Cabo Real Golf Course. This visually attractive layout features spectacular views of the mountains and sea, as well as a challenging test. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., Cabo Real has straight and narrow fairways, difficult slopes, and strategically placed bunkers. The first six holes are in mountainous terrain, working their way up to 500 feet above sea level. The course then heads back to the water and eventually descends down to the Sea of Cortez by the 14th hole. Recovering from mistakes here can be quite difficult. In 2012, the back nine was redesigned by Jones with a new green on the 14th repositioned closer to the sea and the old 15th removed. Greens fee includes cart (walking is not permitted), water, practice balls, and towel. Taylormade clubs available to rent for $55. Hwy. 1, Km 19.5, San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur, 23400. 624/173–9400 or 877/795–8727. www.questrogolf.com. $235; $165 after 1:30 p.m. 18 holes, 6848 yards, par 71. Facilities: Practice range, putting green, snack bar, restaurant, golf carts, Taylormade rental clubs, $55.
Camp Campestre San José Golf Course. Here you are greeted by panoramic views stretching to the Sea of Cortez, canyons, and mountains on a Jack Nicklaus-design. This semi-private course also features dramatic elevation changes and undulating tricky multi-level putting surfaces. Attractive bunkering requires well-placed tee shots and very accurate iron play. They have used paspalum grass throughout the course that sets Camp Campestre among the best manicured in the region. The only downfall is that there are no holes on the water. Km. 119, Libramiento Aeropuerto, San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur. 877/795–8727 from U.S.; 624/173–9400. www.questrogolf.com. $140–$180. 18 holes, 7055 yards, par 71. Facilities: Carts, practice range, putting green, short-game area, restaurant, snack bar, rental clubs.
One&Only Palmilla Golf Course. Here you will encounter 27 holes of some of the best resort golf that Mexico has to offer. Crafted by Jack Nicklaus, it was his first work here. The Mountain and Arroyo Nines came first, with the Ocean Nine finished later. Generous target-style fairways wind their way through rugged mountainous desert terrain that is beautifully landscaped. The Ocean Nine drops 600 feet in elevation as you visit the edge of the Sea of Cortez, while the Mountain and Arroyo Nines are positioned higher and further back from the water. Many will remark that the stretch of 6 to 8 holes on the Arroyo Course is one of the best anywhere, while the 3rd through 5th holes really get your attention on the Mountain Course. No matter the combination of Nines, you won't feel cheated and the conditioning is usually excellent though expensive. Five sets of tees on every hole accommodate various skill levels. Hwy. 1, Km 7.5, San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur, 23400. 624/144–5250. www.palmillagc.com. $135–$210. 27 holes. Mountain Nine, 3602 yards; Ocean Nine, 3527 yards; Arroyo Nine, 3337 yards. All nines are par 36. Facilities: Practice range, putting green, lessons, beverage cart, limited restaurant, Callaway rental clubs.
Puerto Los Cabos Golf Course. This course features an unusual combination of one Nine designed by Jack Nicklaus and the other by Greg Norman. Eventually each will build a second line to make this into two separate courses. This does not detract from its appeal as this is one of the area's most popular courses for visitors. Nicklaus's Nine features more expansive driving areas whereas the Norman Nine puts more of a premium on driving accuracy. Both Nines feature attractive bunkering and paspalum putting surfaces. Paseo de los Pescadores, San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur, 23403. 624/173–9400, or 877/795–8727. www.questrogolf.com. $175–$250. 18 holes, 7461 yards, par 73. Facilities: Practice range, putting green, short-game area, carts, restaurant, rental clubs.
Punta Sur Golf Course. Los Cabos' original course opened in 1987. Of all the golf courses in the area, this one would be the "starter" golf course. The layout has wide fairways and few obstacles or slopes. It's fairly flat and good for beginners or as a warm-up. The 9-hole course is lined with residential properties (broken windows are not unusual). Some holes (particularly the 7th) have nice ocean views. Beware, you will find the three par-3's to be long and testing. The conditioning is average and this heavily played course does not take reservations as it is played on a first-come, first-served basis. It was designed by Mario Schjtanan and Joe Finger. Greens fees include cart. There's a swimming pool, tennis, and gym onsite. Paseao Finisterra, No.1, San José del Cabo, Baja California Sur, 23400. 624/142–0905. www.vidantagolf.com. $59 for 9 holes or $89 for 18. 9 holes, 3153 yards, par 35. 6 a.m.–6:30 p.m. Facilities: Putting green, short game area, hitting nets, carts, pull carts, men's and women's rental clubs ($30), shoe rentals, pro shop, golf lessons, bag storage, restaurant, bar, snack bar, swimming pool, tennis, gym.