New Yorkers are fussy. And spoiled. It’s a given that Los Cabos was never on their ‘bucket list’ of places to visit because, until recently, nonstop flights were not available from New York (JFK) to Los Cabos.
The Metropolitan Golf Association (MGA) represents more than 500 clubs and 125,000 members in the greater New York area, including Long Island, Westchester County, northern New Jersey and Fairfield County in Connecticut. It claims 10 of the top 50 courses on Golf Digest’s list of “America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses.” Think of legendary U.S. Open sites like Shinnecock Hills and Winged Foot. Even the region’s top-rated municipal course, Bethpage Black, is a world-class venue that hosted the 2019 PGA Championship and will welcome the Ryder Cup in 2025.
A crossroads of the world, New York is the bright lights of Broadway, the Statue of Liberty standing tall in the harbor, Central Park on a lovely fall day. Quietly, with little fanfare, the city’s outlying suburbs comprise the largest (and wealthiest) golf market in the nation. Here are the facts. With an average household income of more than $500,000 and an average net worth over $4.3 million, the MGA’s members are very affluent. They love golf, averaging 52 rounds per year. And they love to travel, planning a minimum of two golf trips per year. But until now, Los Cabos has not been on their roster of getaways.
As Eduardo Regules Bukantz, the Tourism Board’s marketing manager, has pointed out, time-sensitive New Yorkers were not about to book connecting flights in order to reach Los Cabos, even if the destination is a desert-meets-ocean wonderland that ticks all the boxes for serious golfers. Basically, the core golf market in the greater New York area wasn’t budging from its readily accessible winter havens: Florida, the Bahamas and the Caribbean, notably the Dominican Republic, second only to Los Cabos as Latin America’s premier golf mecca.
The equation changed late last year, when two major carriers—American and JetBlue—began scheduling nonstop direct flights from JFK, New York’s major international airport, to Los Cabos. (United Airlines had previously inaugurated direct flights from Newark, N.J., a benefit for those on the Jersey side of the Hudson River).
John Glozek, Jr., publisher of NYGOLF Magazine, visited Los Cabos last spring to sample the Cabo golf experience. “I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “It’s only five and a half hours to Cabo (five hours on the way home). You leave JFK and land in Cabo. It doesn’t get any better than that.” In the past, he noted, NYGOLF subscribers headed west would go to Las Vegas or Palm Springs. Both are roughly the same flight time from New York as Los Cabos. Glozek believes that for top-shelf golf, ultra-luxe hotels, superb dining and exciting off-course attractions, Los Cabos is by far the superior choice.
“If Cabo is not on your golf getaway radar, it should be,” he wrote in a feature story that appears in NYGOLF’s September issue. “This is an international golfer’s oasis.”
New Yorkers pride themselves on experiencing the best that life has to offer. Now they can fly nonstop to a storied destination that offers the whole enchilada on a silver platter.