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Diamanté Dunes, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico – Top 100 Golf

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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.

Diamante Dunes Golf Course Review

The fact that you’ve arrived at a course offering something “more” hits you pretty quickly after checking in for your round. How often does your caddy sweep up your divots for you (yes with a broom) when you finish using the driving range? Oh, and a free slider bar (yes, all you can eat mini hamburgers with fun alternatives – I suggest trying the chorizo slider) The list goes on.

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.

Diamante Dunes Golf Course Review

The Review:

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.
Slope: 146
Rating: 75.4
Most Recent Accolades:
100 Best Courses Outside The U.S. – #52 by Golf Digest
Top 100 Courses In The World – #58 by Golf Magazine

Diamante Dunes Golf Course Review

Course Conditions

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.

Score: 10/10

Diamante Dunes Golf Course Review

Amenities

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.

Score: 10/10

Diamante Dunes Golf Course Review

Beauty/Scenery

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.

Score: 8.5/10

Diamante Dunes Golf Course Review

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.

Score: 10/10

Diamante Dunes Golf Course Review

Practice Facilities

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.
Diamante Dunes Golf Course Review

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)

Score: 10/10

Diamante Dunes Golf Course Review

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.

Score: 10/10

Diamante Dunes Golf Course Review

Difficulty

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.

Score: 10/10

Diamante Dunes Golf Course Review

Variety

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.

Score: 10/10

Diamante Dunes Golf Course Review

Value

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)

Diamante Dunes Golf Course Review

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.

Score: 10/10

Diamante Dunes Golf Course Review

Memorability

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.

Score: 10/10

Diamante Dunes Golf Course Review

Conclusion

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.

Diamante Dunes Golf Course Review

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!

Register through their website here

Total Score: 98.5/100

Diamanté Dunes Gallery

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

GolfSpy Matt October 22, 2012 at 9:11 am

Tim,

I hate you so much. So very very much.

Sincerely,

Matt

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GolfSpy Tim October 22, 2012 at 9:50 am

Dude… you have NO CLUE – I wish I had another page to go on about this place – I didn’t even get into the Villa that we stayed in… that was epic all on it’s own.

This place is legit, can’t wait to go back and check out the two holes they are building to replace the only two holes that lacked on any level.

Also, Golf Digest just voted #17 one of the Top 18 Holes in the World!!! (and though I have played less tracks than their guys, I will agree, it’s an AMAZING hole)

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GolfSpy Dave October 22, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Dude…
Seriously…
Wow!

You had me at free food and beverages.

BTW, I agree with Matt.

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timlangler October 22, 2012 at 1:03 pm

GUys, looks like an impressive track! It reminds me of a golf institution we have here in Australia, called Barnbougle Dunes & Lost Farm. Barnbougle designed by Tom Doak and Tony Cashmore designed Lost Farm. Both are courses. Highly recommend if you come to australia. However, you don’t get free Chorizo sliders and beers, but the courses aren’t as expensive to play….

Great review!

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Robert Lee October 22, 2012 at 1:12 pm

100% agree with Tim that the course is fantastic. Before you go, call the course and find out when it’s windy as I went in March and it was very windy (on 17, virtually impossible to hit the fairway with the prevailing wind we experienced but a fantastic hole). The food on the course is very, very good and the driving range is so good, you’ll want to hang there hitting balls after your round. There are very nice villas on the other side off the driving range where you can walk out your back yard and hit balls onto the back end of the range or the putting greens on that side. Highly recommended for a guys golf outing…

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JBones October 22, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Looks absolutely amazing.

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Slim October 22, 2012 at 3:04 pm

{/start rant} I will no longer come to this website if you keep posting stuff like this. I can’t look at stuff like this and then go play with my buddies at the local munis. This is like posting photos of a ridiculously hot chic and then you in bed with her. Its nothing more than a tease and this is how wars are started. I’m off to go play at a goat ranch. I hope you shot 100, your beer was warm, you had the shanks and got biten by a poisonous snake. {/end rant}

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Golfer Burnz October 22, 2012 at 5:32 pm

The trick is to pay $14 at your munis and in your mind you are hitting shots at Diamante. It is all in your mind, minus the tan and the cabana girl.

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manbearpig October 22, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Wow.. just simply wow…

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Yohanan October 22, 2012 at 4:45 pm

300k
No problemo
Owning real estate in Mexico?
Problemo

If i cant plunk down a green fee or stay at a resort and then plunk down a green fee. Then it really is a fantasy for the vast majority of us here. Plunking down 300k may be easier than starting a web and making everyone very jealous or really pissed off with this review.

I would like more $150 or less green fee hidden gems course reviews i can actually play.

Cheers

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GolfSpy Tim October 22, 2012 at 5:01 pm

I know plenty of people who own real estate in Mexico without any problems.

Tiger Woods is in process designing the next course at Diamanté – some of the long term plans include a mix of both private and public access courses at the property. The Dunes course is private, but if you read the article, you’ll see, they are looking to have people visit the property to get a feel for what they have to offer – which basically equates to a free green fee at a top 100…. ;-) Sure, not forever, but I don’t see the property selling out in the next year or two.

Some people are looking for private club memberships, and some will never make it past paying super twilight rates at their local muni, and I hope to get reviews up that serve both sides as well as in between.

I hear you on wanting to see reviews on courses with lower green fees – and these are coming as well. Do you have any specific tracks you’d like to see a review of? I’d love to consider them.

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wdgolf October 22, 2012 at 5:08 pm

I know where I’m going when I eventually retire! Sell my house and live like a king in Mexico! :)

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Yohanan October 22, 2012 at 5:51 pm

i know a few people that own in mexico as well. I hope it works out for everyone. I really do.

How about Talking Stick in Scottsdale?

I played a course outside of Destin a few years back. Whispering Dunes. I hope its still there? It was off tbe beaten path and like 45 bucks after playing the courses in town for 3 times that i was pretty happy.

TPC Mrytle Beach. Cant wait to go back. As there are at least 4 or 5 of the other 100 i want to play.

If you are in Northern Cal. Darkhorse and Saddlecreek are at the top of the list. In the same area Apple Mountain and The Ridge are a test and are playable year round.

Havent played Yocha De He yet. I hear that many prefer it over Pebble. So that sounds like a good review

I travel for work so bringing the sticks is always an option – when possible and driving.

So i would love to hear about more hidden or not so hidden gems.

We all would like to spend 5k on a golf trip. 95% of us cant or wont.

So finding the best bang for my buck in a day trip or weekend is key.

Havent been to mesquite nv Or st george ut yet.

Oh the possibilities!

Cheers

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joshn08 October 22, 2012 at 7:33 pm

I was down in Cabo this past August and really wanted to play this course but sadly no one else with me wanted to do the tour so we ended up playing Puerto Los Cabos. That course is beautiful and so much fun to play but don’t think it could hold anything on Diamante. So jealous you got to play there.

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katie October 25, 2012 at 1:14 am

Yes this is a beauty! I have been to Cabo quite a few times and just love the place. The golf there is so good – definitely some of the best courses I’ve seen and played. Also liked Arizona and they have a little bit in common with the desert surrounds – just that Cabo also has the ocean.

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Oliver Jones October 27, 2012 at 7:17 am

Agreed, in my opinion one of the best courses in the world. Staff is very friendly and the views are spectacular.

Cushioned pads on the wall in the “Men’s Room” to lean against, comfort stations are awesome, the wildlife is very cool, Diamante has it all!!

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GolfSpy Tim October 27, 2012 at 9:01 am

Dude, the cushioned pads on the wall kinda creeped me out at first – but really, what man doesn’t want to use them deep down.

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Kevin Sebulski November 6, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Now you have to go to the other side and Mexico and do the reviews on the Riviera Maya side. Here is our countdown from 12 to 1.

http://www.golfmayariviera.com/mexico-tee-times/golf-in-cancun-playa-del-carmen-tulum-cozumel-and-the-riviera-maya/

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Joel Serra April 12, 2013 at 9:24 pm

Or, visit Santa Fe…
Golf and Golf Digest: two top 100 you can play: Black Mesa ($70 +/-), Paako Ridge ($90 – 110) & choose from a half dozen more within 60 minutes.
Conde Nast: stay in the third most popular destination city in the U.S (after New York & San Francisco!)
Eat in one or two of the more than 100 world class restaurants.
Stay in a beautiful, ancient city where you can buy authentic native crafts, collect truly amazing art, hear one of the world’s great opera companies and chamber music festivals.

How is it that no-one seems to know this?

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Mark Smallcombe June 30, 2013 at 8:28 pm

I really resonate with this review. This is my most happy place on earth. I smile and whistle and sing every round I play… and I have played 65 rounds so far. I have played Pinehurst, great courses in Asia, Hawaii and Australia… but I travel from San Francisco to Diamante to enjoy one of the greatest golf experiences ever.

Every round and every hole is memorable. Extremely well maintained with true greens and impeccable fairways I play off the II’s.

From the driving range, the slider bar, the comfort stations, the cloak room to the staff and course itself… most everything is an absolute 10/10 experience

Honestly – this place is my dream come true of a world class, friendly (not snobby) links golf course overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Its never busy. As a matter of fact – I have played as recently on a Saturday in June 2013 at 9:30am and I was the only person on the whole course. Wow.. what a blast! Just nature, me and a round of 76 on the best course I’ve ever played. It’s rated #58 in the world but for me its my #1

I’ve been an owner since 2010 and own a presidential suite in the Dunes residence club overlooking the 18th and the ocean. I’ve stayed twice in the Dunes Residence club for week long vacations and while it offers spectacular views and great amenities, it is furnished and set out a little funky. No baths in any of the rooms – which does not help my wife who feels like a golf widow. The pool and Jacuzzi are great but unfortunately have no view – hemmed in by a higher than needed wall.

The golf pro – Brad Hengel is a fabulous guy – very real, and friendly… as are all the staff. The free 80′ cruise boat ride is a treat delight too!

Things that I feel could improve are…
1. No helpful access or suitable way to walk to the beach – which is a long ways away
2. Nothing to entertain wives who’s husbands (or spouses) are out playing golf. It’s boring for golf widows
3. Cheaper rides from the airport and return and into Cabo – as it it rather remote
4. Hole 12 and 13 (while great) would be better served being repositioned toward the ocean
5. Spa facilities is too far away from Dunes Club
6. While the fairway distances are marked on the sprinkler heads, it would be nice to have GPS in the carts

Respectfully

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Mark Smallcombe June 19, 2014 at 6:33 pm

Heaven on Earth for golfers.
Having played over 55 rounds at Diamante I just keep yearning to come back. I’ve played through all the development years and now have 10 games lined up for every year on the new Tiger Woods El Cardonal course, to add to my 10 every year on the Dunes Course.
I cannot fault this course. Every hole is a joy to play and distinctly memorable.
My dream was to live on a golf course overlooking the ocean. I landed my dream at Diamante… at least for 2 weeks per year (dividable into four weeks which I often do)
Facilities are great, food is real good, while the personnel are personable and attentive.
It’s a NO-TIPPING venue (except if you want to use a caddie) so that adds lots of value.
It’s never too hot to play here as the breeze off the Pacific keeps things temperate, though the breeze can get stiff at times, adding to the links feel. Greens are perfect.
Practice facilities are top class. Once you arrive at the course, your breath will be taken away.

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