5 reasons to make the trip to Diamante

Diamante El Cardonal clubhouse
The clubhouse at Tiger Woods' El Cardonal.
By
Tony L. Starks
PGA of America

Series: Travel Feature

Published: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 | 3:11 p.m.

If Cabo San Lucas is not on your list of golf destinations, it probably will be after you learn about Diamante. The resort-private community boasts 36 holes for spectacular seaside golf – with one course being ranked No. 1 in Latin America and the second designed by Tiger Woods. Homeowners inside the Diamante property are engaged in a rental program; where as traveling golfers can rent their condos or villas in order to access the courses. The property is beautiful, expansive and well worth the trek. Check out these five reasons you should make the trip to Diamante:

1. Two Must-See Tracks: The No. 1 Course in Latin America and Tiger Woods’ first design.

The Dunes Course at Diamante (No. 14 fairway, above) is ranked No. 1 in Latin America and No. 38 in the world. The Davis Love III design flows seamlessly through natural sand dunes and offers stunning views of the neighboring Pacific Ocean. Every hole on the course has character and creative elements that make all of them especially memorable. It’s one of those rounds where you’ll remember every shot you hit. On top of that, first-class comfort stations offer handmade tamales and margaritas made in front of you with fresh ingredients.

The Tiger Woods designed El Cardonal course (above, No. 8) pairs well with the Dunes. The fact that it’s the first-ever golf course designed by Woods makes it a must play. Wide fairways and elevation changes are the recurring theme, as it sits on the highest point the Diamante property has to offer. Woods designed the course to be playable for the average golfer from the forward tees, but to also present skilled golfers with a firm test from the tips. Overall, it’s less challenging than the Dunes and the ocean views aren’t as dramatic – but it’s definitely a course you want to cross off your list.

2. The Crystal Lagoon.

You won’t want to do laps at the 10-acre saltwater pool that sits on Diamante’s property – unless you’re prepping for a triathlon or something. The Crystal Lagoon is one of the largest pools in North America and contains 27 million gallons of water. Stand-up paddleboards and kayaks can be seen across the vast body of water, while others choose to take a relaxing swim next to one of the many cabanas. It’s 12 feet at its deepest point, averages about seven feet in depth and they’ve planned for seven zero-entry beach areas.

3. Golf carts made for off-roading.

Diamante’s Dunes Course sits on rugged and exacting terrain. Very little movement or reshaping of the land was done by DL3 when the course was built in 2009. Your everyday golf cart would struggle to traverse this challenging landscape, but the carts at Diamante are far from normal. They have tires that look like they belong on an ATV, not an EZ-GO golf cart. The cart paths are far from standard, as well. Wooden planks are embedded in the ground and make for a rhythmic ride in the souped up vehicle. My playing partner dubbed them “the monster trucks of golf carts.”

4. An Oasis next to the ocean.

When the Big Cat designed El Cardonal, which opened in 2015, he also did the Oasis Short Course that sits adjacent to the Dunes. The 12-hole par-3 course is a fun and casual experience for golfers of all ages and abilities. Furthermore, it offers of an aspirational view of the Dunes Course – inspiring golfers to get their game ready for the challenging DL3 layout.

5. You could spend all day at the practice facilities.

The practice facilities at Diamante are a golf experience in their own right. The range at El Cardonal offers a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean and sits next to a full service bar. Over at the Dunes Course, a large canyon filled with native vegetation splits the range. Target greens are scattered on each side, and you can simulate any number of on-course shots – including trying to carry the canyon to a flag on the opposite side. I feel for the guy who has to pick this range…