Photos: Ernie Els to design new course, Oleada, at Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Ernie Els has signed on as signature designer for a new course in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico: Oleada Golf Links Los Cabos. The course will anchor the new Oleada Pacific Living and Golf, an 860-acre oceanfront resort community 15 minutes from downtown Cabo San Lucas.

The Pacific Ocean will be the backdrop for the course built into a desert landscape. A media release announcing the news said the site features dunes and sandy ridges, ideal for golf. Also slated to work on the project is Greg Letsche, senior design associate of Ernie Els Design.

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“Because the native contours and dune formations are so good, very little earthmoving will be required to build the course,” Els, a South African who has won four major championships among his 19 PGA Tour and three PGA Tour Champions titles, said in the media release. “Shaping will be very minimalistic. Man cannot improve on what Mother Nature has created over the eons. The golf course that we create at Oleada will be here long after I’m gone. That means something and it makes me feel very proud.”

Plans for Oleada also include oceanfront residences, and the first phase of development includes three resorts as well as the golf course. Work on the project began in January, and the development is slated to open in 2026. The course will allow non-resort public-access play for its first season.

Els Design has built more than a dozen courses around the world in locations such as the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, South Africa, the Bahamas and the U.S. The company’s website lists six other courses in development in Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Egypt, the Dominican Republic and Croatia, as well as this project in Mexico.

“With its rolling dunes, elevation changes and majestic desert-meets-ocean setting, I believe we can produce a versatile test that will rank among the best and most beautiful courses we’ve ever built,” Els said of Oleada in the media release.