Woods designs 3 holes for Dubai course

NEW YORK (AP) — Tiger Woods has completed the designs for three holes on his first golf course in Dubai, and it doesn't look like he's too concerned about the area's desert terrain.

Woods and his design company are developing a 7,800-yard, par-72 course called Al Ruwaya in Dubailand, the region's largest tourism and leisure project. It's the marquee attraction in a 55-million square-foot development that also will include a hotel, golf academy, community center and luxury homes.

Woods' three completed holes feature lush greenery, including grass and shrubs, and greens well protected by bunkers or water. It's the first glimpse of his course style since he created Tiger Woods Design last year.

"The complexity in those three holes ... has set a different benchmark in the golfing industry," said Abdulla Al Gurg, the project director for The Tiger Woods Dubai.

No. 12 is a par 3 at 181 yards, featuring a couple of different elevations and bunkers on the left and right of the front of the green. The next designed hole is No. 17, a drivable par 4 of 341 yards with three bunkers in the front and one in the back.

Woods also has completed the plans for the finishing hole, a difficult par 4 playing at 507 yards. A stream will run in front of the tee and water lines the right side of the hole.

"Overall, I think if you walk off 18 with a par, you will feel like you made some smart decisions and executed properly," Woods said in a promotional brochure for the development.

The world's No. 1 golfer has 61 victories on the PGA Tour and 13 major championships. He announced plans in August to develop his first American course in North Carolina, and has impressed his partners in the Dubai development.

"He really resembles the word excellence," said Al Gurg, who toured several courses with Woods in January and was in New York this week for a charity event. "He looks at things in detail."

Woods' 50,000 square-foot mansion adjacent to Al Ruwaya, which means serenity, will be one of 287 residences in the development, a joint venture between Woods' design company and Tatweer, a member of the government-affiliated Dubai Holding.

While Woods works on the course design, he's also starting to delve into the look of his home.

"He might choose not to go ahead with one of those Arabian looks but he's actually liking them very much," Al Gurg said. "He does. It's a different look and feel."

Some of the homes will be over 100,000 square feet, and the cost will range from $12 million to $23 million. Construction has already started, and it's expected to completed in 2009.

"This is one of the primary projects for the government of Dubai and for Dubai in general," Al Gurg said. "Everybody is looking at this project and craving for when we actually open our doors."

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