Tiger Woods, probably Orlando’s most famous resident after Mickey Mouse, is leaving town for Florida’s Atlantic coast, but his departure is barely causing a ripple, according to Beth Kassab of The Orlando Sentinel.
There was hardly a peep last week when Woods said his move from Isleworth to the new $50 million compound he built on Jupiter Island would come "pretty soon."
In some ways, Isleworth's loss of prestige by being associated with Woods happened more than a year ago, when the world's most publicized driveway fender bender led to the unraveling of golfer's image and game.
His name was once a big selling point for real estate agents and businesses touting the area as a hot neighborhood.
But that sentiment has cooled.
"We held him in really high regard," said Vic Miesel, who specializes in luxury home sales in the Windermere area at Maingate Real Estate. "The luster of his fame has definitely worn off on a lot of people."
Tavistock Cup, a see-and-be-seen event for local business people, has alternated between Lake Nona and Isleworth since it began seven years ago. As a result, Orlando has benefited from publicity from the all-day broadcasts on the Golf Channel.Phi Mickelson adds Bay Hill to step up Masters preparation according to ESPN UK
But with the addition this year of Albany and another club, Queenwood in London, it's likely that it will begin to rotate out of town as well. The cup's agreement with the PGA is up in 2012 and after that the show could travel to the Bahamas, England or the hometowns of any other clubs that join the tournament.
"I need a little bit more competitive golf - I've got some work to do," Mickelson, who has already played more events (seven) than usual this season, said. "If I'd had a little more success earlier I probably would have not played Bay Hill.
"I'm not shooting the scores I need to shoot. I'm not concerned with the way I'm hitting it or any particular element of my game, but I'm not shooting the scores."
It started March 5, when I got a text message from a legislator. "Did you see the bill from Thrasher to build golf courses on state park lands?" it asked. "The state wouldn't even sell off the land to make money (a bad idea also), but literally issue bonds to build golf course resorts (hotel, clubhouse, etc.) on park lands!"
It sounded so silly, it was hard to believe. And yet, when I returned home and looked it up, there it was: Senate Bill 1846. Veteran politician John Thrasher, former head of the Republican Party of Florida, wanted to develop golf resorts inside at least five state parks.
Never mind that Florida already has such a glut of courses that many have gone bankrupt. Never mind that others are struggling — and would've had to compete with these new ones.
The state senator from St. Augustine wanted more golf courses.
And he wanted his friend Jack Nicklaus to be the only one to design them.
I called Palmer, and his design company issued a statement saying that, although it likes the idea of using golf to promote tourism, "there are alternative options than using our state parks for 'new' golf course development."Stray Shots:
And even if the state did proceed, Palmer's company didn't think much of the state giving Nicklaus a monopoly, saying: "We also would hope that all the well-respected golf course architects who call Florida home are given an opportunity to bid on design …"
That statement was published late Friday morning. By Friday afternoon, the proposal was dead.
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