LOS CABOS, Mexico — In 2003, Ken Jowdy was driving to the airport on a Thursday afternoon when his broker called and said there was a piece of property he had to see. The owner was 89 years old and he’d turned down every offer anyone had ever made.
Jowdy’s broker was his first call and he said, “you are my first call. I said, ‘OK, I’ll be back on Tuesday.’ He said, ‘You don’t understand. If you don’t come right now, this property won’t be here on Tuesday,’” Jowdy recounted on Saturday as the third round of the World Wide Technology Championship was getting underway at El Cardonal at Diamante, one of two existing courses he built on the land with a third under construction.
“I turned my car around and met him at what essentially was a ranch. I hopped in his Jeep Liberty and we went flying around and within 30 minutes we had a deal.”
Now the golf members and homeowners include the likes of former baseball stars Roger Clemens and Larry Walker. “Isn’t this place awesome?” Jowdy said to Walker, attempting to lead the witness. But it wasn’t necessary as Walker’s affection for Diamante was palpable.
“I visited one time and purchased a house and I’m here half the year,” Walker said. “I’m not here because it’s a (lousy) place. The food, the weather, the people. That could be in a different order every day.”
KJ: When it was determined the tournament wouldn’t be in Mayakoba around this time of the year, they were going into the RSM Classic in November and had a conversation with Mark Love, (Davis’s brother), and told him they were searching for another place in Mexico. Mark and Davis built the Dunes and gave me a call to see if I’d be interested.
About 10 days later, the Tour came here. It happened to be during our member guest and (Tiger Woods) was here – he’s probably been to four of the last six, I’m guessing – so I was busy and never even got to see them during that trip. But it piqued the Tour’s interest and when they came back I walked all 36 holes with them. There were too many changes that needed to be made to the Dunes. When they got to El Cardonal, it was the obvious choice. All we did was add a tee box to No. 1, but they…