More than a decade in the making, the Fred Couples-designed course at Twin Dolphin Golf Club has opened for play. The private club, which offers exclusive access to guests of Montage Los Cabos, is the centerpiece of Twin Dolphin, a 1,400-acre master-planned community. The development commands a premier location along the corridor linking the towns of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo at the tip of the Baja California peninsula.
Built on a broad sloping plateau bisected by three major arroyos on the north side of the seaside highway, the 7,156-yard, par-72 layout, perched 180 meters above sea level, features a sweeping ocean view from every hole. Rocky peaks in the Sierra de la Laguna range backdrop the fairways.
Couples, a World Golf Hall of Fame member and Masters champion, worked on the routing and strategic design of the course with Todd Eckenrode of Origins Golf Design. Beyond his role as designer and brand ambassador, Couples is a resident and member of the Twin Dolphin community and will utilize the course frequently to prepare for upcoming golf tournaments and events.
“We wanted this to be a course that all players can enjoy,” Couples said. “With its multiple sets of tees, it varies in length and features undulating greens, dramatic elevation changes, impeccable fairways and natural bunkering. It’s a great second shot golf course with several spectacular tee shots. The architecture makes great use of the natural topography and the ocean views make each hole incredibly memorable.”Playability is enhanced by subtle mounding that corrals shots on a broad-shouldered layout marked by wide corridors and minimal forced carries.
Added Eckenrode, “Without question, this is the most incredible site we have ever had the pleasure of working on. The land has a sense of place all its own, as if it was discovered rather than built. The course is set among the dramatic rugged arroyos of the native terrain, with broad ocean views and classic architectural styling. An environmentally-sensitive clearing plan was established from the outset, leaving mature desert flora and rock formations intact. Fred’s excellent vision and passion for the project contributed immensely to the design.”
Eckenrode noted that earthmoving was kept to a minimum to preserve the site’s natural contours and defenses. “The routing showcases constant variety, particularly in how it utilizes the arroyos that predominate throughout,” he said. “Golfers will play along, across and even through these signature arroyos, which lend a memorable identity to the course.”
A buffer was left on the perimeter of each hole to protect desert vegetation along the course periphery. Fairways were capped with sand to ensure firm, fast playing conditions from start to finish. Non-potable water from on-site desalination and water treatment facilities is used to irrigate the golf course.
“Environmental stewardship is very important to us, especially with the National Marine Preserve status of Santa Maria Bay and its Blue Flag beach certification,” said golf superintendent Russell Hewitt, referring to the protected horseshoe cove at the base of the resort development.
Twin Dolphin’s fairways and tees are surfaced in TifGrand, a new bermudagrass varietal. The greens are TifEagle, a bermudagrass strain known for its smooth, velvety surface. Course conditions are flawless.
In addition to four sets of tees ranging from 7,156 to 5,011 yards, the club offers three additional sets of combination tees to provide maximum versatility. To settle bets, Twin Dolphin features a short par-3 “bye hole” that calls for a 95-yard pitch shot over an arroyo. For kids, beginners and families, the club’s Nino’s Tees present a sporty 2,300-yard, par-61 layout.
Members and guests enjoy personalized service, a caddie program, two fully-staffed on-course “Red Door” comfort stations, comprehensive practice facilities and an array of clubhouse amenities. Practice facilities include personalized hitting stations equipped with laser-measured yardages to target greens. Players have access to Trackman technology, which tracks everything the club does before, during and after impact.
The development, created by Ohana Real Estate Investors, occupies the site of the former Hotel Twin Dolphin, an iconic property now honored in name by the Twin Dolphin community. It includes Maravilla Los Cabos, a private residential community; Montage Los Cabos, a deluxe 122-room beachfront hotel that opened June 1; Montage Residences, totaling 52 two- and three-bedroom turnkey units; and the new Twin Dolphin Golf Club.