It’s not all fun and games being a travel editor, but yes when you do get out and about you get to experience some spectacular places. Like the gorgeous Quivira Golf Club at the tip of the Baja Peninsula near Cabo San Lucas.
This was once mostly uninhabited desert until the family behind the Pueblo Bonito hotels started buying up land in the late 1990s. It took them nearly 15 years to amass what they wanted for two hotels, condos, and now a golf course and $million+ new retirement and vacation homes. The developers showed impressive restraint in how they set it all up, however, with no homes spoiling the Pacific Ocean views from the golf course. Rather the new building lots that Coronado development homes are going up on overlook holes 1,4, and 18, with the water in the distance beyond.
Get ready for a drive after the flag on hole 4, but a cart kind of drive. It’s practically a road trip from there to #5, a winding road through the scrub brush desert that goes through a couple switchbacks up a small mountain. The reward after arriving there, however, is one of the most spectacular views I’ve ever experienced on a golf course. Cliffs on one side, blue water on the other, and perfectly groomed greens in front.
On this course it’s seldom a simple “point A to point B” set of shots though. Jack Nicklaus seemed to put all his decades of creative energy into Quivira, at times making players wonder if he was putting crazy things in place just to mess with us. There are lots of blind greens that require elevation climbs or drops, hidden obstacles around most corners, and split fairways that practically require a U-turn to get to your eventual destination. If you’re a hack golfer like me that frequently loses a couple sleeves’ worth of balls, bring extra to deal with all the desert scrub brush and the sea. (Use them all up though if you’re traveling with a carry-on: you’re not allowed to take golf balls on the plane from Los Cabos airport.)
Sometimes the dexterity and accuracy required of shots here seems downright comical, but there are a few par 3 ones here and there where you can make up for it with something more straightforward. Two of my playing partners scored a birdie on Day 2 when they were more familiar with the layouts.
The best word to describe playing Quivira though is “Delightful.” While some holes are more than challenging, none of them are at all routine, which makes for a fresh experience even for those who have been playing regularly for decades. The scenery is fantastic since the water is hardly ever out of site. Plus the refreshment stations here are like gourmet snack bars. Attendants see you coming for the first one and serve up sliders or tacos with your preferred beverage or cocktail. Other stations have beers, sodas, and snacks for the taking. A full steak house restaurant and bar are ready to make you comfortable when you finish up and are ready to analyze the day’s play.
See flyovers and course information at the Quivira website, or check out our full feature story: Quivira Golf Vistas and Whale Watching in Los Cabos.