The 7,260-yard, par-72 layout has a handful of holes on the beach, notably the par-3 third, which parallels the sea and will give players fine views of breaching whales during the winter months. There’s also a signature island green at the scintillating par-3 17th hole. Rancho San Lucas Golf Club will present a test for the best from the back tees, but Norman designed the course to be playable from the forward tees.
Tees, greens and fairways are surfaced in SeaDwarf Paspalum, a drought-resistant, disease- tolerant cultivar that requires a fraction of the amount of pesticides, insecticides and fertilizer used by normal grasses. Paspalum tolerates brackish water and can be irrigated with recycled water, an important consideration in the Baja desert. To match its sustainable goals, the club has applied for enrollment in the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for golf courses.
One of the layout’s defining characteristics is its revetted pot bunkers. These sharp-edged, steep- walled sandy pits are the product of EcoBunker, a British company with a patented technology that provides for the design and construction of golf bunkers that use recycled materials.