Located on the same property as the stunning beachfront holes of the world-ranked Diamante Dunes Course by Davis Love III, El Cardonal is the newest offering from Tiger Woods and project developer Ken Jowdy. Though the course has a hard time keeping up with the competitive edge that Dunes offers, El Cardonal — named after the tall, slender, multi-armed cactus that thrives in this region — features panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean from nearly every hole.
The 7,363-yard par-72 layout, set upon higher ground than the Dunes, weaves through dune-framed fairways on the front nine and over desert arroyos on the back nine. I was given the rare opportunity to play the course on a windy mid-March afternoon. Although the wind was fast enough to blow hats off the heads of my foursome, I was told it was a mild day for the course.
Tiger Woods was inspired by the classic courses he grew up playing in Southern California. He makes good use of bold, flash-faced bunkers; for their shaping and contours sometimes give off the impression that they’re closer to greens or more in play to the fairway than they appear. “I really like the way it turned out,” Tiger Woods told Golf.com. “It evolved. The arroyos (dry creeks) became more of a factor in the strategy and playability. We widened them and cleaned them out, so that people could challenge them and recover from them.”
Tiger Woods offers players plenty of choices, especially on short par 4s at Hole No. 3 (home to the course’s only pond) and Hole No. 10. It’s so opportunistic that golfers could go for days without losing a ball; however, I found the course’s caddies were expert in locating lost balls in the abounding arroyos. No. 17 is an absolute beauty; with an epic photo-op of the man-made lagoon, private clubhouse villa and sprawling Pacific Ocean. If the day’s missed putts have brought you down, this view will pick you right back up.
El Cardonal has a sprawling private clubhouse and is home to a Nike-themed pro shop, several restaurants (coming soon), a golf learning center with three indoor bays and a large driving range. Comfort stations on the course and one near the driving range which serve free food and drink.
Woods reaffirmed his commitment to building this course, and others, with an eye towards walkability and an emphasis on options and the ground game.
“I wanted to provide many different ways to play the holes,” Woods explained to Golf.com. “I didn’t want a lot of forced carries and wanted almost every hole to allow shots to run onto the greens.”
Nestled on 1,500 acres of pristine land along 1.5 miles of stunning Pacific coastline, Diamante Cabo San Lucas is a private and fully integrated master-planned luxury oceanfront community. Diamante boasts several different condo-style and single-family home offerings, starting at $1,100,000 USD. Diamante’s extensive list of properties includes: Las Casitas, Dune’s Penthouse Residences, Golf Villas, Sunset Hill Estates, Ocean Club Residences and Beach Estates.
According to the developer, Diamante is much more than world class golf and features a state-of-the- art health and fitness club, a 10-acre salt water Crystal Lagoon, a four lane solar heated lap pool, tennis, world class spa, ocean view and ocean front ocean front beach club (opening December 2016), a future sports center featuring additional tennis courts with stadium seating, a baseball diamond, football/soccer field and a village with cafes, shops, bowling alley, waterpark, waterfront restaurant, and more.
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