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Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Palmilla - Los Cabos

Palmilla is a type of yucca plant that grows in desert climates in Sonora and Baja California.
There were some around, but they don't play a part in the golf course. Palmilla is also an area near San Jose del Cabo, home to several resorts and upscale communities, and the Palmilla Golf Cub, a Troon facility, and a Jack Nicklaus signature design of 27 holes.

The Golfing Queen and I played the Mountain 9 and the Ocean 9. The Arroyo 9 was closed for maintenance. From the tips, it is 7036 yards, 74.4 course rating and 146 slope. I played the 3rd set of tees, 6172 70.7 and 132. For the record, I shot 82 with two birdies, two triple bogies and one double.

Despite the names, they are both essentially desert courses, often requiring a forced carry over features ranging from shallow washes to deep canyons, from tee to fairway, and fairway to green (or fairway to 2nd fairway on the par 5s). Despite that, it is woman-friendly in that the red tees are on the fairway side of the chasms. Nicklaus has made exquisite use of the land, blending the course naturally in and around the hills and arroyos, with nary an ordinary hole among these 18.

5 Mountain is typical. Par 4, drive over a 50-foot deep canyon to an angled fairway, then back over the canyon to a green set 30 feet lower.
I hit what I thought was a good 6-iron, started at the center of the green and drawing. It landed a foot short of the green between the traps, and bounced into the left one.
Three bunker shots later, I missed the 5-footer for double bogey. If that trap hadn't been there, my ball would have been way farther left and much closer to sea level.

I think I saw a golf club down that way, with human bones nearby.

On the Ocean course, #3 runs down to the beach.

We wondered who lived there next to the #3 green . . . down by the ocean . . .

#4 is a downhill par 3 with flowering bushes reminiscent of Augusta National.

The finishing hole is a par 5. This is the view from the first part of the fairway. Those cacti that look like saguaro are not, they are cardon . . .
According to that link, they are bigger than the giant saguaros of the Sonoran desert, and the two are not found in the same places.

Close up, when they're in bloom, you can tell they are obviously not saguaros.

Palmilla is a "must play" when you're in Cabo.

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