Woods’ practice to design Houston course in new residential community

Woods’ practice to design Houston course in new residential community
By Adam Lawrence

Newly-formed development firm Beacon Land has announced that Tiger Woods Design will create the golf course at its Bluejack National community outside Houston. Construction is expected to begin this summer, with completion slated for late 2015.

Woods’ design practice, founded in 2006, has had a difficult birth, with projects in Dubai, North Carolina and Mexico all either collapsed or on hold as a result of the economic downturn. But the world number one’s career as a signature architect appears finally to be moving forward, with the second course at Diamante in Mexico close to completion and now the announcement of Bluejack National.

Beacon Land principals Michael Abbott and Casey Paulson were also involved in the development of Diamante. The two have a joint 50 years experience in the real estate business, much of which was spent with development giant Discovery Land, and have come together with Dallas-based Lantern Asset Management to form Beacon.

Bluejack National will be built on the site of the former Blaketree National club, which was partially designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw, but completed by its owner, Thomas Blake. The course has been closed since 2012. The site comprises 755 acres of rolling and wooded countryside dotted with natural lakes and streams. Bluejack will be a new course, according to the developers, not a redesign of the Blaketree layout.

“Bluejack National has one of the best natural settings for golf I have seen,” said Woods. “With its changes in elevation, the beautiful pines and hardwoods, Bluejack National is reminiscent of the pinelands of Georgia and the Carolinas. The opportunity is here to create a golf course unlike any other in the Houston area, and our goal is for it to be among the best in the nation.”

“We are thrilled to have Tiger working with us to develop the golf course for Bluejack National,” said Abbott. “He spent a lot of time getting to know the property and understanding its potential. Throughout the process it became clear that his vision for the golf course perfectly aligned with ours, and he shared our passion for bringing it to life.”

Strategically, Woods said the golf course will require players to think and make decisions throughout their rounds. Successfully challenging hazards will reward players with preferred angles of play for their next shot. He said green contours will be kept simple to allow for fast speeds, and the areas around the greens will be maintained firm and tight to promote shot options and creativity from the chipping areas. “The turf will be maintained at a single height of fairway cut, the undergrowth will be cleared and the forest floor will be covered with pine straw, making it easy to find and play wayward shots,” Woods said. Woods and his team will also design a short course for Bluejack National. The exact routing will largely be left to the imagination of players, giving friends, families and associates the opportunity to create their own challenges and games. Membership will be separated from real estate sales.

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