Plans for Tiger Woods-designed golf course halted

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Plans for Tiger Woods-designed golf course halted

Architecture

Plans for Tiger Woods-designed golf course halted

Written by Dillon Davis of the Asheville Citizen-Times

FAIRVIEW, N.C. — Development plans for the former Cliffs at High Carolina site, an undeveloped Fairview property that was to feature luxury homes and a Tiger Woods-designed golf course, have been shelved for the immediate future.

The Cliffs Clubs Managing Partner David Sawyer said the company does not have plans to commit additional funding into the project in Fairview. The development has ground to a halt after first being announced amid much fanfare in 2007. It was expected to have about 1,000 luxury homes and the first Woods-designed American golf course.

Sawyer said the company instead is focusing its attention on projects at Walnut Cove in Arden as well as Mountain Park and Keowee Springs in South Carolina.

“We get asked that question a lot by our members,” Sawyer said. “We tell them (High Carolina) is sitting on the shelf right now and we’re focusing on our current communities and developments within our current communities.”

He added that the High Carolina site is a “beautiful property” and “I’m sure it will find its way to the development track eventually.”

The Cliffs at High Carolina was hit hard by the collapse of the real estate market in the late 2000s. In the same time period, Woods also saw his playing career diminish considerably following a infidelity scandal that led to him taking a hiatus from the sport.

The Cliffs owns nearly 1,800 acres near the site in its portfolio, Kent Smith, its president and managing partner, said Thursday. Another 800 acres of the site is owned by David Straus of Straus Family LLC. Straus has marketed the land for sale at various points under the name, “Majestic Highlands of Asheville.”

Straus’ property in Fairview is listed for sale by Carolina Mountain Properties LLC for $15.9 million, down from the $24 million figure listed in 2016.

The listing touts a 665-acre portion that was planned to be the Woods golf course as well as an eight acre lake, mature trees, open meadow areas and hiking trails, among other assets.

A message left this week for Straus was not returned.

Smith said The Cliffs has had an “excellent working relationship” with Straus, as High Carolina would have encompassed parts of property owned by both parties. If Straus were to sell his portion of land, Smith said he’s hopeful the next ownership group would “see the value of doing with us what (Straus) is going to do.”

As for Woods, it is not yet clear what his future involvement would be.

Smith said that decision would be made at the time prior to the development getting underway. Woods’ representative, Mark Steinberg of New York-based Excel Sports Management, did not immediately return a request for comment.

In the past, The Cliffs has paired with well-known golf professionals to design its courses. Among them, Jack Nicklaus (Keowee Falls and Walnut Cove), Tom Fazio (Keowee Vineyards and Keowee Springs) and Gary Player (Mountain Park).

At a 2007 press conference in Swannanoa, Woods told reporters, “A part of me has always wanted to do this.”

“I will be out here as much as I can and where I need to be to make this happen,” he said. “As you know, I am kind of a perfectionist. I want to do it right not the second time, but the first time.”

Woods added, “Even an idiot can’t mess this up.”

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