El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - clubhouse view
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El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - clubhouse view
This is the first view golfers see from the El Cardonal clubhouse at Diamante Cabo San Lucas. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Images
El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 1
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El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 1
Tiger Woods makes a good first impression with the backdrop surrounding the first green of his El Cardonal Course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 2
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El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 2
A ferocious front bunker and a green with a backstop are unique features on the par-3 second hole on the El Cardonal Course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 3
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El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 3
Water and bunkers come into play on the risk-reward third hole on the El Cardonal Course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 4
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El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 4
The fourth hole of the El Cardonal Course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas sweeps through the dunes to an elevated green. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 5
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El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 5
An arroyo runs up the right side of the fifth hole of the El Cardonal Course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 6
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El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 6
Large bunkers frame the approach to the sixth green on the El Cardonal Course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 7
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El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 7
A front bunker catches missed approach shots to the seventh green on the El Cardonal Course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 8
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El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 8
An arroyo crosses the eighth fairway of the El Cardonal Course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 9
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El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 9
A worker waters around the ninth green of the El Cardonal golf course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 10
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El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 10
Bunkers litter the landing area of the 344-yard 10th hole of the El Cardonal Course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 11
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El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 11
The par-3 11th of the El Cardonal Course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 12
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El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 12
An elevated green rises above a valley on the 401-yard 12th hole of the El Cardonal golf course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 13
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El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 13
The 475-yard 13th hole is the longest par 4 on the El Cardonal at Diamante Cabo San Lucas. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 14
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El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 14
An arroyo splits the fairway of the 554-yard, par-5 14th hole of the El Cardonal Course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 15
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El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 15
A lone cactus stands near the 15th green of the El Cardonal Course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 16
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El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 16
It takes a 154-yard shot over a ravine to reach the 16th green of the El Cardonal Course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 17
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El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - hole 17
The par-4 17th hole might be the most scenic on the El Cardonal Course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - clubhouse
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El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - clubhouse
The El Cardonal Course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas sports its own sprawling clubhouse. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - pro shop
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El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - pro shop
The pro shop of the El Cardonal Course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas showcases Nike's relationship with Tiger Woods. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - Tiger Woods
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El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods celebrated the grand opening of the El Cardonal Course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas in Dec. 16, 2014. Courtesy of Diamante
El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - Tiger Woods playing
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El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas - Tiger Woods playing
Tiger Woods hit a shot out of a bunker on his El Cardonal Course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas. Courtesy of Diamante

Take a hole-by-hole tour of Tiger Woods' El Cardonal at Diamante in Cabo San Lucas

CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico -- Tiger Woods finally has his "Hello World" moment as a golf course architect. Not only did Woods debut the El Cardonal Course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas , on Dec. 16, 2014, it was also announced that day he would return to build another course inside the lavish timeshare community at the tip of the Baja Peninsula.

No longer would the focus be on the high-profile design projects in Dubai, North Carolina and Mexico that fell apart on Woods. Visually, El Cardonal can't match the imposing dunes and stunning beachfront holes of the world-ranked Diamante Dunes Course by Davis Love III next door. Even so, 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. Woods used the classic courses he grew up playing in Southern California as his template. His bold, flash-faced bunkers will immediately catch your eye. Their shaping and contours sometimes give off the impression that they're closer to greens or more in play in the fairway than they appear.

Green surrounds range from forgiving to foreboding. Here's guessing the backstop on the par-3 second hole gives up more aces than the steep drop-off to the left of the 14th green allows up and downs. Woods gives players plenty of choices, especially on short par 4s at No. 3 (home to the course's only pond) and No. 10. It's so playable that golfers could go for days without losing a ball.

El Cardonal's sprawling clubhouse 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 serve free food and drink. Only golfers who stay on property and go through a one-time "Stay & Play" sales presentation can play at Diamante.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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Take a hole-by-hole tour of Tiger Woods' El Cardonal at Diamante in Cabo San Lucas
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