Five Mexico Courses Named “World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses” by Golf Digest

In Los Cabos, Play, Play, Puerto Vallarta by Suzanne Koch

Time to plan your next golf getaway because Golf Digest has just released their third biennial ranking of the “World 100 Greatest Golf Courses” with five Mexico courses making the list. Of the five, four are located in Los Cabos with the Dunes Course at Diamante ranking the highest at No. 47. The other courses to make the cut include the Ocean Course at Cabo del Sol, Quivira Golf Club and Querencia, all in Los Cabos along with the Pacifico Course (pictured) at Punta Mita.

The magazine noted that its “third biennial ranking of the World 100 Greatest Golf Courses is truly global, showcasing brilliant layouts everywhere from Abu Dhabi to Vietnam” and that it “uses a single criterion of overall greatness scored not just by Americans but also by international panelists organized by our affiliate magazines around the world” for its World 100 Greatest lists.

With four of the five Mexico courses located in Los Cabos, it’s obvious why the destination is known as the “Golf Capital of Latin America.”

Read what Golf Digest had to say about each Mexico course and for the full list, click here.

No. 47: Diamante Golf Club (Dunes)

“Mexico’s first true links (was) fashioned by Davis Love III and his design team (which included his brother Mark Love and designer Paul Cowley) from a fantastic set of white sand dunes along the Pacific Ocean, huge portions of which are without vegetation and seem like enormous snow drifts. Holes hug the flowing terrain with little artificiality. Two holes on the back nine once played around a long lagoon, but have been replaced by new 12th and 13th holes on the beach. Now all of the second nine is adjacent to the ocean, amidst the tallest dunes. No other links in the world sports cactus.”

No. 70: Cabo del Sol (Ocean)

The course credited with establishing Los Cabos as a world-class golf destination, retains its position at No. 70 on the list. “When Jack Nicklaus first saw this Baja Peninsula site, what can best be described as Scottsdale-meets-the-Sea of Cortez, his thought was: ‘This is my chance to design a Pebble Beach.’ He took full advantage of that chance, developing an exciting routing that plays from highlands of desert cacti over dry washes and down to the sea on both nines. When the layout opened in 1994, Nicklaus said it had the three finest finishing holes in golf. That might still be true 24 years later, given that the greens at 16, 17 and 18 are all perched atop rocks above the crashing surf of Whale Bay.”

No. 91: Punta Mita (Pacifico)

“The Jack Nicklaus-designed Four Seasons Punta Mita is best known for a single hole, the optional par-3 third hole that plays from a tee on a Pacific Ocean beach to a green that sits on a natural rock outcropping some 180 yards offshore. It’s a thrilling shot, like hitting to the Tail of a Whale (which is the hole’s name), but the green is only used when the tide is low and the green is accessible by a low walkway. The other par 3 is terrific, too, just 13 yards shorter, with the green positioned above the beach and guarded on the right by a stream that pours into the sea. The 17th and 18th are also on the coast, with the 18th green sitting on a promontory with a literal beach bunker on its flank.”

No. 93: Quivira Golf Club

New to the list and debuting at No. 93 is Quivira G.C., the epic Land’s End layout grafted by Jack Nicklaus onto a jaw-dropping site marked by huge dunes, sheer cliffs and rolling foothills. “To see photos of Quivira’s cliffhanging fifth and sixth greens, one would expect this to be a mountainous golf course. But a majority of its holes are on Pacific coastline sand dunes close to sea level or along the flank of a high desert plateau dotted with torote and cardon trees. Still, what earns the attention here is the par-4 fifth, its tee at 278 feet above sea level and its green at the far end of a ribbon fairway 107 feet below. Designer Jack Nicklaus calls this location, ‘one of the great pieces of property in the world,’ and he can be forgiven for requiring long cart rides between several holes. Such is the price to link together 18 truly sterling golf holes.”

No. 97: Querencia Country Club

Moving up a notch to No. 97 on Golf Digest’s “World 100 Greatest Golf Courses” roster is Querencia C.C., a brilliant Tom Fazio design opened in 2000 and set within a private 1,800-acre golf community. “The routing wanders the rugged high desert plateau on the outward nine, toward the Sea of Cortez, hopscotching a dramatic canyon on the par-3 eighth. After reaching the far point on the par-5 ninth, the course turns for home over similar terrain, via two more outstanding par 3s, the 11th and 14th. Other holes have humpbacked fairways and greens tucked beneath huge rock outcroppings.”

Share this article