Más golf, por favor: Five Nicklaus Design courses to swoon over this Cinco de Mayo

Quivira Golf Club, Los Cabos, Mexico

The 14th Hole at Quivira Golf Club

The Golden Bear, “El Oso de Oro,” is well-known for his golf course designs south of the border. Nicklaus Design has created 24 golf courses in Mexico—where the weather’s hot, but the golf is even hotter.

Nicklaus’ first layout in Mexico debuted in 1993 with the introduction of Palmilla Golf Club, where today there are 27 holes of Nicklaus Design golf. Recognized as the grande dame of golf in Los Cabos, the layout is challenging, masterfully conceived and stunningly beautiful, with ocean views from every hole. It’s a mainstay on Golfweek’s list of the Best Courses of the Caribbean and Mexico and has hosted the Senior Slam of Golf on the PGA TOUR Champions and the Audi World Cup Finals—the biggest amateur event in the world.

Cabo del Sol became Nicklaus’ second Signature Golf Course in Mexico when it opened in 1994. The Ocean Course capitalizes on the beauty and landscape of Los Cabos, stretching for more than a mile across some of the most breathtaking and awe-inspiring terrain in the Western Hemisphere. The course is poised against a magnificent backdrop that contrasts the emerald green turf with the brilliant blue of the Sea of Cortez. The dramatic layout places seven holes along the coastline of craggy rock outcroppings ascending from golden, sun-washed shores. It’s been named the Best Private Golf Course in Mexico; one of the 100 Best Courses Outside the U.S.; and Mexico’s Best Golf Experience. The course is also a three-time host of the Senior Slam of Golf on the PGA TOUR Champions.

Punta Mita, one of Mexico’s most luxurious resort and residential communities, features two Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses—Bahía and Pacifico—which opened 10 years apart. Punta Mita is set on a peninsula with 9.5 miles of unspoiled beaches on the Pacific Ocean and Banderas Bay. Adding to the stunning views, from December to April, migrating humpback whales can easily be spotted from shore. The par-72 Pacifico course features eight oceanside holes. Its defining feature is the one-of-a-kind alternate Hole 3b, called Tail of the Whale. Players tee off from the shore to the hole 199 yards away on a natural island in the Pacific Ocean. At low tide, a submerged stone path to the green becomes passable. It is the only natural ocean island par-3 hole in the world, and Golf Advisor named it one of the Best Island Greens in Destination Golf in 2016. The Bahía course boasts five holes that play along the ocean and an additional two with ocean views. The layouts have been recognized on Golfweek’s annual list of the Best Courses of the Caribbean and Mexico, while U.S. News & World Report named the resort one of the Best Hotels in Mexico.

Quivira in Cabo San Lucas is the latest Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course to shake up Mexican golf like a maraca. The course is located in a spectacular setting at the tip of the Baja Peninsula marked by sheer granite cliffs, huge windswept dunes and rolling desert foothills, made famous as the backdrop for the movie Troy. Open less than three years, the young course was selected as the Best New International Course by GOLF Magazine, and named the 2014 Development of the Year by Golf Inc.—becoming the first Latin American development to receive the prestigious recognition from Golf Inc.