Club is the first in Los Cabos to be certified by Audubon International

LOS CABOS, Mexico – Rancho San Lucas Golf Club has achieved designation as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses.

The club’s golf and maintenance staff, notably head professional Mario Navarro and superintendent Manuel Felix Rivera, completed an 18-month effort to obtain sanctuary designation for Rancho San Lucas. The club and its Greg Norman-designed course is now one of over 900 venues worldwide to hold certification from Audubon International.

“Rancho San Lucas Golf Club has shown a strong commitment to its environmental program,” said Christine Kane, CEO at Audubon International. “They are to be commended for their efforts to provide a sanctuary for wildlife on the golf course property.

“To reach certification, a course must demonstrate that it is maintaining a high degree of environmental quality in a number of areas,” Kane explained. These categories include Environmental Planning; Wildlife & Habitat Management; Outreach and Education; Chemical Use Reduction and Safety; Water Conservation; and Water Quality Management.

Rancho San Lucas Golf Club’s accomplishments include:

• Extensive native acreage on the property

• Reducing irrigated areas to conserve water

• Establishing buffers around water bodies

• Providing excellent wildlife habitat

• 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, 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.”

Opened in February 2020, the Greg Norman Signature course at Rancho San Lucas anchors an 834-acre resort and residential community on the Pacific Ocean 15 minutes from downtown Cabo San Lucas. Known for his ‘least-disturbance’ design approach, Norman built a low-profile layout that spans three different ecosystems and offers sweeping ocean views from every hole. Existing landforms and drought-resistant grasses were integrated in the design, creating an ecofriendly golf experience that flows naturally with the desert-meets-ocean setting.

“Rancho San Lucas is the most spectacular piece of oceanfront property I’ve seen in a long time, so to have the opportunity to build a course on this site was truly once-in-a-lifetime,” Norman said at the club’s grand opening. “My goal was to keep it as natural as possible while showcasing the site’s arroyos, dunes and view corridors. We wanted to build a sustainable course that is playable from all perspectives.” Less than two years after its debut, mission accomplished.

The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, endorsed by the United States Golf Association (USGA), provides information and guidance to help golf courses preserve and enhance wildlife habitat and protect natural resources. Golf courses from the United States, Africa, Australia, Canada, Central America, Europe, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia have achieved certification in the program.

Audubon International is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Troy, N.Y. In addition to golf courses, Audubon International also provides programs for businesses, schools, communities, and new developments with the purpose of delivering high-quality environmental education and facilitating the sustainable management of natural resources. 

For more information, visit https://auduboninternational.org/.

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