Director of Golf, Quivira Golf Club
B A C K G R O U N D E R . . .
Born in Veracruz, located in the Mexican coast, Reynante had his first contact with the game at the age of five. He graduated from Business College (BA) in 2003 and from Golf Management College in 2007. Besides having started to play the Mexican Tour in 2008, he offered his services to golf facilities as a freelancer, in order to gain additional experience. Over the last five years he has worked his way up from teaching professional to director of golf — now headquartered at one of the best golf courses in the world.
T H E R E Y N A N T E S T O R Y . . .
I am a golfer who deeply loves the game and its spirit. When I first started to play as a little boy I remember being taken to the course by my father every weekend and was so very happy about it. Golf courses, golf stores, practice ranges, putting greens — all of these keep me in close touch with those days. Nothing else mattered but another chance to spend the day at the course with my dad. I truly cannot picture myself working in any other industry.
MATT WARD: The Cabo golf scene is a very competitive one and viewed as a world leader in attracting golfers. How does Quivira add to that reputation?
ANTONIO REYNANTE: As you mentioned, golf in Los Cabos is huge, and with such great golf courses around the area it is not easy to just come up with a better one. However, Mr. Coppel and Mr. Nicklaus were able to bring into reality one of the best oceanfront golf courses in the world, with dramatic changes of elevation, dunes, cliffs, desert and man-made rustic native areas, as part of its environment.
MW: What’s the most enduring element of Quivira most often mentioned?
AR: Its impressive and majestic views of the links and the ocean, highlighting holes 5, 6, 12 and 13. Also, the outstanding beautiful intense green color of the paspalum, is a recurrent comment.
MW: Jack Nicklaus has played a major role in elevating golf in the greater Cabo area — what differentiates Quivira from his other designs in the region?
AR: I think it has a lot to do with tendencies throughout time. During the 90´s, perfectly edged and manicured golf courses, with perfect smooth cart paths, were part of the desire of the general public. Today, having so many courses all over the world like that, Quivira provides golfers with an extraordinary experience — going back to the rough — pure links kind of track. You do not want to play the same course you can play at home — right?
MW: The greater Cabo market has nearly 20 courses — how many more facilities can the area sustain?
AR: That is a very good question, but I would say, with the actual explosion of so many brand new hotels and developments, easily a good half a dozen more.
MW: The most underrated hole at Quivira? How so?
AR: I would say number 4 is. I think so because nobody talks about it. An amazing par-5. So strategic — so long and tempting for risk taking, yet so harmless for the prudent golfer. Punishing for inaccurate boldness and so rewarding for good course management. Wow indeed.
MW: Interestingly, the front nine is over 1,000 yards shorter than the inward nine. Why such a large disparity?
AR: The dominant wind comes from the north, and it can blow really hard. You basically get to play the first 9 into the wind, and the back ones with it. Now, do not underestimate this fact, holes 10th and 18th are very long par 4 and 5 respectively, and those are the only holes of the back that play into the wind. So even though you really get the help of the breeze in 7 holes, you still need to open and close the back nine with solid striking.
MW: There’s been much attention paid to the short par-4 5th at Quivia. What makes it so compelling in your mind?
AR: It is such a unique hole because you play it actually on the down slope of the cliff. The second shot — in case you lay up your tee shot and opt not to drive the green — is a blind shot that seems to feature a green that is hanging into the ocean. No question — it’s very fun. When you hit your approach the slow falling motion of the ball seems to last forever due to the more than 40 foot drop off and the hard wind. It’s anything but conventional.
MW: If you could change one thing in golf — what would it be and why?
AR: Even though putting is not an issue for me, I would grow the size of the hole. The original proposal of doubling the diameter — from 4 ¼” to 8 ½” — by Gene Sarazen, would be my way to go. Lightning fast greens have made of putting a merely defensive art of not getting yourself in troubles. Chances are a player putting from a shorter distance does not have a real advantage over his opponent — as it should be — and actually has disadvantage by putting second. With a bigger hole the whole dynamic of the game changes into a real aggressive mindset. Still favoring the best putters — growing the popularity for the game by lowering scores and fading away some frustration on both the professional tour and amateur levels.
MW: Best advice you ever received — what was it and who from?
AR: “You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry, don´t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way” from Sir Walter Hagen.
MW: If you were given the opportunity to play just one course globally – which one would you choose and who rounds out your foursome?
AR: Cypress Point. My foursome would be Byron Nelson, Moe Norman, Jack Nicklaus and myself.