New Design Business New Tiger

By Adam BarrAugust 18, 2007, 4:00 pm
TRAVELERS REST, S.C. ' A thunderstorm follows this guy wherever he goes. But not a cloud.
In this business, you get used to seeing Tiger Woods walk into press conferences. But what never gets old is the ever-present cloudburst ' the thunder of following feet (entourage, security, photographers, well-wishers, any wishers), the lightning of flashbulbs, endlessly freezing moments in a life the media find endlessly interesting.
Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods has had plenty of success on the course, but how will he fare in the business world? (Getty Images)
Last week, the Striped Storm blew into the Blue Ridge foothills near this quiet little town. Softball-sized peaches, $6.99 a dozen thanks to a spring frost, are on sale at the half-dozen or so roadside stands that line U.S. 25 between here and Greenville, a half hour south. Just outside of town at The Cliffs Valley Golf Club, Woods announced the newest page in his still-young career. He will design his first U.S. golf course, the Cliffs at High Carolina, in mountain meadows and forests about 45 minutes north of here, between Asheville and Hickory, N.C.
And it was a line that got it all started, in a way. Jim Anthony, a diminutive man in all but spirit and economic muscle, used to climb telephone poles as a lineman for Southern Bell. That gave him an excellent view of some of the most beautiful rolling, wooded mountains in the world. He wondered who owned it all. When he was 40, he quit his linemans job, got some investors, and started buying. Sixteen years later, he is planning his eighth private golf-and-residential community, with Woods course as the centerpiece. (There are already courses by Jack Nicklaus and Tom Fazio, as well as a Gary Player course under development.) Each of the developments, which stretch across the western Carolinas between Greenville and Asheville and border national forests, has been extremely successful.
It takes Anthonys kind of vision and will to bring together a lineman from the Carolinas and a skinny kid from L.A. About the time Anthony was taking a huge flyer and changing his career, Woods was learning to hit from flyer lies and thinking about getting his drivers license.
But still, Tiger waited a solid decade into his pro career before thinking about designing courses. He just opened his design company last year, and launched into a high-end project in Dubai. Surely his name would have drawn plenty of clients before this. (Word is Woods turned down some double-digit-million offers in recent years before accepting the Dubai fee, which has been reported at as much as $25 million.) Nonetheless, Woods was in no hurry.
I haven't done it before because, one, I didn't feel like I had played enough around the world to truly understand how to design golf courses or what golf really is, Woods said. But there was also another factor: I've been offered many times to design golf courses here in the States and never did because I never felt comfortable with the partnership. But after meeting Jim, it was an instant yes. Jim is the sole reason why I'm doing this.
Theres at least one other reason. Woods wants this course, this mountain course, to be a walking course.
High Carolina is special for several reasons, Anthony said. One, over 4,000 feet elevation gives us incredible views almost on every hole. It has gently rolling meadows, and as Tiger indicated, it will be a walking golf course. In our early discussions, we could not be more excited about a walking golf course that really dovetails into our whole philosophy of wellness.
Wellness? Is this real estate or yoga? But Anthony, himself trim and healthy, is serious. All his Cliffs communities have tried to weave a substantial thread of wellness into their fabric, be it through recreation or relaxation. Some may call it simply a new way to market real estate. Anthony thinks otherwise. Residents are even assigned wellness coaches.
No one has said that a golf carts wheel will never crease a fairway at High Carolina. But walking will be available and encouraged, which fits in with Woods belief in the importance of physical vitality.
I just think that with how America's changed, how we all have seen [physical education] leave the schools, how obesity has increased astronomically, Type 2 diabetes has now become rampant everywhere ' I just think that golf can lead the example of wellness, Woods said.
Whether the walking idea catches on or not, many eyes will be on Woods first U.S. design, in which he promises a minimalist approach to moving earth. That could help to make the walking dream a reality.
We're not going to try and move a bunch of dirt, Woods said. That's the whole idea. Now, Jim has said that he wants to move some of the trees that are native to that area and then replant them, so we definitely will do that. We've got to move enough dirt so it's walkable; you don't want something that's unwalkable. We want something to flow and feel comfortable. But also, nothing gradient or, you know, four, five percent where it's not going to be too difficult [to walk].
And be careful about off-line shots. Tiger loves bunkers, and not necessarily easy bunkers. The leading edges might look a bit wild.
I think that's wonderful how ' I mean, one of the changes that was made up in Boston this year for the Deutsche Bank tournament is that you'll see a lot of native grasses and a different look than how it has played in years past, Woods said. And I think that's getting back to not being so perfectly manicured all the time. I think that's a good thing.
Another good thing, in Tigers view, is the coming shift in his business mix, of which Tiger Woods Design is a part. He smiled when he said it, but he did mention during the press conference that he has made lots of commercials ' maybe enough for awhile. Not that hell shy away from photo shoots, but a change his business priorities may indeed be on the way. Where will this new project rank?
Very high, extremely high, Woods said. One of reasons why I'm moving towards this is to do something that's different, that's challenging, something I've always wanted to do. This is extremely difficult. It's something that as I have gotten into it, I have been stimulated and ' more than I ever thought I would ' I actually love that.
Which is the result, I guess, of living under a storm, but not a cloud.
Email your thoughts to Adam Barr
Getty Images

Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

"That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

Getty Images

Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

Getty Images

Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

“It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

“What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

“When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

Getty Images

Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.