Revisiting the 2012 World Club Championship at Diamante

By Travelin’ Joe Passov As the dust settles on another exciting Ryder Cup Match, it was fascinating as always, to see professional golf switch its focus to a team competition. Nine years ago, one of the most eagerly anticipated team events in amateur golf, the World Club Championship, took place at Diamante. Combining club and country, the WCC promised a lot at Diamante—and over-delivered—resulting in the most exciting finish in the event’s history. An hour-long recap of the tournament was televised on Golf Channel that December and on Sky Sports for European viewers. Here’s a look back at the 2012 World Club Championship. Camaraderie and fellowship are supposed to be the defining characteristics of the World Club Championship. Year Number 9 of the best amateur event in golf delivered something more: pure, pulse-racing drama. In a classic battle of youth versus experience, the Seminole Golf Club team of elder statesmen David Abell and Kelly Miller pipped the youngsters from Canada’s St. George’s Golf & Country Club, Mark Elgner and Colin Flabbi, 1-up. Against a stunning Pacific Ocean backdrop at Diamante Golf Club in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, the finalists produced an outcome that only a Hollywood scriptwriter could have dreamed up. The World Club Championship is a week-long competition that pits 20 clubs representing 14 countries, the common denominator being membership on the list of GOLF Magazine’s Top 100 Courses in the World. Each course nominates its club champion, who then selects a partner. Both must carry handicaps of 3 or better, though in fact, the majority of players are scratch or lower. Mexico’s Diamante Golf Club, ranked No. 58 in the World in 2011, proved to be a wildly popular host for the ninth edition of the tournament.  Players raved about the Dunes course, the brand new clubhouse, the remarkable service and the festivities that accompanied the event. So good was this combination that it moved Pine Valley team member Robert Lewis Jr., four times a Walker Cup player and twice the captain, to remark that this event ranked right alongside his Walker Cup experiences. Still, amid all of the pleasantries, there was serious golf to be played. Oh, how it was played. Two qualifying rounds of stoke play produced a clear favorite, Ireland’s Portmarnock Golf Club, comprised of John Greene and Geoff Lenehan, who blistered Diamante and the field with rounds of 65 and 63, easily qualifying for match play. Five shots back were Ryan Birnie and Sean Fenger of defending WCC champion Durban Country Club of South Africa. Seminole in Florida also qualified comfortably, but the final spot had to be decided by a playoff between St. George’s and the Winged Foot team of Rob Christie and Matthew Hultquist. After several agonizing misses on the first two holes, an exhausted St. George’s team triumphed on the third sudden death hole. So it would stand to reason that Portmarnock and Durban would sail through to the final, right? Not even close. Both Seminole and St. George’s pulled off upsets in surprisingly easy fashion, setting the stage for an unforgettable final. Abell and Miller, who won this event in 2006 at Sage Valley Golf Club in South Carolina while representing Pine Valley, fell behind after the first hole, but leveled the proceedings following Abell’s heat-seeking missile drive to 2 feet at the par-4 4th. Seminole scratched out a 2-up lead after 11 holes, but St. George’s parried with Elgner’s birdies at the par-5 12th ( a hole since replaced) and par-5 14th (now the 15th hole). That’s when the Hollywood scriptwriters went into overdrive. Somehow, in the midst of a brilliant run, Elgner three-putted the par-4 15th (now the 16th). 1-up Seminole. At the petite par-3 16th (now the 17th), ocean waves crashing in the backdrop, Abell and Miller hit it close, while Elgner missed to the left, just off the green. Flabbi found the wrong side of the green, making a two-putt nearly impossible. No matter—Elgner ran in his putt from the light fringe for a birdie 2. Seminole had to match—and did. At the 17th (now the 18th), one of the game’s greatest modern par-5s, a favorable wind allowed players ideal opportunities to scale the 50-foot sand cliff with their second shots and three of them did. Only Seminole’s Miller was forced to lay back. Again, no matter. With one of the greatest clutch shots in the nine-year history of the World Club Championship, Miller knocked a gap wedge from 94 yards up the hill, onto the green and just past the blind hole location. It bit perfectly and trickled back three feet, right into the cup. Eagle! The sizable gallery erupted. Game, set and match, perhaps? Not quite. After eagle try misses from Abell and Flabbi, Elgner steadied himself and rolled one at the hole in an attempt to extend the match. Bam! Back of the cup—another eagle! Seminole remained 1 up. To the 18th (the old par-4 18th that headed toward the clubhouse then turned abruptly left) the disbelieving crowd marched. After Flabbi flirted with the desert off the tee, both teams had the green surrounded after their approaches, but each with challenges. It all came down to the other three players. Miller’s effort from just off the front-left of the green got caught up in the sticky paspalum and left him woefully short, perhaps 12 feet from the cup. Abell gave his a spirited run, but it scooted four feet past the hole. Elgner’s attempt was well-gauged, curling to two feet. Seminole conceded the 4 to St. George’s. It was up to Miller and his 12-footer or Abell from a ticklish four feet. Leaving nothing to chance, it was Miller time, for the second hole in a row. He stroked his long putter and there was never a doubt. Down it went—victory, and the Jay Lee Trophy–for Seminole. David V. Smith, the World Club Championship Founder and Ken Jowdy, the week’s host and Founder of Diamante, had identical words following play: “That was

Larry Walker: Diamante’s Humble Hall-of-Famer

Larry Walker of the Colorado Rockies during the All-Star Game on July 7, 1998 at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Sporting News via Getty Images) By Travelin’ Joe Passov This coming Sunday, July 26, was scheduled to be induction day at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. for the class of 2020. The Coronavirus chaos squashed those plans. Instead, Derek Jeter, Marvin Miller, Ted Simmons and Diamante’s own Larry Walker will celebrate the honor on this same weekend in 2021. “I fully understand and agree with the Board’s decision,” said Walker in late April. “It is most important to do the right thing for everybody involved, and that means not putting any participants in jeopardy, whether Hall of Famers or visitors. I realize how serious this situation has become and how many lives have been lost.” It also means that Walker is spared the agony of having to make a major, televised speech for another 12 months. Sure, he’s ecstatic about the honor. On the other hand, he’s less comfortable about the spotlight that comes with it. Larry Walker is as humble as they come. His baseball career earned him his deserved place in the Hall of Fame. Still, it’s not easy honoring a legend who never had any interest in ceremony, recognition or self-promotion.  Perhaps that makes it even more special. A Diamante visitor for two-and-a-half years and a property owner for a little more than a year, native Canadian Larry Walker might be reluctant to toot his own horn, so we’ll do it for him. He played 17 years in the major leagues, from 1989 to 2005, with the Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals. As a Colorado Rockie in 1997, he became the only player in major league history to register both a .700 slugging percentage (SLG) and 30 stolen bases in the same season. That season he won the National League’s Most Valuable Player Award (MVP). From 1997-1999, he became the first player in more than 60 years to hit better than .360 in three consecutive years. He captured three National League batting championships overall. He was elected to Canada’s Sports of Hall of Fame in 2007. Seven Gold Gloves. Five All-Star appearances. Three Silver Sluggers. Pretty impressive stuff, right? Tell that to the guy who answered the Hall of Fame’s congratulatory call and accompanying video camera crew while dressed in a NASCAR-style, SpongeBob SquarePants shirt. Sports Illustrated called him a “fashion tastemaker,” because the shirt sold out on Amazon and at Walmart within 24 hours. Self-effacing? When I asked him about his most memorable moment on the field, he didn’t respond with “clinching the National League pennant,” or “hitting a home run in the World Series.” Instead, he recalled a gaffe. In 1994, while playing for the Expos on an ESPN Sunday night telecast in Dodgers Stadium, he caught a fly ball in foul territory from L.A.’s Mike Piazza off a Pedro Martinez pitch. He then handed the ball over to six-year-old fan Sebastian Napier. Unfortunately, that was only the second out in the inning. Larry quickly saw the Dodgers’ Jose Offerman tagging up from first, running at full throttle. Walker sheepishly retrieved the ball from the young fan, and held Offerman to third base.  Larry’s make-good to young Sebastian the next inning earned both a standing ovation. “I fired a strike to home plate, too,” says Walker. “You know, I had a few great defensive plays and some walk-off home runs. But that play gets talked about more than anything else in my career. Everyone seems to remember it.” Diamante’s Ken Jowdy chimes in, laughing and commenting, “I remember my happiest moment when you were on the field, Larry. The 2004 World Series.” That was the year the Red Sox broke an 86-year World Series drought. For Jowdy, a rabid Red Sox fan, it was heaven. “I don’t want to hear about it,” responds Walker, who for his part, batted .357 in that World Series, playing for the St. Louis Cardinals and who hit the only two home runs the Cardinals managed the entire series. On the afternoon of January 21, 2020, Larry was out doing yard work at his Florida home. “That day was fairly normal for me,” he says. “I had my best friend in from L.A. and one of my brothers came down from Virginia. I brought them in as a ‘just in case’ the phone happened to ring. It was leading up to the witching hour—5 pm to 5:20 is when they said they’d call, if they called, as that was one hour before it would be (announced) on TV. “I made myself a drink, turned the ringer on and set the phone down, so everybody could see if the call came in. It was a little chilly for a Florida evening and it was getting close to end of the time they said they’d be calling. I made an announcement to the friends and family there, ‘In 90 seconds, we’re going inside.’ Thirty-three seconds later, the phone rang. Everyone around me went crazy. I went numb. The emotions took over. It brought tears to my eyes.” On the 10th and final year of eligibility, by a margin of six votes, Larry Walker was now a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. For a Vancouver, B.C. kid whose first love and sporting success was hockey, who had zero ambitions or expectations of realizing this pinnacle of success, it was truly sweet. He had deliberately kept expectations low. “The thought of being a Hall-of-Famer never once crossed my mind while I was playing,” says Walker. “When my playing days were over, my goal was to stay on the ballot for all ten years. For me, that was a success. I never put myself in a position for disappointment.” This modest superstar fits right in at Diamante, where’s he treated simply as another member out hunting for birdies. Actually, Larry has a

Tiger’s Back: Chasing PGA Tour History at Jack’s Place

Tiger Woods gives a demonstration at Diamante's The Oasis Short Course designed by TGR Design

Tiger Woods gives a demonstration at Diamante’s The Oasis Short Course designed by TGR Design By Travelin’ Joe Passov Given what’s happened to our planet, it seems like a million years ago since Tiger Woods last teed it up on the PGA Tour. Actually, it’s only been five months. To put it in more unprecedented context, Tiger is your current Masters champion. He will retain that status for another four months at least. All we can do in July 2020 is to acknowledge the bizarre reality of life as we know it, and grip tight to things that comfort us. We will watch Tiger Woods play PGA Tour golf again this week. That is pure comfort. For the first time since the PGA Tour resumed play before no crowds at Texas’ Colonial Country Club in mid-June, Tiger will tee it up in formal competition. In late May, he looked sharp in a televised charity encounter at his home club in Florida, the Medalist, where he traded chips and quips with Phil Mickelson, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, but to many, the unknowns still linger. They shouldn’t. By choosing to return at the Memorial, Tiger is executing his game plan perfectly. He won’t just expect to feel good, get some reps in and contend. His expects to win. He’s picked the perfect spot. With Bryson DeChambeau dominating golf coverage with his added bulk and strong finishes, Webb Simpson carrying the torch for the veteran stars and Collin Morikawa setting the pace among the young guns, it’s easy to forget that Tiger will author the golf story of the year if he wins this week. One more ‘W’ and he will break Sam Snead’s all-time record for most victories on the PGA Tour. Will Number 83 happen this week? There’s no better place for it to happen. Muirfield Village, venue for this week’s Memorial , is special to Tiger in so many ways. It’s not only that he has won five times here, including the only three-peat in the tournament’s 46-year history, back in 1999-2000-2001, it’s also the admiration he has for the golf course, and for its designer, Jack Nicklaus. “I’ve always played Nicklaus courses well,” said Tiger a few years back. “(At Muirfield Village) there is ample room off the tees. The greens are really severe. If you miss the greens, it tests your short game. Those are the things I think I do well.” What Tiger also does well is hit precise irons, something that works very well at Nicklaus designs, which inevitably are “second-shot” golf courses, much like the model for Muirfield Village, Augusta National. Nicklaus first conceived of Muirfield Village while competing in the 1966 Masters. Wouldn’t it be great, he thought, if he could do something like Bobby Jones did with the Augusta National experience, but do it in Columbus, Ohio, where Jack grew up. In 1974, together with architect/land planner Desmond Muirhead, Nicklaus crafted what became one of the PGA Tour’s most admired golf courses. Critics praised “The House That Jack Built,” as much for its flawless conditioning as for its splendid strategic design. Every bit as impressive was how Nicklaus seamlessly integrated spectator areas into the closing holes, using hillsides and amphitheater-style mounding to provide fans with clear views of the action. Clearly, it would mean a lot for Tiger to break the record at Jack’s place. After all, it has been Jack Nicklaus and his record of 18 professional major championships that has motivated Tiger since he was a boy. Could it happen this week at Jack’s Memorial Tournament, that Tiger eclipses Sam Snead’s all-time PGA Tour victory record? Why not? There’s no pressure on Tiger and few expectations, as he knocks the rust off of his tournament game. There’s something else, too, that works in Tiger’s favor on the tough Muirfield Village greens. “Tiger has no equal in his ability to play the correct break and to control the pace of his chips and putts,” said one Top 100 teaching pro to me a couple of years ago. “He has made more nasty, curling putts than anyone.” Will the absence of fans help or hurt Tiger’s chances? In an odd coincidence, Tiger’s record-tying 82nd win at the Zozo Championship in Japan occurred without fans in the second round, due to wild weather wreaking  havoc with the tournament course’s infrastructure. The final round was postponed until Monday and there weren’t a whole lot of folks along for the journey. No, when Tiger gets in the bubble of contention, it won’t matter who’s around. He’s figured out a way to close the door on 82 occasions. It’s not far-fetched to suggest that Number 83 is in the forecast this week.

Welcome Back to Diamante

We are pleased to report that the Governor of Baja California Sur is easing the restrictions on businesses here in Los Cabos in the coming days. With that great news, Diamante is happy to announce that we will be welcoming back members and guests starting June 27th. Even during these uncertain times, we remain committed to providing you with an experience to be remembered for years to come. While doing so, we appreciate your patience and understanding as we implement and follow a series of new mandatory policies and procedures from the state of Baja California Sur and the country of Mexico. On the following pages you will find guidelines for amenities and departments found throughout the property. Please note that we may modify this program as guidelines are added, modified, or removed by Government Agencies. Diamante also reserves the right to close any facility or activity if it is determined that we can no longer operate them in the safest environment possible as the COVID-19 situation evolves. Upon your return, you will notice some changes throughout the property to practice and promote social distancing as well as protect your health and safety.  Our staff has been trained to meet the criteria for all our new procedures and protocols and this will include the use of personal protection equipment (PPE) throughout all departments. We will no longer be accepting cash transactions. We remain committed to creating the safest environment possible for all of you, your guests and our staff. We will ensure our employees follow the new safety protocols, but that only works if our members and guests take the personal responsibility of following those protocols as well. On behalf of everyone here, we would like to extend a warm and sincere thank you to everyone for supporting the COVID-19 Staff Assistance Fund. We have been using the proceeds to  distribute “food” cards to all of our employees who are extremely thankful, and they are all looking forward to welcoming you back at Diamante. If you have any questions regarding your upcoming arrival, or our new COVID-19 protocols or procedures, please email: GOLF OPERATIONS The Dunes Course and El Cardonal During our initial reopening period, starting June 27th The Dunes Course will be open four days each week (Saturday – Tuesday) and El Cardonal will be open three days (Wednesday to Friday).  In order to minimize traffic in our retail areas, we ask that you make tee times by phone or email and to arrive to the practice facility no more than 30 minutes before your tee time. Parking/Carts/Valet – Personal Cars There will be signage directing you to parking as valet service will not be available. Personal carts can be brought to the area next to valet to receive a golf cart. Golf Carts You may share a golf cart with a player if you are sharing accommodations. Bags will be on cart if using bag storage service. In addition to the golf cart, touchpoints such as sand bottles, cooler, and rake will be cleaned and disinfected before and after each round following best industry practices and local health department guidelines. An attendant will be present upon your arrival to remind you of the social distancing protocols to ensure all practices and general hygiene expectations are met for Members, Guests, and Staff. Check-in Process Please check-in at the first tee of El Cardonal or The Slider Bar if playing the Dunes Course. A receipt from rounds used or guest charges will be emailed to you. Playing Experience The Slider Bar, Tacos and Tortas as well as our Comfort Stations will have all of your favorites served to you by contactless delivery. Restrooms will be open with a limit of one person at a time and will continue to be cleaned and sanitized regularly. Wipes will be available for personal use. Practice Greens – Inserts have been placed in all cups. Rental Clubs are available and will be sanitized before each use. Inserts have been placed in all cups on the course. Please refrain from touching any part of the flagstick. Rakes have been removed from the course and can be found on your cart. Post Round – Please return to the parking lot after the completion of hole #18. Oasis Short Course Clubs are available and will be sanitized before each use. Scorecards and pencils will be prepackaged in a bag and sanitized. Inserts have been placed in all cups on the course. Please refrain from touching any part of the flagstick. Restrooms will be open with a limit of one person at a time and will continue to be cleaned and sanitized regularly. Wipes will be available to sanitize personally. Putting Course Please bring your own putter and golf ball. Scorecards and pencils will be prepackaged in bag and sanitized. Inserts have been placed in all cups on the course. Please refrain from touching any part of the flagstick. Mitchell Spearman Golf Academy (subject to availability) Please contact Matt Moroz at for prices and availability. FOOD AND BEVERAGE Izzy’s, The Sports Bar, The Market and Amigos Restaurant are open by reservation only. Reservations must be made by emailing or calling your concierge. Please note that we will no longer be accepting cash transactions at any of our Food and Beverage venues.We will continue to provide contactless residence-delivery from The Market and nightly special menus. Menus can be found by clicking here. Sunday – BBQ Monday – Surf and Turf Tuesday – Sushi Night Wednesday – Member’s Dinner Thursday – Fried Chicken Friday – Pizza and Salad Saturday – Taco Fiesta You may call the market or email to place your order. All residence deliveries will be touchless and will require no signature. Your receipt will be emailed to you. THE RESORT CLUB The Lagoon The Lagoon is open with paddle boards, boats and kayaks.  The chaise lounges have been placed to meet the current guidelines for social distancing. Chaise cushions and water activity equipment are sanitized after each use. Towels are available at

Six Reasons Why Tiger’s ‘Next Dance’ is Must-See TV

Tiger Woods El Cardonal Diamante cabo

By Travelin’ Joe Passov Big-time exhibition golf matches date back to ancient times—well before Old Tom Morris grew his first beard. This Sunday, May 24, Tiger Woods will make his 11th appearance since 1999 in one of these made-for-TV extravaganzas. His results are decidedly mixed. Rory McIlroy edged him back-to-back in China in 2012 and 2013. Tiger is winless in Skins Games. Eighteen months ago, Phil Mickelson snatched away $9 million from him in the floodlit darkness of Shadow Creek in Las Vegas. OK, Tiger has won his fair share as well. But we all know it’s not the same Tiger. The Tiger who awes us, the guy we can’t turn away from, is the Tiger who competes at tournament golf, for history, like no one else. As “The Last Dance” reminded us that there is no greater competitor and no greater champion in basketball as Michael Jordan, Tiger’s 2018 Tour Championship win, his 2019 Masters title and his record-tying 82nd PGA Tour win in Japan last fall remind us that when it comes to competitive golf, Tiger is in a class by himself, as a competitor and a champion. Why we would sit, enthralled, even as Tiger owned a six-shot lead with two holes to go in countless tournaments, was to appreciate the pinnacle of golf performance. With Tiger free from injuries in 2018 and 2019, we were able to appreciate it all over again—the physical prowess and the mental dominance. Stories of a “softer” Tiger accompanied his comeback, with increased friendliness towards his fellow Tour players, more patience with the media, more acceptance of himself. That may be true, but Tony Finau recently set the record straight about Tiger’s demeanor when he was back in the hunt. Finau was paired with Tiger for the final round of the 2019 Masters. It was a dream come true for Finau to play with his childhood idol on such a significant stage. Finau told GOLFTV last December that he and Woods shared “Good luck’s’ on the first tee…and then crickets, nothing, until the 7th. “We get to hole seven, I’m walking off the tee, we’re right next to each other so I figure I better say ‘hi’ or something to him,” said Finau. “I said ‘Hey, Tiger, how’s the family? How’s the kids?’ And he looked at me pretty straight-faced and he said, ‘They’re good.’ And he kept walking, and I never talked to him again until I was congratulating him on the 18th green.” That’s the Tiger Woods that thrills us. As MJ was in NBA hoops, Tiger was the cold-blooded assassin in competition. The 2019 season showed us he still is. So why should we tune in to TNT Network on Sunday, May 24 for Capital One’s The Match: Champions for Charity—an exhibition, to be sure? Here are six great reasons to watch. It’s all for charity. In conjunction with the live telecast, WarnerMedia and the golfers will collectively contribute a minimum charitable donation of $10 million to benefit COVID-19 relief. In addition, there will be more donation opportunities through the ALL IN Challenge. For instance, with a $10 entry fee, a lucky player can win a putting lesson with Tiger and a VIP experience at the 2020 Hero World Challenge in The Bahamas. There will also be on-course competitive challenges within the match, whether a long-drive hole, or a one-club-only hole. You have to feel good watching—and supporting—this cause. It’s Tiger vs. Phil, Part II The two greatest golfers of our era are also the two most competitive golfers of our era—and that extends to the volume of trash-talk from the pair. During a televised promotional appearance for the Match, Phil made sure Tiger could see the trophy he earned for winning the head-to-head Las Vegas event in 2018. Woods responded by grinning and draping the green jacket for his 2019 Masters win over himself.  Mickelson volleyed back this past week, telling Golfweek, I can’t wait to go to Tiger’s place and take him down. Tiger thinks he has a huge advantage playing there because he was insistent that this event is played on his home course. Despite everyone else wanting to play it elsewhere. That’s fine. We’ll take it to him and Peyton.” This should be a wonderful war of words. It’s Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady, Part 18 Two of the greatest NFL quarterbacks in history, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, take a backseat to no one in the competitiveness department. Although Brady led Manning on the gridiron, with 11 wins to Peyton’s six, remember that those were team endeavors. On the course and off, their competitive fires burn furiously. Manning, who will partner Tiger, has posted a handicap index as low as 3.5. These days, it hovers around 6.4, with impressive rounds at some of the clubs he belongs to, such Augusta National and Cherry Hills. His competitive zeal is legendary, as is his own trash-talking. He once offered to buy dinner for the New York Giants entire defense if they would stop Brady from breaking his league record for touchdown passes in the final game of the season. Alas, Brady prevailed. On another occasion, Tiger asked Manning while they were paired on the golf course what the difference was between the offenses on Peyton’s old team, the Colts, versus his new team, the Broncos. Manning responded, “Tiger, it’s really similar. The hardest thing for me right now is that ‘McIlroy’ is on one, and ‘Tiger’ is on two.” Woods responded to the good-natured trash-talk by overtaking McIlroy the following month. Most significantly, Manning could have retired at 35, wealthy and legendary, but chose a brutal rehab to a serious neck injury for a risky return to football. He won his second Super Bowl the next year. Brady is no slouch when it comes to competitive juices. He sports an 8.1 handicap at clubs such as Seminole and The Country Club (Brookline) in Boston. PGA Tour golfer Ricky Barnes played with Brady as his

Diamante Putting Course Q & A with Architect Paul Cowley

Architect Paul Cowley has enjoyed more than 25 years in the business of creating new golf courses. As a designer, planner, manager and builder, he has been indelibly linked to all of the golf courses at Diamante, working in collaboration with Davis Love III/Love Golf Design and TGR Design by Tiger Woods. Cowley’s newest creation is a solo effort, the Putting Course at Diamante. We talked to Cowley to get his take on the new layout.   Question: You’ve participated in the design of some of the world’s top golf courses. What inspired you to take on designing a putting course? Cowley: As a golf designer, I find all aspects of course design to be challenging and interesting. The Putting Course site at Diamante occupies one of the most spectacular settings on the Dunes course, being situated alongside the tee complex at Hole Number 1 and below the clubhouse and restaurant. The Putting Course has a commanding view of the ocean and the most dominant dune on the course. This setting, combined with three acres of potential grassed area, ensured there was enough room to do something special with the design.   Question: You were involved in designing the Dunes Course at Diamante. Why did you return to Diamante for this project? What did you like about the property? Cowley: I returned to help project manage the construction of the second course at Diamante, Tiger Woods’ El Cardonal, and also to make some changes to our Dunes course.  The setting at Diamante is incomparable. It’s always great to come back.   Question: What are the challenges in designing a putting course? How would you characterize your design approach? Cowley: The challenges in designing a putting course are virtually the same as designing a full-size golf course. The task is to provide a challenging and fun experience that players want to enjoy again and again. The best courses are on the edge of being too hard, never too easy, and always make you think. The challenge is designing in that middle ground.   Question: What can golfers expect from this putting course? Cowley: It will be fun and challenging for all levels and a learning tool for all the different aspects of the putting game. It’s not a flat practice green and it will make you think.   Question: Do you have a favorite design in your portfolio? Cowley: No–I have four—because they are all different for various reasons. The Dunes course here, the Patriot course at Grand Harbor and the Love course at Barefoot Resort in South Carolina and Orchard Creek in New York.   Question: What can golfers expect from this putting course? Cowley: It will be fun and challenging for all levels and a learning tool for all the different aspects of the putting game. It’s not a flat practice green and it will make you think.   Question: Do you have a favorite design in your portfolio? Cowley: No–I have four—because they are all different for various reasons. The Dunes course here, the Patriot course at Grand Harbor and the Love course at Barefoot Resort in South Carolina and Orchard Creek in New York.   Question: Which other golf course architects do you admire? Cowley: Old Tom Morris, Donald Ross, Alister MacKenzie, Pete Dye, C.B. Macdonald, Tom Doak, Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw   Question: Summing up, what makes the new Putting Course at Diamante distinctive? Cowley: Two of the most well-known putting courses in the world are The Himalayas at St. Andrews in Scotland and The Punchbowl at Bandon Dunes in Oregon. Both of these courses are similar in that they are under three acres of grass, all of which is cut at green height and they are comprised of 18 holes that are played sequentially to create a course. These courses change when they move the pin locations weekly. Our putting course is also just under three acres of grass, but it is very different in that half of the area is cut at green height to create a continuous loop wherein 15 holes are laid out to create a course. The course consists of three par-2s and 12 par-3s that vary in length from 12 yards (36 feet) to 64 yards (192 feet) and plays to a par of 42. The play direction of the 15 holes is designed to be alternately played in reverse, so that a hole that played uphill then becomes a downhill hole the next time around. These two 15-hole courses are named the East course and the West course, reflecting their direction of play at the first hole. Another difference with this putting course is that it will have scorecards that include a handicap rating for each hole based on difficulty. Similar to a regulation golf course, this makes it possible for players of different skill levels to compete with each other. Personally, I don’t know of another putting course that is similar to this one. In any event, I’m fairly certain this course will rank among the Top 5 Putting Courses in the World—maybe even Top 3!

Getting to Know: Juan Pablo, Head Golf Professional, Dunes Course

Put your hands together for Juan Pablo, the newly named head professional at the Dunes Course! Juan Pablo, 30 years of age, is a native of Bogota, Colombia and he first took up golf at the age of 6. Credit goes to his grandparents for his introduction to the game. “My grandparents were frequent golfers and I always wanted to drive the cart,” says Juan Pablo. “In order to drive the cart, I had to play at least three holes. Very soon I started to play the whole course and found out I really liked this game.” Juan Pablo is especially fond of his 60-degree wedge, his favorite club in the bag. But, if pressed for time before the round, he chooses the putting green over the driving range because it gives him more confidence heading to the first tee. His favorite hole at Diamante is the tough par-5 15th on the Dunes, because he doesn’t shy away from a good challenge. His dream golf course is Augusta National, home of the Masters—“What else is there to say?”—but his favorite course has neither magnolia trees, azaleas nor dogwoods. “Diamante Dunes is my favorite. I’m not just saying that because I was promoted to head pro, but because I really love playing that course.” Juan Pablo’s best golf story is funny and sad all at once. “I finally managed to get a hole in one, my very first one and it was a Mulligan. Happened at the 7th hole on the Dunes course. Even though it didn’t count as a hole in one, I still got a very nice par. “When he finally makes that elusive ace, per tradition, Juan Pablo will have to buy everybody drinks. His own beverage of choice at the turn? “Simple answer–a Corona, with lime and salt. I really love that drink.” A toast to you, Juan Pablo. Salud!

Tuna Tartare

INGREDIENTS: 8 oz Yellowfin Tuna steak 3 tbsp Red onion (finely diced) 3 tbsp Persian cucumber (small diced)1 tbsp Fresh cilantro, chopped Black pepper, to taste 1 tsp Lemon juice 1 tsp Sesame oil 1 tbsp Olive oil 2 tbsp Low sodium soy sauce 2 tbsp Chipotle mayo ¼ Avocado, chopped 8 pcs Wonton chips INSTRUCTIONS: Remove any dark parts from the bloodline of the tuna. Finely dice the remaining tuna and place in a large bowl, refrigerate to keep chilled. Add onion, cucumber, cilantro to tuna and mix well. Combine tuna with lemon juice, olive oil, sesame oil, Black pepper and soy sauce. To plate we can use a cylinder mold. Fill the mold with tuna tartar mixture pressing gently, put chopped avocado on top and garnish with chipotle mayo, then lift off the mold Accompany with wonton chips.

Fried Whole Red Snapper

INGREDIENTS: 1 Whole Red Snapper (cleaned and scaled)—Approx. 2 pounds 4 cloves Garlic (small diced) 2 tsps Salt 1 tsp Pepper 2 cups Flour Vegetable oil—enough to cover the fish INSTRUCTIONS: Score the fish 3 or 4 times diagonally on both sides, to hold seasonings and to help it to cook more evenly. Fill a large heavy saute pan with 1 ½ inch of oil and heat for 5 minutes until hot, but not smoking (360°) Combine salt, pepper, garlic and rub the fish with the mixture. Dust both sides of the whole fish in the flour. Carefully add the fish to the pan. Cook without moving it, about 4 minutes per side, until crisp and brown. Remove fish and place on a paper towel. Serve the fish on a platter, accompanied with your favorite salad and tartar sauce.

Diamante Cabo San Lucas Salutes Its Golf Course Architects, Tiger Woods and Davis Love III For Their Prestigious GWAA Awards

The Golf Writers Association of America honors Tiger Woods with its Ben Hogan Award and Davis Love III with its Charlie Bartlett Award, to be presented during Masters week CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico (April 9, 2019)—Diamante Cabo San Lucas, a master-planned luxury resort community, congratulates the architects of its golf courses, Tiger Woods and Davis Love III on being honored with two of golf’s most prestigious awards. Woods will receive the Ben Hogan Award and Love the Charlie Bartlett Award, to be conferred on Wednesday, April 10 during Masters week at the ISPS HANDA GWAA 47th Annual Awards Dinner presented by the LPGA, PGA of America, PGA Tour and the USGA. Woods, who with his TGR Design team created the El Cardonal course at Diamante, his first completed golf course design, as well as the property’s Oasis Short Course earns the Ben Hogan Award, given by the GWAA to a player who has overcome a physical handicap or serious injury to remain active in golf. Following a series of lengthy layoffs from the PGA Tour due to multiple back surgeries and procedures, Woods returned to tournament golf in spectacular fashion in 2018, culminating with his 80th PGA Tour victory at the TOUR Championship in September. He began the year ranked Number 1,199 in the World and ended it at No. 13. “I’m grateful to receive an award named after Mr. Hogan and to join a group of truly inspirational individuals,” Woods told the GWAA. “I feel very fortunate that I was able to return to a normal life with my kids, and I understand what a privilege it is to play competitive golf again. I would like to thank the fans for their unwavering support and the GWAA for this honor.” Love, who with his Love Golf Design team fashioned the Dunes course at Diamante, ranked Number 36 in the World, was accorded the Charlie Bartlett Award, given to playing professionals for their unselfish contributions to the betterment of society. Since 2005, the Davis Love Foundation has raised more than $9 million through the PGA Tour’s RSM Classic, which Love hosts each year. He also created the charitable Birdies Fore Love initiative and has been a long-time supporter of the Safe Harbor Children’s Center in Brunswick, Ga. “I’m honored to receive this meaningful award from the GWAA and to be associated with such a distinguished list of former recipients,” Love told the GWAA. “I caught on early with my dad hosting a PGA Tour event and me playing in so many to know what (giving back) meant. Then watching Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus and others as their careers wound down and they created tournaments and kept giving back. Being on the Tour policy board five times I know what the Tour is all about it. It’s what these tournaments are built on. They’re for charity. I’m happy to give back to something that’s given so much to me.” Diamante congratulates Tiger and Davis on their worthy accomplishments. “Tiger Woods and Davis Love III are not only talented designers and superior players, but they are both truly admirable people,” said Ken Jowdy, developer of Diamante Cabo San Lucas. “They are most deserving of these awards. We’re so appreciative that they are integral parts of the Diamante community.”