to Design 36-Hole Golf Course at Punta Lobos
in Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Hills/Steve Forrest and Associates have been commissioned to design 36 holes at Punta Lobos, a proposed development located 40 minutes north of Cabo San Lucas in Todos Santos on the Baja Peninsula.
Punta Lobos ("Sea Lion Point") will occupy more than 1,800 acres of seaside property owned by the Santa Ana Family, stewards of this land since 1803. The two golf courses, residences, hotels and marina associated with the project will be built on coastal terrain made verdant by arroyos that channel fresh water from the Sierra de La Laguna Mountains.
Punta Lobos will reflect the style, sensibility and natural attributes of Todos Santos ("All Saints"), a town as famous for its climate as for its colorful, bohemian culture. It will also reflect the values of the Santa Ana Family, which has balanced commercial concerns with environmental stewardship in this corner of Baja California Sur for more than 150 years - from the sugar cane boom of the 19th century, through the 1930s when it pioneered organic farming in the region, to the rebirth of Todos Santos today as a vibrant cultural center.
"Back in the mid-1800s, my grandfather took care of this land and he left a lot of love in it," said family patriarch Jose Santa Ana Pineda. "Punta Lobos will be a place where buyers will become much more than another member of a luxury residential community. They will become part of the two centuries of tradition and heritage that built Todos Santos."
The Santa Ana Family has assembled an outstanding development team. The firm of EDSA will direct the sustainable land-planning effort, combining culture and program elements with what the natural environment has to offer: remarkable terrain, beautiful views, and an inherent relationship with water. Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest and Associates, designers of more than 180 golf courses worldwide, will lay out the two 18-hole courses - the semi-private Rancho Santa Ana Golf Club and the private Punta Lobos Club.
"There will be three luxury boutique hotels at Punta Lobos," says Punta Lobos director of sales Jesus Ruibal Santa Ana. "The brands have not yet been determined, but elsewhere we have chosen the very best: Hills/Forrest and EDSA, known for their work on signature resorts such as Atlantis in the Bahamas, El Conquistador in Puerto Rico, and numerous projects in Mexico. So the hotels must be up to this standard. We are planning on between 650 and 850 real estate units, but the final number will be determined by our architects and land planners."
Rancho Santa Ana GC will be built on property east of Highway 19, the coastal road that connects Todos Santos with Cabo San Lucas to the south. Rancho Santa Ana will serve resort guests, while The Punta Lobos Club, which will take shape west of the highway, will be members-only. Arthur Hills and Hills/Forrest partner Brian Yoder will collaborate closely on the design of both courses.
"The Santa Ana family has presented our firm with what I view as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," explained Hills, who will commit his personal attention to Punta Lobos. "I've been in the course design business a long time, and I've worked on my share of 'dream' sites. But Punta Lobos is something extraordinary. We're going to create a masterpiece here."
Arthur Hills/Steve Forrest and Associates is widely acknowledged as the leader in environmentally sensitive golf course design. The firm's 1993 work at Collier's Reserve (Naples, Florida) resulted in it being named America's first Certified Gold Signature Sanctuary, the highest designation awarded by Audubon International and golf's most prestigious environmental management program. In 2003, Hills/Forrest also designed the first Certified Gold Signature Sanctuary outside the United States, Oitavos Golfe in Cascais, Portugal. Both projects are recognized around the world as case studies on how to build golf courses in a manner sensitive to the environment.
Located on the Tropic of Cancer, Todos
Santos is routinely 10 degrees cooler and far more tropical than towns to its north or south. Locals have a boast: You know you've arrived in Todos Santos when things get green and look like the Garden of Eden. Indeed, somewhere on the outskirts of town the arid Baja scenery gives way, quite suddenly, to lush groves of palms, mangos, avocados, and papayas. In March and February, the waters off Punta Lobos are active mating areas for gray whales; year-round, this is one of the Pacific Ocean's premier game-fishing havens.
Todos Santos has also cultivated the well-earned reputation as a refuge for serious artists: fine, folk and culinary. With a large collection of galleries and restaurants, many find it reminiscent of Carmel, Calif., in the 1950s. Todos Santos was recently named by the Mexican Government as Baja's first Pueblos Magicos, or "Magic Town," a designation bestowed only on communities possessing a singular historical, cultural and architectural significance. Todos Santos is one of just 20 Pueblos Magicos in all of Mexico.