First Peek: Rancho San Lucas

By Brian McCallen

 

Rancho San Lucas
Hole 14, Rancho San Lucas (Photo by Brian Oar)

 

Showpiece of an 834-acre resort community that bellies up to the Pacific 15 minutes from Cabo San Lucas, the newly opened Greg Norman-designed course at Rancho San Lucas is sure to be hailed as Mexico’s next great venue.

Norman throttled back the bulldozers to create a low-profile layout with sweeping ocean views from every hole.

Spanning three different ecosystems, the course opens in massive dunes, explores a thick cactus forest creased by winding arroyos, and transitions across a littoral zone before finishing along the beach. The layout’s defining characteristic is its revetted pot bunkers. These sharp-edged, steep-walled sandy pits were constructed from recycled artificial turf and are nearly identical to the natural sod-walled bunkers found on British seaside links courses. Resistant to washouts, the club’s synthetic, low-maintenance bunkers are a first in Mexico. Norman used them sparingly.

He also routed a 12-hole “course within a course,” an innovative, 4,964-yard, par- 49 layout consisting of low-lying holes sheltered by the dunes and shielded from Pacific breezes. Two comfort stations are spaced around the course. A handsome, ranchero-style clubhouse overlooks the fairways and sea. The practice facility features a spacious range and dedicated putting, chipping, and sand-play areas.

Rancho San Lucas is a private club with access available to guests of Solmar Group hotels, including the new on-site Grand Solmar Rancho San Lucas Hotel & Resort.