December 18, 2014

Tiger celebrates the grand opening of El Cardonal at Diamante

What began as a few sketches as a youngster came to life Tuesday with the grand opening of El Cardonal at Diamante in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, the first completed golf course by Tiger Woods Design.

“You always want to have a first sometime,” Woods said during a day-long celebration of El Cardonal’s opening. “We’re very proud of what we accomplished, and we’re gratified that people really like it.”

Woods told the story of submitting a hole design to a national golf publication as part of a design contest when he was younger. Woods joked that his contest entry was “off the wall” and received no recognition. His El Cardonal design, however, has already drawn international attention and praise as he and his company embark on a new chapter in Woods’ career.

After Woods played 18 holes as part of the grand opening celebration, developer Ken Jowdy announced that Woods’ company has been signed to build another course — tentatively called the Oasis — within the Diamante resort, which also includes the highly regarded Davis Love III-designed Dunes Course.

El Cardonal features generous fairways, large greens and focuses on playability for golfers of all skill levels. It starts gently with the first three holes wandering through natural sand dunes, then transitions into what Woods called “the meat of the course,” where the layout plays over and around arroyos and showcases native cacti.

“You’re down there on the dunes starting out, then you come up into the arroyos and then up into the hillsides; you’re going to have a different experience as you migrate through this golf course,” Woods said.

Woods played the first nine holes at El Cardonal with a gallery of several hundred property owners and guests walking along. He talked about his design approach and took questions from the gallery as he played on the warm, sunny day. Woods then played the back nine with a media foursome and some special guests.

“We knew this day would come,” Woods said. “This place is absolutely incredible. What Ken has done here with the two golf courses and the amenities and what his vision is, it just all worked out perfectly.”