If you follow golf — or have been pretty much alive over the past 20 years — you’ve probably heard of Tiger Woods. Some believe he’s the Greatest of All-Time, and millions are cheering his current comeback, hoping he can beat back surgery and return to his rightful place atop golf stardom.
But in recent years, Tiger has been doing more than just working on his return to competitive golf. He’s begun building golf courses. And watching him work through the design process first-hand is both fascinating and a privilege, says Ken Jowdy, founder of Diamante Cabo San Lucas, who joins co-host Darin Bunch on Episode 110 of the “Talking GolfGetaways” podcast for a discussion about all things Diamante — including the destination resort’s golf courses designed by David Love III and Woods (plus a third course, also to be designed by Tiger, now in the works).
But while a “Tiger Woods Golf Course” might be the flagship amenity for a development like Diamante, Jowdy also details the many other reasons to visit the year-round resort on the Pacific Ocean side of Cabo at the tip of Baja California — near-perfect weather, ocean views, fantastic food-and-beverage options and a lagoon-style pool complex that offers all the fun in the sun you can imagine.
And yet for “Talking GolfGetaways” purposes, we circle back to Woods’ El Cardonal to get the scoop from Jowdy on working with one of the game’s greats to design golf courses that will, more often than not, be played by golfers who don’t quite posses Tiger’s skill level.
“[Tiger] is trying to grow the game,” Jowdy says. “He wants the game to be fun for people. And we all know that playing a really difficult golf course when you’re a 15- or 18- or 20-handicap is not a lot of fun. And most people are in that range … I’d say 85 to 90 percent most likely if you’re taking a guess. So that’s a big part of his design philosophy, not just for us but I think for everything he’s going to do in the design business.
“He wants it to be fun. And at the same time, you can make it fun but you can also make it challenging. We have these two golf courses now — and if his job was to make it fun for the average player but challenging for the good player, he definitely did that. Because I think the average player would say El Cardonal is a little easier than the Dunes, and the good player says the opposite.”