the same set of tee boxes as the original hole, but a friendlier green closer to the tees enables average players to reach it in regulation. The par-3 11th is a new creation that plays to the site of the old 12th green, which Piza refashioned into a large, wavy putting surface. The 12th hole was converted from a brawny par 4 to a sporty par 5, while the par-4 13th occupies the original hole’s corridor but plays to a remodeled green. The par-3 14th, stretching to 208 yards, brings a lake into play on the right. At the par-5 16th, Piza reversed the direction of the hole. The fairway, pointed to the Sea of Cortes, now runs from north to south.
While players have lauded the changes and embraced the layout’s improved playability, the club still presents a firm test. The new greens are larger and more liberally contoured than the original putting surfaces, which are small and relatively flat.
In addition, Cabo San Lucas Country Club still has a few very tough hombres. Among the more daunting holes is the double-dogleg par-5 seventh, which swings around a lake and stretches to 610 yards from the back tees, ranking it among the longest holes in Mexico.
The closing duo is one of the most challenging in Cabo. The par-3 17th, measuring 226 yards from the tips (205 yards from the white tees), plays uphill into the prevailing wind to a perched, tilted green. The long par-4 18th, which calls for a blind tee shot over a gentle rise, demands a very accurate approach shot to a green pinched by a lagoon on the left and bunkers on the right.
Future plans call for a pitch ‘n putt course to be built in the vicinity of the driving range. A new clubhouse is also planned. Cabo San Lucas Country Club offers special green fee and driving range specials that include burgers, beers and BBQ ribs. The club’s Viva Restaurant, its spacious outdoor patio set near the practice facility, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
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