Tiger Woods Design has integrated Diamante’s rolling hills and spectacular views into the design of a very distinctive golf course. The bunkers have a traditional look while natural, irregular contours have been preserved in wide fairways. “El Cardonal is going to remind people of the old-style California courses” Woods said.
HOLE BY HOLE STRATEGY
Hole 1 Par 5, 541 yards
The opening hole is a mid-length par 5 that plays dramatically downhill into large sand dunes and continues the big views of the Pacific Ocean that are first experienced when entering the Clubhouse. On the tee shot, carrying the short left fairway bunker will allow a player to utilize a speed slot in the fairway and provide the shortest route for trying to reach the green in two shots.There is plenty of fairway on the right side to play away from the bunker, but shots played from this angle will require a longer path to the green.The second landing area and green are situated in a valley below large sand dunes. Slopes that contain balls around the green set the tone of the themes throughout the golf course, players will often be able to use feeder slopes
to reach putting surfaces.
Hole 1 Par 5, 541 yards
The opening hole is a mid-length par 5 that plays dramatically downhill into large sand dunes, offering panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, which are first experienced upon entering the Clubhouse. On the tee shot, carrying the short left fairway bunker allows players to access a speed slot in the fairway, providing the shortest route to reach the green in two shots. There is ample fairway on the right side to avoid the bunker, but this angle requires a longer path to the green. The second landing area and green are nestled in a valley below the towering sand dunes. The surrounding slopes influence the ball's behavior around the green, introducing a recurring theme throughout the course, where players can use feeder slopes to navigate the putting surfaces.
Hole 2 Par 3, 208 yards
This downhill, downwind par 3 leads to a spacious green situated in a depression encircled by dunes. The contours around the punch bowl-style green can guide balls onto the putting surface. However, given the green's generous size, pin placement will determine the length of the birdie putt. A menacing bunker, foreshortened bunker looks closer to the green than it is and protects the center of the green.
Hole 3 Par 4, 351 yards
The first par 4 on the front nine, a short, downwind hole, may be within reach for longer hitters. Those aiming to drive the green must carry a deep bunker on the right side of the fairway. A successful carry rewards with a kick toward the green. Multiple lay-up options exist off the tee, but the best line is to the left of the middle fairway bunker. From this vantage point, the entire green comes into view.
Hole 4 Par 4, 483 yards
Playing in the opposite direction of Hole 3, this lengthy par 4 challenges golfers with a prevailing wind. A tee shot favoring the right fairway provides the shortest approach to an elevated green, guarded by a bunker on the right. The subtly contoured green offers opportunities for up-and-down recoveries for those who miss their target.
Hole 5 Par 4, 438 yards
After a change in direction, playing with the prevailing wind introduces a new challenge: a desert arroyo. Carrying the right fairway bunkers near the arroyo yields an open approach to the green. Shots aimed leftward must carry a bunker short of the green. The sandy arroyo protects the green's right side, and an elevated pin area at the back demands a precise and bold approach.
Hole 6 Par 5, 601 yards
Ascending from the dunes, this lengthy par 5 requires a strategic approach due to the wide "M" shaped green protected by a large central bunker. Optimal angles for pin placements on the right side of the green are best approached from the right side of the second landing area, accessed from the left side of the first landing area, and vice versa for left pin placements. A large-crowned area in the middle of the fairway adds to the challenge off the tee.
Hole 7 Par 4, 489 yards
This downhill, lengthy par 4 offers expansive views of the Pacific Ocean. A tee shot carrying the left fairway bunker sets up an unobstructed approach to the green. Shots veering too far right contend with a bunker short of the green. A generous feeder slope short of the green aids in propelling balls onto the putting surface, while low chipping areas protect both flanks of the contoured green.
Hole 8 Par 4, 474 yards
A sandy arroyo splits the tee, landing area, and green, shaping the strategic element of this hole. The "T"-shaped green features challenging pin positions, with bunkering on the back left, back right, and narrow front sections. Favoring the right side of the fairway near the arroyo provides a better angle for attacking back-left pins, while targeting the left fairway bunker sets up an approach to back-right pins.
Hole 9 Par 3, 200 yards
Playing into the prevailing wind, this par 3 demands accuracy due to the sandy arroyo between the tee and green. The left side of the green is protected by a bunker, while the right side is open and inviting. The narrow back-left portion requires a precise and assertive shot.
Hole 10 Par 4, 344 yards
The first hole on the back nine, a short par 4, offers strategic options off the tee. Aggressive players can attempt to drive closer to the green, navigating between fairway bunkers. A wiser approach might be to challenge the left-to-right wind, laying up to the left side of the fairway for a better angle to the green. The wishbone-shaped green is guarded by a deep bunker in the center, adding to the challenge.
Hole 11 Par 3, 189 yards
This mid-length par 3 plays slightly downhill. Golfers can choose to carry the green or use the feeder slope for an approach shot played short. Accurate yardage control is crucial, as missing the green long and right may result in a challenging recovery from a deep pot bunker. Subtle undulations on the green pose challenges for putting.
Hole 12 Par 4, 401 yards
An aggressive tee shot carrying the left fairway bunker can result in a favorable kick down the hill. Shots to the right side of the fairway leave a longer approach. Accuracy is key on the short approach, where the prevailing wind and challenging left-to-right elements come into play. The small, elevated green features strong slopes on the front and right, while the wind can carry stray approach shots into the low chipping area on the right.
Hole 13 Par 4, 475 yards
The tee shot on this hole must clear a substantial sandy arroyo. Opting for a more aggressive line to the right side of the fairway yields the best angle for approaching the right-to-left green. Shots to the left must contend with a bunker guarding the green's left side. The sandy arroyo extends along the entire right side, offering opportunities for daring recovery shots.
Hole 14 Par 5, 554 yards
Designed around a narrow, sandy tributary of a larger arroyo, this hole challenges golfers with a "cape" tee shot. Aggressive players can carry the arroyo on the left for a shorter second shot. Playing to the right leaves a longer approach. The second landing area features a central sand ribbon, dividing it into left and right sections. Opting for the left side sets up a more straightforward approach to the green, while the right section requires negotiating a desert plum guarding the green's right side.
Hole 15 Par 4, 462 yards
This dogleg-left par 4 plays uphill, with bunkers framing the left side of the tee shot. A deceptive wide landing area lies beyond the bunkers. Approach shots near a large "Cardon" cactus to the short right of the green can use the feeder bounce for better placement. The green's distinct undulations create various pinnable sections, adding complexity to putting.
Hole 16 Par 3, 154 yards
As the shortest par 3 on the course, this hole introduces drama near the round's end. Golfers face an "all or nothing" carry tee shot to a green nestled at the confluence of two arroyo canyons. With three distinct levels, the green requires precision from a short iron to reach the pin.
Hole 17 Par 4, 462 yards
From the course's highest point, the tee shot offers a panoramic view of Diamante and the Pacific Ocean. The split landing area, with an upper right and lower left side, presents strategic choices. The elevated right side provides a better approach angle, but the prevailing crosswind poses a challenge. Shots from the left side must traverse the narrow dimension of the right-to-left green, which extends into the arroyo guarding the 16th green.
Hole 18 Par 5, 537 yards
The final hole emphasizes fun and sportiness, playing downhill more than 60 feet from tee to green. Longer hitters can aim to carry cross bunkers near the second landing area, setting up a chance to advance closer to the green. A successful carry results in a favorable kick forward. The lengthy, narrow green is surrounded by deep low areas and a left-side bunker. The prevailing right-to-left wind adds complexity to high wedge approach shots, resulting in score variations from 3 to 7 strokes.
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