Los Cabos/Puerto Vallarta Mexico Golf Trip

I have a week planned in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico for this upcoming May. I’ve been several times for work/surf trips, but I’ve never played golf in the region and know little about it. I thought it would be fun to take guidance from experienced Refugees first and then proceed from there as opposed to aimlessly research courses online.

Any advice/recommendations are welcome. Thank you in advance!

I’ve only played Quivira in Los Cabos. A little gimmicky at times but it’s paradise down there.

There are a couple of good Jack Nicklaus resort courses just north of PV at Punta Mita. Pricey, but pretty cool ocean-side golf. One course has a 200 yd par 3 that plays to a natural island just off-shore.

In the #3 regret of my life, my wife and I purchased timeshare at Los Cabos Golf Club and have playing privileges there if/when we stay. I have some recommendations, not all of them positive. We last went in 2016 or thereabouts, so unless it’s changed, here we go:

First, ammo up before you go - take an extra box of your ball in your luggage. Cabo is so thoroughly dominated by the timeshare-industrial complex that you can’t even buy a used sleeve of Nitros from anywhere other than a pro shop. Cabo even has a WalMart that sells nothing whatsoever golf. If you happen to run out, and it can happen faster at some courses than others, buying rocks at the course will cost you upwards of 50 a dozen, more for premium.

Do not rent clubs unless you’ve verified in advance that they’re not TM Burners from 2008 and the shafts aren’t three full swings away from impaling you in the neck. If you can’t avoid renting, take every club out of the bag before you sign the rental agreement and inspect it thoroughly, especially for cracks. If one breaks on you during play, you’re liable. We got off light at $70 plus shipping when my wife’s 7 iron broke on the way out of the bag, but still, take your own.

This last one is on your own / optional since I haven’t tried it yet but, at San Jose del Cabo airport arrival gate past customs, there’s one way out for Mexicans, and the other way out for tourists. The tourist way out goes through a room full of identically-dressed young men and women whose sole purpose is to get you through fast-talking/stopping you unnecessarily/etc. to sign up for timeshare presentation. This is easy to do when you’re laden down with golf bag and luggage both of which you hucked through Customs/Immigration, even if your head is down and you’re determined to get past everybody and get to your taxi. Just once, I want to see if going out the Mexican way saves me having to ask somebody to step the fuck off me, before I relax and enjoy my sunny Baja vacation.

Anyway, enjoy. I wonder if Loreto is a better deal.

I’ve played Flamingos which is on the North side of PV and it was quite fun. I also played Litibu up the coast a bit - it’s a Greg Norman course and some of the holes are so picturesque I took twenty photos. There is of course the famous course where you can hit out to an island green and walk there when the tide is low - but you have to stay at the Four Seasons there and even then it’s like $300-400 a round.

my honeymoon is going to be at secrets los cabos golf and spa or whatever its called. anybody have any info or recs?

Whatever you do, go on a fishing trip down there. It’s world class, and you’ll never forget it. The main town can get kinda fratty (Cabo Waco, etc.) as it’s LA’s version of Cancun. There are plenty of great restaurants, spas, surf spots, and agave field tours to do otherwise.

@clickbard Unless you have the most understanding new wife in the world, don’t spend 5 hours of your honeymoon playing golf on your own. There are many other things you can do to pass the time, especially if you are in Los Cabos.

@greebs You’re talking about the courses at Punta Mita. They are pricey, but not on the $300-400 level. I played both of them during a vacation a few years ago during their low season. I paid a flat fee to play unlimited golf for the entire week and the courses were empty because the hotels were at <20% occupancy. It was awesome to play all 36 there in a cart by myself in under 5 hours.

Well, I don’t know about the low season, but here are the rates at the Punta Mita course with the “Tail of the Whale” hole:

The guest fee - and that’s a guest staying at the hotel - is $260.00 in the high season and $205 in the low season. The rates at the hotel are so absurd when I just checked I’m going to have to assume there is a bug on the site (the absolute cheapest was $1,100/night).

Maybe one can play without staying there but the website suggests otherwise. The low season might make exceptions to that, to your point. But cripes, between June and October, you’d best tee off at sunrise.

I went in September, stayed at the FS. Teed off at sunrise on multiple days, was done with 18 holes before 10 AM and had the rest of the day to spend with my wife and son by the beach/pool/etc. For people that are able to travel at that time of year (just after Labor Day when schools are back in session) I highly recommend it.

Went to Los Cabos for our honeymoon in July and stayed in San Jose Del Cabo.

First things first, there’s loads of world class golf in Baja but you’re going to pay for it.

Right next door to our hotel was Puert Los Cabos, a Nicklaus/Norman combo, and it was spectacular. It even had a “siesta station” with complimentary drinks and tacos every four holes.

Just as good and north of San Lucas is Quivera. We had a buddy hook us up with a tee time for a wedding gift, otherwise I’m not sure how to get on (I think you have to be staying at the resort). Another Nicklaus course, kind of a funky layout be easily the best views I’ve ever had in golf.

Last, we play Palmilla, another Nicklaus course (there’s a lot of them in Los Cabos). It cost almost as much as Puerto and left us underwhelmed completed to the other two.

Hope this helps, and like others have said, you should also try to go fishing!

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Giving this thread a bump. Thinking about making a trip down to Los Cabos over the winter and am curious if anyone has been there recently. Your info @AW13 was very helpful. Has anyone been able to get on the Dunes course at Diamante? I reached out to them but I feel like it is a very long shot.

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I played the puerto los Cabos course that’s next to secrets. Very typical resort course. Awesome views and there are awesome taco/tequilla stations every 4 holes. It was fun to play for sure but I’m sure there’s better option around.

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I’ve only played Quivira: Great scenery, some gimicky holes, some great holes, incredible service overall a good time. Paid around $250 a few years ago though

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I was there in September. Played Diamente Dunes and El Cardonal.

Dunes was really good, Cardonal (despite being designed by the Big Cat) was just good. Both were overpriced (mandatory $50 caddy (without tip) on top of $270 green fee). If I had 4 rounds to play, I’d play Dunes 3 times and Cardonal 1.

One thing they do very well is they have these snack stations all over the course, which are totally free and unlimited. They’ll craft you cocktails, cook you local fare and snacks galore, etc etc. Brought my gf along and she loved taking full advantage of this part.

Happy to answer specific questions.

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You can get on if you are willing to spend an hour pretending like you might buy a place. Just note that they try to get you to sign and close literally at the end of the tour and will try to keep you around as long as possible to convince you to buy before letting you out, so just have a good exit strategy in place that involves getting to the first tee as quickly as possible. (I.e., I’m a golf junkie and need to play the course first before making a decision.)

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Were you able to play without staying or making a farce of buying real estate?

Yes, sort of.

We weren’t staying at Diamente proper, but we were staying at the Nobu hotel which it seemed had a relationship with them. We just went through our “butler” there, who had connections. He also was working on getting us into Quivira but didn’t pan out.

I can give you his WhatsApp if it’s be helpful.

Only been to Quivira but I would highly recommend it. Funny note though is on my way back to the US, the security checkpoint wouldn’t let me have golf balls in my carry on bag because they deemed it to be a weapon so I had to go back and check my bag to avoid losing my golf balls.

Hey @giles,

Fully aware that this thread is quite old, but we are tentatively headed to Cabo in October to stay at the Nobu and I am going to try to play the Dunes course while we are there. Can you pass along that WhatsApp and any suggestions on the hotel/surrounding areas?

Thanks!