After capping his 11th year on the PGA Tour with a dominant victory in the Tour Championsip and the FedEx Cup, Tiger Woods will face his longest off-season ever, thanks to the truncated 2007 schedule. How to occupy his newfound downtime?
Certainly, he will spend plenty of time with his daughter, Sam. He also will be occupied by his emerging business, Tiger Woods Design, which recently announced its first U.S. project, the Cliffs at High Carolina, the newest development by the Cliffs Communities. "I figure I've done enough commercials," he jokes.
While Woods is more than two-thirds of the way to Jack Nicklaus’ record 18 major victories, he trails the Golden Bear by more than 300 courses in the design field and does not expect to catch Nicklaus the architect. “My goal is to design a handful of very unique courses around the world,” says Woods, “and the Cliffs is a perfect fit for my first American design.” (Woods' first design is Al Ruwaya in a development called Tiger Woods Dubai.)
Located east of Asheville, North Carolina, the gently rolling meadow on which Woods will design his landmark layout sits at 4,000 feet and features 50-mile views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. “It’s a beautiful piece of property,” he says. “You really can’t mess this up.”
Woods and lead designer, formerly Tom Fazio's top man, are still working on a routing. Construction is unlikely to begin until next summer, and the course won't be finished until at least two years after that.
Walking will be strongly encouraged on the course, highlighting an emphasis on fitness and health shared by Woods and the Cliffs, whose wellness program is a major amenity for residents. “America has changed,” Woods says. “Cars are bigger; people are bigger. Fitness is the main reason I’ve partnered with the Cliffs.”