Among the most stunning spots in the world is where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean. Here, at the tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, you can see the famous Arch of Cabo San Lucas, humpback whales frolicking before they make their way north, and an endless display of spectacular sunsets. It’s a great setting for all sorts of adventures, including golf and one specific course — Quivira Golf Club.
While Quivira isn’t the only seaside golf course in Los Cabos, it can certainly be argued that it has the best views. From nearly every vantage point on all 18 holes, you can see the ocean below, stretching to what seems like infinity on the horizon as waves crash into the rocks below, some of which have to be carried on certain holes. This Jack Nicklaus signature gem, which opened in 2014, is one of the Golden Bear’s most striking. And considering that he’s done many seaside courses around the world — including Punta Espada in the Dominican Republic and Punta Mita, just north of Puerto Vallarta, just to name a couple — that’s saying something.
How to access Quivira
Quivira, a private club to a premier luxury residential resort community situated at Land’s End, is also an amenity to the incredible Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Resort and other Pueblo Bonito properties in the area. Pacifica just continues to get better, recently adding the Towers, a resort within the resort, and the VIP Lounge, where guests get incredible views for whale watching to go with snacks, meals and drinks. So by setting up a golf vacation to Pueblo Bonito (the course isn’t open to the general public), anyone can gain access to this most memorable venue.
From the tips, the all-paspalum Quivira layout stretches out to around 7,100 yards over huge dunes and elevation changes. It has five sets of tees starting at around 4,700 yards to accommodate players of most every ability. The fairways are generally pretty generous, so it’s very playable. But wind is often a huge factor, so it can be difficult at times, but always fun, no matter what you shoot.
Quivira renovations complete
Recently, the course underwent a renovation of sorts when it had to be reconfigured to accommodate the development’s new private Beach Club, which is located behind the golf clubhouse. The course now has a new 18th hole as the old par-4 18th has now become the first (the tee is close to the clubhouse). The 17th was removed (to get it back to 18 holes), and each hole moved back one, meaning the fifth is now the sixth and so on.
One of the benefits is that The Oasis, a delectable comfort station where groups can stop to get a burger, tacos and drinks, is now a true halfway house. It used to come after the eighth hole, which is now the ninth, meaning that when you take your break at the Oasis, the front nine is in the books. There are two other comfort stations on the course, by the way, one at the sixth tee, and the other at the 17th tee, meaning you’ll never have to go hungry or thirsty when playing Quivira.
A closer look at Quivira’s course
Speaking of the sixth, the short par is Quivira’s most notorious hole. The cart ride from the fifth green to the sixth tee is a mile, so there’s quite a bit of anticipation as you make your climb to the top of the cliffs to the tee. It’s there that you have a choice to make. If you’re a long hitter you can try to drive the green below, which is a blind shot, or you can try to find the fairway with a long iron or hybrid to set up a wedge to the green below. Either way, it’s a bit of a crapshoot, but doable. And fortunately, there’s a drop area below near the green, so even if you lose your ball, you don’t have to sabotage your score.
Everybody has an opinion on the sixth, which is just 330 yards from the back tees, and plays downhill. Experience is your best ally, and it’s always interesting.
Few would argue the merits on the next hole, a medium length par 3 with a tee and a green that jut out into the sea, and is mostly carry to the green. Again, wind is very much a factor, so better players will try to hold the breeze with their tee shots, which is usually just a short iron or mid-iron for stronger players.
Another par-3 hole that’s just as nifty — or maybe even more-so — is the 14th, which can play as short as 100 yards or less. The green is perched behind a cliff, and this hole is mostly carry over the water as well. Controlling distance and spin is critical, much like the famous seventh at Pebble Beach. Hit it a little too far, and at best you have a difficult chip. The green slopes left to right and front to back, so it is possible to spin the ball off the green.
“I’ve never seen any place that has three holes hanging out over the ocean like this,” Nicklaus said. “This is a diverse golf course with inland settings. It’s got desert, it’s got rocks, it has a little bit of everything.”
Another memorable hole is the longest on the course, the 635-yard, par-5 13th. It’s a downhill double dogleg that runs back to the ocean. It can be tricky, especially with the ever-present wind. It’s easy to bite off too much on the tee shot and find yourself in a difficult, sandy desert lie right of the fairway. The green has some pretty severe slopes as well, so it’s best to come in with a short club on the approach.
The new par-4 18th hole is a pretty good test as well. There’s a huge waste bunker off the tee, which isn’t easy to carry, so you really have to play left of it to a ribbon of fairway.
The new 18th was completed in February of 2022, but didn’t come into play until last fall when everything was switched overnight. That included all the hole signs and cart signs as well as the GPS system on the carts. From one day to the next, a memorable golf course became a different and better golf course.
The best way to play Quivira, unless you’re already a member and landowner there, is to book a golf package through Pacifica Bonito, which has five resorts or hotels in the Cabo area. Pacifica is the most convenient, just a few minutes via shuttle to the clubhouse (which has a terrific restaurant, by the way). Guests at the resort receive a discount on green fees.
Of course, golf is just part of the charm of visiting Cabo San Lucas. There’s so much else to do, especially in town, like taking in the nightlife, great dining and you can take a cruise out to the famous arch, like so many visitors before. One thing is certain; a trip to Cabo is unforgettable, whether it’s on a boat or at Quivira Golf Club overlooking them.