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Woods, Focusing on Fitness, to Build Walking-Only Golf Course



Tiger Woods's first golf course in the U.S. will be a walking-only layout that emphasizes his ``minimalist'' design philosophy.

Tiger Woods, coming off a victory at the PGA Championship two days ago, unveiled plans for the Cliffs at High Carolina as part of a new residential community 4,000 feet (1.2 kilometers) up in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina.

After his PGA Championship win at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Tiger Woods said his fitness level was instrumental in withstanding the 101-degree (38 Celsius) average high temperatures that baked the course.

``Obesity is a huge problem,'' Tiger Woods said today at a press conference at The Cliffs Valley course in Travelers Rest, South Carolina. ``Our cars have gotten bigger because we have gotten bigger. Walking a golf course is a beautiful thing.''

The Cliffs Valley course, which was designed by former CBS Corp. golf commentator Ben Wright, is one of eight courses planned as part of the Cliffs Communities. It's located about 10 miles west of Tigerville, South Carolina.

Tiger Woods, who is designing his first course in Dubai, said he wants his initial U.S. course ``to be difficult and challenging, but fair.'' Two things it won't have are blind shots or manmade lakes and waterfalls.

``I'm more of a minimalist,'' Tiger Woods said. ``I enjoy older- style golf courses that are right in front of you, where they basically left the ground where it was and put the course on top of it. I won't move a lot of dirt.''

With Tiger Woods's course located atop a ridge that offers 50- mile views of seven different mountain ranges, there will be limited distraction.

Remote Spot

``You won't hear any roads,'' he said. ``It will be just birds and trees, and maybe a stream or two. Even an idiot can't mess this up and I think I'm a little above that.''

The Cliffs, founded in 1991, features golf-course communities between Ashville, North Carolina, and Greenville, South Carolina. Five courses, including ones designed by Tom Fazio and 18-time major winner Jack Nicklaus, are complete. Two others are under construction. Tiger Woods's layout will be the eighth project.

Tiger Woods's foray into course design is part of a shift in his business efforts. He recently ended a sponsorship agreement with American Express Co.

``I figure I've done enough commercials and stuff like that,'' said Tiger Woods, who launched his design firm nine months ago. ``That part was fun for awhile, now I want to try something else, something that's stimulating.''

Housing Prices

Neither Tiger Woods nor his agent, Marc Steinberg, would discuss Tiger Woods's fee for the project. The community will include home sites that range from $300,000 to more than $3 million and custom homes from $700,000 to more than $5 million.

High-profile course designers like Tiger Woods can boost real estate values, according to a recent study by Longitudes Group LLC, which monitors the travel and spending habits of golfers nationwide.

Appreciation rates of homes in developments that include courses by top designers including Nicklaus, Fazio and Pete Dye, were 28 percent higher than other houses in the local area, according to the study commissioned by Golf Digest and BusinessWeek magazines.

While Nicklaus has designed more than 200 courses, Tiger Woods said he would be ``very selective.''

``I won't do that many,'' he said. ``I still want to win major championships and dedicate my time to that. I'm kind of a perfectionist.''

Read more at www.bloomberg.com

 

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