Tiger opens first course, at last

After eight years of trying, Tiger Woods finally opened the first golf course of his design,  El Cardonal at Diamonte in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Woods hit the first tee shot (pictured) and played three holes, Nos. 10 through 12, with a gallery of golf writers, Diamonte members and invited guests.

“I really like the way it turned out,” Woods told Golf.com. “It evolved. The arroyos 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.

“I wanted to provide many different ways to play the holes. I didn’t want a lot of forced carries and wanted almost every hole to allow shots to run onto the greens.”

El Cardonal plays to 7,363 yards from the tips, with a par of 72, a slope of 140 and a rating of 75.9.

From the middle set of the five tees, it’s a very manageable 6,291 yards, with a 70.9 rating and 127 slope. Tiger made the course wide and the greens large because of the omnipresent wind.

Diamonte, adjacent to the Dunes course, has a desert setting with long views of the Pacific Ocean, with several risk/reward opportunities.

It was important to Woods that the course is walk-able and present options to the golfer, including being able to play the ball along the ground instead of only through the air with forced carries.

Other projects in Dubai, Asheville, N.C., and Mexico have not worked out for Woods, mostly because of the real estate downturn. Woods also is Bluejack National outside Houston, which will become his first course in the United States when it opens next fall.

The Tiger Woods Design team also includes Beau Welling and Shane Robichaud.

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