Cabo San Lucas is back. Today, you’d never know that in September 2014, Hurricane Odile unleashed 125 mph (200 km/h) winds onto the delicate, golden coasts of Cabo San Lucas, set on the southern tip of picturesque Baja California. In a demonstration of almost unbelievable resilience, this Mexican coastal city and ever-popular travel destination is back to “paradise as usual.” Look around today, and you’ll spot little to no sign of damage–just Cabo’s signature turquoise Pacific, yacht-filled harbor, postcard-perfect beaches, and exclusive hotels, over two-thirds of which have reopened.
You’ll also see golf courses. More than you’d expect, in fact. Pre-hurricane courses again look their spiffy, verdant best, and they now have some new neighbors. Yes, the number of Cabo golf courses has increased since the natural disaster pummeled Mexico’s Pacific shores.
Indeed, what NBC News described as a “demolished paradise” is once again “heaven on earth,” an oceanfront escape to impossibly transparent sea, stunningly fine sands, delicious sea breezes, and blissful activities such as snorkeling, sport fishing, and sunbathing.
And golfing. Cabo is world-famous for its incredibly beautiful and equally challenging championship golf courses. Astounding truth be told, the worst golf courses in Cabo are still some of the best golf many will ever play.
Nicklaus, an 18-time major champion who came for the sport fishing and stayed for the golf, has six course designs in the area. His most famous is the Ocean Course at Cabo Del Sol, often dubbed the “Pebble Beach of Baja” and featuring seven ocean-side holes, back-to-back par 3s on the front line, and over-the-top scenery along the finishing stretch.
And Nicklaus isn’t the only golf superstar leaving his mark on Cabo. Other pros, including Greg Norman, Davis Love III, Tiger Woods, Tom Weiskopt, Robert Trent Jones II and Tom Fazio have also designed signature courses in the area.
The golf boom goes back to 1992, when Palmilla cut their first holes. Then in 1994, Cabo San Lucas Country Club, Cabo Real and Cabo del Sol all followed the opening of the first Nicklaus-designed course in Latin America. Today, these courses are ace attractions boasting the best conditions they’ve seen since their opening days.
“A lot of people, they look around, and they don’t even realize there was a hurricane that hit us,” said a spokesperson for the luxury golf and resort community where Tiger Woods cut the ribbon in mid-December on his first completed course-design project.
In late 2014, two highly anticipated courses — Tiger’s El Cardonal and Nicklaus-designed Quivira — opened just 12 days apart, set back only days in the wake of furious Hurricane Odile. With their entre, Los Cabos is now home to 14 championship-level courses.
According to Eric Grindereng, Director of Golf at Cabo San Lucas Country Club, “Definitely, golf will be one of the major contributors to bringing tourism back. It has to be a big part of that draw.”
With the golf scene – and everything-else scene, from the beach to the hotels to the restaurants to the nightlife – in Cabo celebrating a full-fledged post-hurricane comeback, you’ll be sure to see a steady stream of golfers leaving the resort lobbies at sunrise only to come back to laugh off their missed putts at the indulgently relaxing swim-up bars by late afternoon. Their compatriots – sunbathers, anglers, snorkelers and divers alike – are sure to join them.