The PGA Tour will stage a tournament at a Tiger Woods-designed course for the first time this week when the El Cardonal course at Diamante in Los Cabos, Mexico, plays host to the World Wide Technology Championship. One of the competitors in the field, Lucas Herbert, says it won’t be the last.

El Cardonal, a par 72 measuring 7,452 yards (6,814 metres), will welcome a 132-player field for this week’s $US8.2 million World Wide Technologies Championship (starting Friday AEDT). Herbert, a three-time DP World Tour and one-time PGA Tour winner, likes what he sees so far from El Cardonal.

Woods’ 2014 design sits on a sandy site overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The layout resembles some of the southern California courses Woods grew up playing but blends into its Cabo, Mexico, setting with natural arroyos, mature vegetation and native dunes.

“I really like the golf course,” Herbert told Australian Golf Digest. “It would have to be in the best condition in its history I’d imagine. It’s a good course; it feels like it was designed the way Tiger played. The fairways are generous from the tee but the greens require really precise iron play and certain spin types to hold the slopes. On the back nine, the green sites are pretty extreme and for that reason they are on the slower side. Having options off the tee certainly suits me and needing to be creative around the greens is something I’m pretty good at. I just hope it gets quite windy because that would play into my hands.”

Woods’ portfolio, under the TGR Design umbrella, boasts almost a dozen course that have been built or are in planning. Of those, three are-full length layouts: El Cardonal, as well as Bluejack National in Texas, and Payne’s Valley in Missouri.

While Payne’s Valley hosted an exhibition match during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Herbert wonders whether more of Woods’ full-length courses will welcome official PGA Tour stops.

“It’s a pretty interesting time; it feels like we might be moving into a new era of golf course design. We’ve played plenty of Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer courses around the world. I like the golf course [at El Cardonal] so far and it’ll be fascinating to see how many Tiger Woods courses host tournaments in the future, how they play in terms of scoring and what they are like as tournament venues. It’s exciting to be in the field for this first one.”

Woods was spotted on Tuesday at El Cardonal, being taken around the course in a golf cart with an entourage before limping off into an SUV.

“There’s always a buzz when Tiger is at a tournament and everyone who was practising near me at the same time turned their heads to get a glimpse,” Herbert said.

Herbert will be joined by fellow Australians Harrison Endycott and Cameron Percy at the World Wide Technologies Championship. It’s the fifth of seven tournaments in the PGA Tour’s Fall series, where players are vying to keep their cards or improve their playing status for 2024. Herbert is exempt through the end of 2024 due to winning the 2021 Bermuda Championship but players who finished 51-60 in the final FedEx Cup Fall points list through the RSM Classic will be eligible for two Signature Events in 2024 (the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and the Genesis Invitational).

“[The FedEx Cup Fall series] is interesting concept; we don’t have a lot of big guns out playing but there is still compelling viewing given what’s on the line for a lot of guys,” Herbert said. “Some guys are playing to get into the designated events next year and others are battling to keep their cards and those players are relatable [because they are grinding].”

Herbert has posted two top-30 results in the three events he’s played since returning from a seven-week break from the game. “I feel I’ve knocked some rust off from the break and I’ve been working pretty hard in the past couple weeks; the game feels like it has made some progress.”

Herbert plays the first two rounds this week with Keith Mitchell and K.H. Lee.