Economy delays Tiger's course
DUBLIN, Ohio -- The first golf course Tiger Woods is designing might not be the first to open.
Woods said on Friday that construction on Al Ruwaya Golf Course in Dubai is on hold because of the economic meltdown in the United Arab Emirates, pushing back the scheduled opening by at least six months.
"It's six months as of right now," Woods said in an interview at the Memorial. "It's going to be behind schedule. Obviously, the economy has turned over there and they've slowed down construction because of it."
The course was to open this fall, but Woods said it could be next summer.
"It all depends," he said. "The economy needs to turn around. If it gets stimulated, we can pick up to the point where we might open earlier, but who knows? It's out of my hands."
The project is called the "Tiger Woods Dubai." It includes 100 villas, 75 mansions, 22 palaces and a 360,000-square-foot boutique hotel. It also is to feature a 139,000-square-foot clubhouse and a golf academy. The developer is Tatweer, a division of Dubai Holding, which is owned by the emirate and its rule, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Woods said Beau Welling, his chief architect at Tiger Woods Design, has continued to travel between Dubai and two other courses under construction in North Carolina (The Cliffs at High Carolina) and Mexico (Punta Brava).
His course in Dubai had only three holes under construction when work was suspended.
"We're making sure we get the holes completed -- the holes we have," he said. "I think we have three holes right now."
He said the course in Dubai needs irrigation to keep the sand in place because of arid conditions and the wind. Woods said on one of his visits, the sweeping wind "changed the whole outline of one hole."
Woods said his courses in North Carolina and Mexico are awaiting various permits, but otherwise are on schedule. The Cliffs at High Carolina is expected to be finished in the middle of 2010, while the Mexico course with spectacular ocean views is not scheduled to be completed until late 2010.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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