Diamanté's Dunes Course Gets MGS Rated
(Written By: GolfSpy Tim) Top 100? What exactly does that mean? Does a cabana girl come out to greet you at the end of your round and whisper softly in your ear praising you on an amazing round while feeding you grapes? (one can hope)
This question filled my mind as I journeyed to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico to visit one of the area's newest and highest rated courses - Diamanté's Dunes - a links track built to the north of downtown Cabo. Originally opened to the public, the course went private at the beginning of this year and offers exclusive membership to property owners at Diamanté.
The fact that you've arrived at a course offering something "more" hits you pretty quickly after checking in for your round.
But really, shouldn't a course be ranked simply on the golf? Yes and no - that's why we utilize the MGS Course ranking metric found here.
There is no doubt in my mind that Diamanté is a Top 100 track and facility - but how can YOU gain access, and what is the Top 100 experience really like? Read on spies.
Completed in 2009, this Davis Love III track goes at 7,300 yards from the back tees and is both a challenge and a pleasure to play.
Most Recent Accolades:
100 Best Courses Outside The U.S. - #52 by Golf Digest
Top 100 Courses In The World - #58 by Golf Magazine
Perfect. That's all that needs to be said - tee boxes, fairways, greens - these are of a caliber that you will experience at few other tracks.
On the front side at hole 3 and again at 6 we were served a top shelf Bloody Mary along with fresh chicken tortilla soup, and offered an assortment of beers, water, Gatorade, cookies, candy and more, the gluttony continues at holes 12 and 15 when you come face to face with another bottomless watering station this time with Margaritas, the most tasty Tamales and a similar assortment of goodies as before - all of this is included with your round, no need to pull out cash or credit card.
To say you will be well taken care of while at Diamanté may be the understatement of the decade. If you're a member and you need an excuse to drink without telling your wife, just head out on the course and sit at one of theses watering holes and watch the sun set.
The beauty at Diamanté is constant - I was in awe standing on the tee box at every hole, but... with the Diamanté property still in the construction phase, there are spots where looking away from the course you see home plots scraped to prep for construction.
You won't be disappointed by the beauty, but even when built out, the Dunes course will still have views that include homes on the property.
Customer Service/Guest Experience
I would give a 15 here if I could, the entire staff was incredibly friendly - when we dropped off our car at valet I was almost embarrassed by how covered in dirt our car was from driving around the desert - when we picked it up the valet had hand washed the car for us!
Every step of the way we were waited on and served. From the slider bar at the driving range, our caddy sweeping up our divots, an unexpected car wash, and to top it off, even the members of this exclusive club were warm and friendly and excited to see someone new.
Did I mention the complimentary slider bar? You can't miss it as you walk up to the practice green and the steps down to the driving range and short game area.
Diamanté boasts the BIGGEST driving range I've ever seen (could easily engulf the driving range from demo day at the PGA show) - if you own a private residence on the course you even get a private tee box into the driving range about 1/4 mile from the main driving area as well as putting greens a step away from your back door.
The practice green and even the driving range rolls out the exactly as the course itself. (yes, the balls you hit into the range roll out just like the course - and even features similar natural obstructions. I never expect roll out to be realistic with my shots on a driving range)
Accessibility to All Skill Levels
Playing as long as 7,300 yards I should have been intimidated, but fortunately with 5 tee choices, Diamanté offers a selection to challenge and reward nearly any skill level. No need to feel like less of a man for playing the middle tees, pick one of the THREE middle options and keep your pride.
Pick your tee appropriately and you should be in GREAT shape to challenge yourself yet not have the wind taken out of your sails with punishment when not deserved.
There are plenty of risk-reward opportunities, but also abundant bail outs to keep yourself in play if you're not feeling overly confident. No cruel surprises, but plenty of fun features to play over or around depending upon the weather/wind conditions.
Even on the most varied of courses I often can't help but think the designer must have ran out of ideas and been inspired by the theme of a previous hole on the same track - but this is NOT the case on the Dunes course. Following the natural layout of the land, mixing up the elevations, hitting into both highly elevated greens as well as those below you, I never felt like any hole reminded me of a previous. LOTS of different shots required - including those typically associated with links style golf and prevailing winds.
A private course with limited access, your value may not come in the form of a specific green fee (fees were $240 per round before they closed to the public this year)
For the time being, you may find yourself playing Diamanté when visiting for a sales tour (property prices starting at $300,000) or a local with connections, a current member, or possibly by reaching out to Diamanté directly as they continue the property's build out.
If I were considering buying property in Cabo, this would top my list for the golf course alone. And seeing as you can try this once without committing for the time being, the value is incredible. I don't know why you wouldn't consider Diamanté when visiting Cabo in the near future.
If you could crawl into my head I could give you a hole-by-hole tour of Diamanté Dunes - it's really that memorable. Even my two least favorite holes were memorable. Thankfully Diamanté realized that these two holes are lacking and they have already started the process of building replacement holes that match the awe of the rest of Dunes.
Absolutely memorable at every turn.
Finishing our first round at Diamanté our caddy handed us the most refreshing towel I've ever touched - so simple, a wash clothe soaked in ice cold mango water. It doesn't sound like much until you experience it at the end of a warm round of links golf in the Mexican desert.
No, we didn't get a cabana girl to whisper us praises, but we did get to take a couple of nights on property to experience what it would be like owning property and living at Diamante with our wives, soaking in a breathtaking sunset while relaxing in spa! I could certainly get used to that!
Diamanté offers some of the best golf I have ever experienced, and to top it off we were never lacking for food, drink, beauty and challenge. We were smiling the entire time we were on property and I can't wait to go back again once they complete work on the two replacement holes.
In the meantime, if you would like to visit Diamanté to experience it for yourself, visit this url and register for your own visit - and maybe you'll be as lucky as we were and top the whole experience off with a stay in one of the Golf Villa's overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean and 18th fairway!
Total Score: 98.5/100