New Greg Norman course opens at Rancho San Lucas

  • Rancho San Lucas

    The new Greg Norman-designed Rancho San Lucas course has opened in Mexico

  • Rancho San Lucas

    The routing plays through a cactus forest, large dunes and along the beachfront

  • Rancho San Lucas

    The par-four fourteenth plays directly to the ocean

  • Rancho San Lucas

    The par-three seventeenth plays to an island green

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

The grand opening of the new Rancho San Lucas course designed by Greg Norman’s firm has taken place in Los Cabos, Mexico.

The course is the centrepiece of an 834-acre gated resort community developed by Solmar Group on a site with over a mile of Pacific Ocean beachfront.

"Rancho San Lucas is the most spectacular piece of oceanfront property I’ve seen in a long time, so to have the opportunity to build a course on this site was truly once-in-a-lifetime,” said Norman. “My goal was to keep it as natural as possible, using my ‘least-disturbance’ approach, while showcasing the property’s three unique ecosystems: the ocean, the sand dunes and the arroyos.

“We wanted to build a sustainable course that is playable from all perspectives, including the forward tees. Greg Norman Golf Course Design is committed to making a global impact by creating courses that withstand the test of time, and I truly believe this golf course is one of the best we’ve ever built.”

The 7,210 yard, par-72 course is routed through a cactus forest with arroyos before moving on to enormous windswept dunes. There are five holes on the beach, including the par-three third, which plays parallel to the sea.

Francisco Bulnes, chairman of Solmar Group, talks said: “In the beginning, Greg told me, ‘It’s such an amazing piece of property, we’re only going to clear the fairway corridors 10 metres at a time.’ Most designers mass clear a site and then attempt to re-vegetate it later. Not Greg. He was very careful to remove specimen trees and plants and shelter them in a nursery. He wanted to work at a very slow rate, so he could evaluate the site’s contours and build the course in an environmentally responsible way. This took several months, but that’s what his ‘least-disturbance’ design philosophy is all about: keep earthmoving to a minimum, and step as lightly as possible on nature’s toes.”

The course has been grassed with SeaDwarf Seashore Paspalum, and Norman has elected for a revetted bunkering design unique to the region.

The club’s practice facility includes a driving range, 18-hole putting course and dedicated chipping, pitching and sand areas.