Tiger Woods' Bluejack National Evokes Look and Feel of Augusta

Monday May 23rd, 2016
With some (but not too much) bunkering, Bluejack is fun and playable.
Aidan Bradley

The map has you 45 miles northwest of downtown Houston, but your eyes insist you're in Augusta, Georgia.

Tiger Woods's first U.S. design brilliantly evokes the look and feel of the Masters layout, thanks to a property that features natural water hazards, elevation changes and mature trees (including its namesake oaks). There's also ample room in the landing areas, along with white, sharp-edged bunkers and blessedly short grass when you miss the fairway.

Hewn from a never-quite-finished Bill Coore-Ben Crenshaw course called Blaketree National, the private Bluejack used some of the existing corridors, although all of the features are brand-new.

Everything about Bluejack is friendly and enticing. Like Augusta, it's not overly bunkered, and there's a minimum of traditional rough. Unlike Augusta, the greens sport soft, if inspired, contours and were designed to accept run-up shots.

It all aligns perfectly with Tiger's design philosophy, which is to give every golfer options. With a 3,008-yard set of "Frank" junior tees and a 10-hole "Playgrounds" par-3 course next door, Woods has prioritized families and enjoyment.

All credit to Tiger and his design team. They could have injected more drama, more excess, more trouble. Instead, they emphasized walkability, playability and pure fun. Golf needs more of that.

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