The PGA Tour hosted a Tiger Woods golf course design for the first time at the World Wide Technology Championship.
While some of the pros loved the track, clearly not everyone was a fan.
Kelly Kraft, a Tour player in the field last week, gave some interesting remarks on Instagram in a video caption about El Cardonal at Diamante.
“All I will say is the PGA Tour could do a better job at picking courses to host these events,” Kraft wrote. “In my opinion, this wasn’t my favorite course, and I’ve played on tour for a little while. Better luck next week Side note, I will say that @wwt_inc did a great job with what they had. Thanks for the hospitality.”
People are entitled to their opinions about courses. Players express their dislike for certain tracks all the time. But one has to wonder whether Kraft realized this was Tiger’s debut course.
It was reported that Woods designed extremely wide fairways, placing emphasis on approach shots and short game. The greens were often very tricky, and Kraft was not great with the putter.
Maybe his distaste for Woods’ design came down to how he finished the event.
The Dallas resident finished in 71st place after going 70-68-71-71 on the week. Most of the time, his 8-under final score would earn him a strong finish, but not last week.
Most of the field did not have as much trouble sinking birdies.
The event winner, Erik Van Rooyen, made birdie or better 30 times in four days. Runner-up finisher Matt Kuchar recorded 31 of them.
Fellow PGA Tour pro Michael Kim gave his thoughts about the course on X ahead of the tournament.
Thoughts on TW design course El Cardonal at Diamanté:
-I’m not a massive course design junkie like Zac Blair and others so this is a pretty basic breakdown lol.
-I always find it funny that famous players that became course designers end up designing courses that fit their… pic.twitter.com/GKpm09c5Pa
— Michael S. Kim (@Mike_kim714) November 1, 2023
He pointed out how interesting it is that golf course designers tend to design courses that fit their personal games. Of course, that appeared to be the case at El Cardonal at Diamante.
Woods is highly regarded as the best iron player ever. Good iron play was essential to success this week.
Everyone’s opinion will be different of courses. Usually when people play better, they like the track. If they’re not going as low as some, it could be one of the reasons they don’t like it.
Kraft didn’t play terribly, but only two other players finished lower than him after the cut.
Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.