Tiger plans to design his first American golf course

Updated: August 14, 2007, 6:05 PM ET
Associated Press

TRAVELERS REST, S.C. -- Tiger Woods has no plans to break this Jack Nicklaus record.

Woods revealed plans Tuesday for his first American course just two days after he won his 13th major title at the PGA Championship.

And while the world's No. 1 golfer continues his steady march to Nicklaus' record 18 majors, Woods knows he won't come close to the number of courses created by the Golden Bear.

Tiger Woods
AP Photo/Mary Ann ChastainTiger Woods announces his first American golf course. The private course will be located in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, N.C.

"I won't design as many courses as Jack," Woods said. "He's designed well over 200 now. I won't do that."

Nicklaus has 258 courses open for play with his name on them, according to his Web site.

Woods, 31, says he and his company, Tiger Woods Design, are content with one or two select projects at a time.

Woods said he found such a property in The Cliffs at High Carolina. The private course will sit at about 4,000 feet in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, N.C. There's no timetable for its completion and Woods pledges he'll make as many trips as necessary to do things right.

"As you all know, I'm kind of a perfectionist," Woods said.

Woods was asked several times during his winning run at the PGA about plans for his first U.S. course.

"I guess we all know why we're here," Woods said, smiling to a crowded room of about 100 media members at The Cliffs Valley, located in northern South Carolina.

Woods wants the scenic land to dictate the proposed layout and hopes the course give golfers a fair test and a chance to connect with nature. He visited the location earlier Tuesday and raved about the land.

"Even an idiot can't mess this up," he said. "I think I'm a little above that."

Woods took his time before launching his design business, he said, because he wanted a feel for what makes the best courses by playing the top layouts from around the world.

He said he likes layouts where golfers can see the hole ahead of them along with well-placed bunkers that require careful shot selection.

Woods described himself as a "minimalist" designer and repeatedly said he didn't expect to move a lot of dirt during construction.

Woods and The Cliffs owner Jim Anthony said they wanted High Carolina to be a walking-only course during the news conference. Afterward, Woods clarified they'll "strongly encourage" golfers to walk but won't require it.

Anthony had Woods' drawings of a proposed golf course he mapped out at age 11.

"I don't believe there's any golfer that has more desire," Anthony said. "He takes us to another level."

Woods' company took on a project in Dubai for his first course. He expects to grow his golf design business gradually, selecting projects that fit within his crowded schedule as a competitor and father.

He won his latest major this past weekend with a two-stroke victory at Southern Hills.

The community of golf courses known as The Cliffs includes three layouts designed by Nicklaus. The Cliffs Valley currently host a Nationwide Tour event, the BMW Charity Pro-Am.

Woods finally feels comfortable sketching out courses on his own and can't wait for the moment someone else gets the chance to play one of his courses.

"That's something you want to have happen," he said. "Not only will they have fun playing but want to come back and do it again."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press