Rancho San Lucas Golf Club recognized by Audubon International

Rancho San Lucas Golf Club, located in Los Cabos, Mexico, received designation as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. The golf and maintenance staff at the club, spearheaded by head professional Mario Navarro and superintendent Manuel Felix Rivera, spent 18 months working to secure sanctuary designation.

Achieving certification requires a course to maintain high quality in multiple areas, such as environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, outreach and education, chemical use reduction and safety, water conservation, and water quality management.

The course, originally designed by Greg Norman, achieved success in the following areas: Extensive native acreage on the property, reducing irrigated areas to conserve water, establishing buffers around water bodies, providing excellent wildlife habitat, and conducting water quality testing.

“We are very proud to be a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary, and especially proud that we’re the first club in Los Cabos to earn this environmental citation,” said Brad Wheatley, Rancho San Lucas’s director of golf. “Greg (Norman) designed a versatile course that treads very lightly on Nature’s toes. Earthmoving was kept to an absolute minimum during construction. From start to finish, the layout looks like it was extruded by the landscape, not built on top of it.”

From the very beginning, Norman designed the course to have the least amount of disturbance possible. The course’s layout spans three different ecosystems and showcases the ocean on every hole. The existing landscape was used in the design, and drought-resistant grasses were brought in to reinforce the eco-friendly experience.

“My goal was to keep it as natural as possible while showcasing the site’s arroyos, dunes and view corridors,” Norman said. “We wanted to build a sustainable course that is playable from all perspectives.”

The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses is endorsed by the United States Golf Association (USGA) and affords resources and information to golf courses to help them in Audubon International’s mission to maintain and improve wildlife habitat and protect natural resources. Golf courses on almost every continent have been certified by the program.

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