Monday, November 6, 2006
Tiger Woods' next step: Design golf courses
By Mark Soltau
As a child, Tiger Woods liked to draw imaginary golf holes. Now, he's going to get paid for it.
Monday, Woods announced the formation of Tiger Woods Design. He has already begun reviewing projects and bids for potential golf-course sites around the world and is excited about his new venture.
"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," said Woods, chairman of the new company. "I'd like to share my experiences and the lessons I've learned and hopefully create some amazing, fun courses."
The top-ranked golfer in the world and winner of 72 tournaments, including 12 major championships, Woods sought advice from many experienced designers before starting his own firm. He wanted to be sure he understood what he was embarking on.
"I've spent a lot of time talking with experts in this field, gathering as much information as possible about what a great course should be," Woods said. "Friends like Jack Nicklaus and Tom Fazio have been tremendous help by sharing their support and advice. I hope I can bring as much to this industry as they have over the years."
"I think he'll do quite well," said noted golf course architect Rees Jones. "He's the biggest name in golf, and he'll command a big fee.
"It's good for the interest of the game. He's going to have to go through a little bit of a learning curve to get his ideas on the ground. It's a craft; you learn by doing it.
"My only advice would be to limit himself to good projects, clients and sites. Concentrate on the game while he's still the best."
Woods has played golf on almost every continent in more than 20 countries. It's no secret his favorite course is the Old Course at St. Andrews. He appreciates natural conditions, history and tradition; expect his new courses to reflect that taste.
"There are golfers everywhere who may never get a chance to play a links course in Scotland, a tree-lined course in America or the sand belts of Australia," said Woods. "Hopefully I can bring some of those elements into their backyards."
Mark Soltau is the editor of TigerWoods.com and a contributing editor for Golf Digest magazine