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Tiger Woods’ North Carolina course is on hold…perhaps permanently

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Tiger Woods’ North Carolina course isn’t happening, at least not now. To put it another way, The Cliffs at High Carolina hasn’t quite fallen off a cliff, but it’s teetering on the edge. The project is on hold for the immediate future, per the Asheville Citizen-Times.

Announced back in 2007, The Cliffs was to feature a Tiger Woods-designed golf course and ~1,000 luxury homes. It was to be Woods first U.S. course–an honor which now belongs to Bluejack National.

The Cliffs Clubs Managing Partner David Sawyer says he fields the “what’s going on” query regularly.

“We get asked that question a lot by our members…We tell them (High Carolina) is sitting on the shelf right now and we’re focusing on our current communities and developments within our current communities.”

Sawyer also said of the project: “I’m sure it will find its way to the development track eventually.”

We shall see.

The 665-acre property is currently listed for sale by Carolina Mountain Properties LLC for $15.9 million, down from the $24 million it was listed for in 2016. The 2008 financial crisis and Woods’ infidelity scandal are commonly offered as explanations for why the project never got off the ground.

Woods is known to be involved with nine design projects. Bluejack National, El Cardonal, The Oasis Short Course have been built. Jack’s Bay, Trump World Golf Club Dubai, South Shore and Jackson Park (restoration), Pacific Links, The Oasis at Diamante, and Payne’s Valley are in the works.

What say you, GolfWRXers from the Tar Heel State? What’s the scuttlebutt? Do you think this course gets built?

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Hedley Lamarr

    May 5, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    I went to The Cliffs at the end of 2009 and was amazed anything had been built there. At least 25 minutes out of Asheville on a poor road at that time. I thought why would you want to live here? The next day Tiger crashed his SUV trying to get away from Erin!

  2. ChipNRun

    May 4, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    My wife and I have a time share in Myrtle Beach, SC, which is about 300 miles away from Asheville. In 2017, MB had three upscale neighborhood development clubs which were in trouble. Part of the problem: seniors looking to downsize had trouble finding buyers for their mansions.

    In contrast, Myrtle Beach semi-private clubs surrounded by modest but nice 2,000 sq.ft. homes seem to be doing fine.

    Of note, Chinese investors have bought some 20 struggling Myrtle Beach zone courses in the past few years. Part of the problem can be capital structure of the golf clubs (see article link at end).

    Another problem nationwide is shafting tastes. Many people nowadays want somewhat smaller homes. If people went into a 3,500 sq. ft. house circa 1998, they may struggle to find buyers who will cash them out at their desired price point.

    Ben, see if you can get comments from an Asheville area real estate agent. It might be that luxury golf is overbuilt in Asheville area. Also, upscale country club developments anywhere can easily end up overleveraged. If developers don’t sell enough homes to establish the target private-equity membership level, things can fall apart quickly.

    So, it may be more of a real estate problem than a golf problem.

    Here is an article on the topic by Concert Golf Partners, via the National Gold Foundation:
    http://www.concertgolfpartners.com/articles/real-estate-value.html

  3. Johnston

    May 4, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    Glad to see some trouble in the up scale golf market…we here in California are loosing public courses to housing projects at a rate you will not have to worry about declining interest in golf because the few public courses left by 2025 will be so few they will be bale to water the courses and still make a profit…

    • ChipNRun

      May 4, 2018 at 8:08 pm

      Go east, young man!

      In Missouri, we have golf, water and decent-priced housing.

      • Elitist Liberal

        May 5, 2018 at 10:09 pm

        But you also have….. Missouri

        • ChipNRun

          May 6, 2018 at 11:52 pm

          What’s not to like? Tourists from Cal State – Irvine like to spend vacation time here protesting.

  4. lance

    May 4, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    Our beloved game of Golf will suffer irreparable if this Tiger designed golf course fails to be built. It will be a national catastrophe … a black blemish on our sport … a shameful failure that will diminish the game of Golf.

  5. 2putttom

    May 4, 2018 at 2:03 pm

    1000 luxury homes? thats old school. who’s gonna invest in multi million dollars homes in a sport that has declining #’s

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19th Hole

Hungover Eddie Pepperell is the real winner of The Open

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Eddie Pepperell is never dull. The Englishman’s candor, articulateness, and skill with a pen make him a great follow on Twitter and beyond.

But even given standard Peperellian forthrightness, it was surprising to hear this: Pepperell was hungover during the final round at Carnoustie…a round in which he fired a 4-under 67.

Pepperell finished tied for sixth at 5-under, three strokes behind Francesco Molinari, and he offered this admission in his final-round press conference.

“I was a little hungover…I had too much to drink last night. And I was so frustrated yesterday, that today was really, I wouldn’t say a write-off, but I didn’t feel I was in the golf tournament. Whether I shot 69 or 73 today, it wouldn’t have been heartbreaking. But as it happens, I shot 67. So, you know, it’s a funny game.”

Hitting the course before the winds kicked up, Pepperell birdied the third, fifth, sixth, and 14th holes before rolling in another at the 17th.

He clarified that he’s no wino.

“Listen, I wouldn’t always have a drink the night before. Sometimes I have a few drinks. Tiger is minus-7, he didn’t have a drink last night, I bet. Proper athlete…I didn’t really have that much to drink, just I’m a lightweight, yeah.”

Pepperell clarified that he felt okay this morning, but woke up in the middle of the night feeling poorly. he said. Then it was time to sit back and watch as the leaders battled Carnoustie’s back nine.

Proper athlete or no, Pepperell finished tied with Woods at 5 under.

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19th Hole

Pat Perez: The R&A “do it right, not like the USGA”

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Pat Perez opened The Open, as it were, with a 2-under 69, and at the time of this writing, he’s 4 under for the second round and tied for the lead.

Clearly, there’s something Double P likes about links golf. And when he was asked whether he was surprised by how receptive the greens at Carnoustie were after his opening round, Perez shook his head with conviction and said.

“They (the R&A) do it right, not like the USGA…They’ve got the opposite [philosophy] here. I told them, you guys have it right, let the course get baked, but you’ve got the greens receptive. They’re not going to run and be out of control. They could have easily had the greens just like the fairway, but they didn’t. The course is just set up perfect.”

“The U.S. Open could have been like this more if they wanted to. They could have made the greens a bit more receptive,” Perez said. “These greens are really flat compared to Shinnecock. So that was kind of the problem there is they let it get out of control and they made the greens too hard.”

Pat Perez has no problem speaking his mind. While it has gotten him in trouble in the past, you have to respect his candor. The interesting question, as I asked in the Morning 9, is how many Tour pros agree him?

Sure, it’s unlikely any of Perez’s compatriots will join him publicly in his “R&A does it right, USGA does it wrong” stance, but it’d be very interesting to know what percentage are of the same mind.

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19th Hole

68 at the British Open in the morning, golf with hickories at St Andrews in the afternoon

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Yes, golf fans, just another day in the charmed life (or week, at least) of one Brandon Stone.

Stoney (as I assume his friends call him), came to Carnoustie on the heels of a final-round 60 to win the Scottish Open. All he did in his opening round was fire a 3-under 68. Not bad!

But his Thursday to remember was only getting started as Stone made the 25-mile trip south to the Old Course to peg it…with a set of hickory clubs! Well played, sir, well played.

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