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Golf Architecture – A Worldwide Perspective – Twin Dolphin Golf Club, Mexico

‘We strove to make this the most unique and natural course in  Cabo’, says architect Todd Eckenrode.

The Twin Dolphin Golf Club is located in Los Cabos, Mexico, at the southernmost tip of Baja California, where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez. Opened in late 2018, the course was designed by Todd Eckenrode-Origins Golf Design of Southern California, in collaboration with professional golfer and designer Fred Couples. It marks the first Fred Couples Signature Golf Course in the region.  Golfers play alongside, across, and even through the natural and diverse arroyos. The experience is ever-changing and no two holes look or play alike. Eckenrode further explains:

Predominately, our routing focused on two aspects: maximizing the incredible ocean views through orientation, and best-utilizing the interest and strategic challenge of the native arroyos in as many varied ways as possible.

What really separates the golf course from others in the region, however, is how the course plays. The ball bounds about, and there is an ability to run the ball into nearly every hole,especially if the slopes are utilized. Due to this, the golfer will try shots they may not try elsewhere. Coupled to the variety of shots they are presented with, the golfer is constantly engaged in a creative sense.

Set atop high terraces overlooking one of the most beautiful stretches of the Los Cabos coastline, the 7,156-yard golf course is interwoven among the dramatic, rugged arroyos, beautiful native vegetation and dramatic rock formations of the native terrain.  Absolutely stunning ocean views are showcased on nearly every hole, as backdrop to a classic and traditional styling of architecture.  Rumpled fairways, natural-styled bunkering and short-cut fairway heights throughout, significantly add to the appeal of this new, world-class par-72 layout.

Todd Eckenrode points out that Fred Couples played an integral role in the design of the course, adding great value to the project.  Todd concludes by saying:

Fred really dove into the construction process early on, taking numerous trips and adding a different viewpoint and perspective to the design, particularly as it relates to approach shots and the visual aspects. 

The spectacular setting and the uniquely artistic aesthetic of the golf course align to present one of the finest and most distinct golf experiences imaginable.

Twin Dolphin Golf Club, Mexico, Second hole: Turning gently with the contours of the land and playing out toward the Sea of Cortez, from the outset this hole featured in every routing option undertaken. This fine hole also showcases the effects of erosion on the desert terrain, leaving rivulets and natural subtleties that were embraced by the designers. (Photograph by Evan Schiller)

Eighth hole: While all of the par-3s are wonderfully varied at Twin Dolphin, this is the most challenging of the collection.Although danger lurks within the natural arroyo that crosses diagonally between tees and green, the hole’s real challenge rests with its green, which is sited on a saddle between two ridges. By this means, golfers must contend with a falloff at both its front and back regions. The formidable front-left bunker is sure to get your attention as well. (Photograph by Evan Schiller)

Fourth and Fifth holes: Seamlessly connected, this pair of holes presents a gentle flow from green-to-tee. The fourth hole is a par-3, playing across a shallow arroyo to a green falling away to the left, while fifth hole, a par-4 of moderate length, plays to a bunkerless green. The direct line to the latter hole is interrupted by a sandy wash and a trio of bunkers. (Photograph by Evan Schiller)

Tenth hole: Todd Eckenrode learned the game of golf at Pasatiempo Golf Club, California, and had Alister Mackenzie’s eleventh hole in mind when routing this challenging, uphill par-4 at Twin Dolphin.

A drive played close to the right side of the arroyo allows the shortest route and best angle into the green. However, the true shotmaking reward is on offer for the golfer who can turn their tee-shot to the left and then produce the opposite shape when approaching the green. (Photograph by Evan Schiller)



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