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Jack Nicklaus on Quivira
With the opening of Quivira Golf Club set for Oct. 1, 2014, less than four months away, golf course designer Jack Nicklaus recently sat down to talk about a layout that has captured his fancy - and tested his patience.
With more oceanfront exposure than any other golf course in Los Cabos, Quivira is destined to garner its share of worldwide attention. Nicklaus himself allowed as much.
"Well, if you look at a project, I mean there are quite a few projects in the Cabo area and around the world, yet how many of them have as much oceanfront golf as Quivira?" Nicklaus asked. "When you're competing in the market, particularly the foreign market, and somebody says, 'Well, I want to go down to Cabo, do I want to play a course that's inland or do I want to play a golf course on the ocean?' I think it's pretty obvious."
As he spoke, Nicklaus - who is renowned world-wide as a golf architect as he is one of the game's greatest champions - was admiring Quivira's subtly contoured 18th green, which is backed by the Pacific Ocean. "If you're going to go someplace special like Cabo," he said, "you want to play a golf course that's spectacular. Quivira is spectacular."
Even though he has spent quite a bit of time refining the strategic nuances at each hole, Nicklaus is still intrigued by the short par-4 fifth hole, which plays from a tee that teeters nearly 300 feet above the Pacific.
"A very unusual par 4," he explains. "We found a little green site that sticks out on a ledge and we've placed some tees along the side of a cliff. You can lay up off the tee and play a short shot down to the green, or you can try to drive the green. It's a very exciting little hole."
Nicklaus considers the hole design at No. 5 unconventional, but believes, "People are going to love it because of the uniqueness of it," he said. "It's something you certainly are not going to create unless you're on the ocean.
And then there is the sixth hole, a par 3 sited 170 feet above the boiling surf. "I found a low ledge that has this beautiful little sand valley down there," Nicklaus said, "and it's just a spectacular par 3."
Nicklaus fully appreciates that resort developer Ernesto Coppel dedicated so much oceanfront terrain to golf, but he is also proud of the fact that the layout has a little bit of everything - including cactus, dunes, rocky cliffs, interior mountain views, and of course crashing surf on both nines.
Quivira has plenty of teeth from the tips, Nicklaus notes, but the Golden Bear promises that the course will be playable by higher handicappers from the multiple sets of forward tees.