This was Jack Nicklaus’ first course design south of the border, with the Arroyo and Mountain courses opening in 1992 and the Ocean course in 1997. Without a doubt this wonderful course has stood the test of time and is still one of the favorites in the whole of Mexico, despite the enormous rise in competition over the last couple of decades. The Palmilla Golf Club is located at the southernmost tip of the Baja California peninsula in Los Cabos – a wonderful spot where the mountainous desert meets the ocean and where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez. The elegant historical town of San Jose del Cabo is just a couple of miles away and boasts first-class restaurants and art galleries, while about twenty miles along the coast is lively Cabo San Lucas with its party ambience.
Palmilla is lucky enough to have one of the best swimmable beaches in the region. In the beginning there was the perfect location and then Jack Nicklaus came along and put in the perfect golf course – a 27-hole offering that by 1997 had incorporated three golf courses in one, with desert, mountain, and ocean golfing or any combination of the three. Palmilla was the precursor of the golf boom in Los Cabos, getting there first with a beautiful, challenging, and enduring course. There are ocean views from every hole and one hole on the Ocean course flows down to the beach. The contrasts in elevation are striking and present a challenge even for the most experienced golfer, while other features such as lakes, streams, and canyon fairways present other exciting hazards.
While each of the three 9-hole courses presents dramatic vistas and great golfing challenges, my personal favorite is the ocean course where the third green is on the beach and the sixth lies just below luxury Los Cabos vacation rentals carved into the mountainside. The clubhouse at Palmilla serves breakfast and lunch and provides an on-course beverage service, while the club itself offers excellent practice facilities and very helpful staff. Another plus is that Palmilla Golf Club teamed up with the luxurious One&Only Resort next door and golf visitors can stay in luxury apartments and enjoy the two swimming pools and spa facilities. Palmilla just seems to exude luxury through its every pore, and as well as world- class golf it is renowned for its deep sea fishing, water sports, and whale watching.