Twin Dolphin course in Mexico’s Los Cabos opens for play
The new Twin Dolphin golf course designed by Todd Eckenrode, working with pro golfer Fred Couples, has opened for play.
Overlooking the Sea of Cortez at the southern Tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula, the new course is part of a community development from Ohana Real Estate, LLC, just east of Cabo San Lucas and close to the Cabo Del Sol courses designed by Nicklaus Design and Tom Weiskopf.
Twin Dolphin is a par-72 layout which stretches to 7,156 yards from the back tees. It weaves among rugged arroyos and rock outcrops. “Our routing focused on two aspects predominately, to maximise the incredible ocean views through orientation, and to best utilise the interest and strategic challenge of the native arroyos in as many varied ways as possible,” said Eckenrode.
The ocean is in view on most holes and Eckenrode has created a designed with rumpled fairways, naturally-styled bunkering, and short-cut fairway heights throughout.
“The spectacular setting and the uniquely artistic aesthetic of the golf course align to present one of the finest golf experiences in the world,” said Eckenrode. “We strove to make this the most unique and natural course in Cabo. I think we may have created the best course in Cabo in the process.”
GCA asked Eckenrode to share some of his highlights of the completed course.
“The first three holes exemplify the variety to be found throughout the course. Among those, the ridge-top opening hole plays across and along a distinctive arroyo, followed by a gentler second hole with a stunning white-water backdrop, before returning downhill with the third hole, nestled into a natural valley full of native Cardon cactus. Hole two is sure to be a member favourite, a mid-length par four that turns naturally with the land, to face the coastline. It’s sure to be a fun second shot that must be judged with the slight downhill nature of the land here and a disappearing horizon line behind the green itself.
“The drop-shot par-three eleventh hole can play from 110 to 180 yards and features a green set down low against a sandy arroyo bottom, fortified by natural rock formations. The backdrop is stunning, and the play is indicative of many holes, where there is a way to play the hole directly, with a shot to the green played over the rock and bunkering, or indirectly, playing the ball off the slopes to the right to the green and allowing the ball to bound in on the ground.”
Cees Nieuwenhuizen supervised construction. Shapers for the project included Jonathan Reisetter, Kye Goalby, Blake Conant, Clyde Johnson and Cliff Hamilton.
On Couples’ involvement, Eckenrode said: “Fred added great value to the project. He really dove into the construction process early on, taking numerous trips and adding a different viewpoint and perspective to the design, particularly as it relates to approach shots and the visual aspects.”
Membership of the Twin Dolphin Golf Club will be available to residential owners within the Twin Dolphin community. Guests at the Montage Los Cabos hotel will also be able to play the course.
Read more of Todd Eckenrode’s reflections on the Twin Dolphin project in the January 2019 issue of Golf Course Architecture. Visit the GCA subscribe page for a printed or free digital subscription.
The par-three eleventh hole at Todd Eckenrode’s newly opened Twin Dolphin layout
Most holes (including the second, pictured) have views over the Sea of Cortez
The approach shot to the second green