EAST CAPE, Baja California— Nick Price loves fishing almost as much as he loves golf, and there may soon be a time when he can blend both here at Rancho Leonero Resort.
On a recent trip here before the PGA Championship, Price fly-fished for dorado and used conventional gear for marlin and wahoo. He also fished the beach for jack crevalle and roosterfish.
But Price also conducted some business. Rancho Leonero owner John Ireland envisions a golf course on his property overlooking the Sea of Cortez with the Laguna Mountains as backdrop. Ireland is talking to investors for the golf course, and he’d like Price to design it.
“This is a great place to build a golf course, “ Price said. “They have enough land here, and they certainly have lots of water. That’s the real key. They have heaps of water. Plus the terrain here is really great for a golf course. There’s a style where you can have 40 to 45 acres of irrigate grass and the rest transition area.”
Similar courses have been built all along Rosarito to Cabo del Sol in Cabo San Lucas. The architects use the desert land and mix in some fairways and greens among the cacti.
Ireland sees the golf serving as an anchor property to his proposed housing development. And it will also suit his resort manager, Gary Barnes-Webb, an avid golfer and Price’s best friend.
“Gary and I have been friends for over 20 years, going back to South Africa,” Price said. “His kids and my kids are the same age, so we really enjoy spending time here.”
Price said his father started him and his two brothers fishing when they were young.
“Every single holiday we went on was about fishing,” Price said. “If the fishing wasn’t good, we didn’t go. My poor mom was surrounded by four boys, and she got roped into all that fishing.”
Price also invited his caddie, Jimmy Johnson, and Johnson brought his wife.
“Jimmy loves to fish, and so does his wife, “ Price said.
“They’ve had a great time here, and it was a good break for both of us.”
Price said he prefers fishing inshore, where he can take a small boat or wade.
“I like to catch marlin and fish offshore, but my real love is inshore fishing,” Price said. “I like to take some live bait or some plugs and fish close to shore.”
Watching Price and his family enjoy the area, it’s clear that he has found a new paradise.
“I’ve never been one to look at the quality of the fish, “ Price said. “I can go out and fish all day and catch two fish and be really happy as long as they’re good, quality fish. But what’s amazing about this place is, not only is there quality, but there’s also quantity. In Florida, there’s great fishing certain times of the year, but you just don’t have the quantity of fish you have here.”