By SKIP BANDELE
Tiger on course for the Algarve?
HOPES ARE high that the on-going golf boom in the Algarve may attract the attention of the world’s greatest golfer, Tiger Woods, as he embarks on a new career in course design.
Woods, arguably the best ever exponent of the game, has stated his aim to “provide a unique collection of amazing courses that represent what I love about golf”, drawing on his experiences of playing some of the world’s top venues.
“I’d like to share my experience and the lessons I’ve learned and hopefully create some amazing, fun courses”, the 30-year-old said.
To this end Woods has started a company called Tiger Woods Design benefiting from the support and advice offered by friends, such as Jack Nicklaus and Tom Fazio.
Based in Windermere, Florida, Woods’ new venture will join a long line of professionals already active in the same sphere, including Arnold Palmer, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson and Nicklaus himself.
The ‘Golden Bear’ began working on course design with Pete Dye in the mid-1960s on projects such as The Golf Club in Ohio and Hilton Head in South Carolina, but did not branch out independently until completing Glen Abbey outside Toronto in 1976.
In the Algarve, Sir Henry Cotton became the first high-profile golfer to turn his attention to purpose built personally designed courses with the creation of the championship course at Penina.
Tiger Woods Design will be innovative in so far that the master intends to build courses that transpose already existing features of other exciting venues not accessible to the average player, while catering for every skill level. “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.”
The new company is currently reviewing projects and bids for its design services worldwide and, although no details on where the courses would be located were given, the ongoing boom in that sector in the Algarve makes the region a prime target for the Tiger’s very personal imprint: prepare yourself for huge fairways and ultra-smooth greens!
An announcement is expected by the end of the year.