Golf Course Architecture: Issue 55 - January 2019

23 Photo: Todd Eckenrode international project. I am confident that the value in this is apparent. 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. I understand work began years ago? We started this project approximately a decade ago, but due to international economic instability, it was put on hold. In mid-2016, we were advised that the time was right, and we commenced our more detailed work. January 2017 saw the initial earthmoving begin with grassing complete in late summer of 2018. Which holes would you highlight? The first three exemplify the variety to be found throughout the course. 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. If I had to choose other standout holes, I would start with the drop-shot par-three eleventh hole. It 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. Tell us about the project team. The client, Ohana Real Estate, LLC, was fantastic. Their commitment to excellence is second to none, and I am confident in saying that they have produced a project, the likes of which is unequalled in the Los Cabos market. Cees Nieuwenhuizen supervised construction for them and handled many adversities, including a couple of severe tropical storms during the construction process. We assembled a very talented team of shapers for the project, including Jonathan Reisetter, Kye Goalby, Blake Conant, Clyde Johnson and Cliff Hamilton, and their collaboration was very valued. Also, Greg Villeneuve of Summit Golf has been involved since the very beginning, from the early site visit walks, where we literally shed blood, sweat and tears, all the way through construction and now continuing to consult in operations now that the course is open. And last, but certainly not least, working with Fred Couples was a valuable and very enjoyable addition to our design process. Fred dove into the construction process wholeheartedly and had many excellent contributions along the way. On the eleventh hole at Twin Dolphin (above), golfers can choose the direct approach or feed the ball in from slopes to the right of the green; the second hole (left) sweeps down to the coastline Photo: Aidan Bradley