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Tiger stops destroying and starts building golf courses

It had to happen — the opportunity and the potential cash was just too great. So yesterday it was announced: Tiger Woods Golf Design. That’s right — the best player in the world will finally start building golf courses.

“My goal is to provide a unique collection of amazing courses all over the world that represent what I love about golf,” said Woods, who will be chairman of the company.

AP’s Doug Ferguson notes that Woods has already had some input into the TPC of Boston, an Arnold Palmer course that is being reworked for the second time:

Woods and other players have talked to the PGA Tour design staff about their design philosophies as the TPC of Boston gets ready to undergo a renovation, although that project will be handled by Gil Hanse with Brad Faxon as the player consultant.

So what will a Tiger Woods golf course look like and where will he start? The suggestion in the AP story is that Woods will work outside of the U.S. to start with (China, anyone?) and he had this to say on his, um, design style:

“I’ve had the luxury of playing golf around the world, and I’ve spent a lot of time evaluating how to play all kinds of courses,” Woods said. “I’d like to share my experience and the lessons I’ve learned and hopefully create some amazing, fun courses.

“There are golfers everywhere that may never get a chance to play a links course in Scotland, a tree-lined course in America or the sand belts of Australia,” he said. “Hopefully, I can bring some of those elements into their backyards.”

Gosh, Arnold Palmer also played all of those sorts of courses and look what he built. So there’s no guarantee that Woods’ courses will be any good — though hopefully he’s in this for more than a simple marketing exercise.

The real question surrounds who he will hire to work with him on designing his courses, and how much of his time he’ll put into them. How much time will he really have when he couldn’t fit the Tour Championship into his schedule? And does he work with an established architect, or does he decide to work with someone lesser known? IMG has Brit Stenson in house (in Canada, we know him as the man responsible for Grandview, and oh, The Rock …. so maybe he’s out). My guess is that Woods cherry picks someone from an established firm — like one of Tom Fazio’s lead associates — and that person collaborates to create Woods’ vision of a golf course, whatever that may be.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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