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.