Tiger Woods is on the up. Well, at least as a course designer.
Bluejack National, a Woods design located about an hour north of Houston, is “right on pace” to open in November of this year, says the architect himself. Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw originally worked on the plot of land as their first design, after being enlisted by oil tycoon Thomas W. Blake. Blake would finish the design himself, but died shortly before the course opened in 2001 as Blaketree National. The course has been closed since 2005. Woods announced in April 2014 that his design group would build an 18-hole course atop the existing design, though Woods and his team are hardly working with untouched land.
In a new video, Woods talks about the design progress and touches on his goals for the course and surrounding community. Check out the video below—but first, here are four things you should know about Bluejack National.
The par-72, 18-hole course is only Woods’ second complete 18-hole design
Woods has been heavily involved in the design business for years, but many of his projects have hit financial roadblocks (Dubai, North Carolina, among others). And while Bluejack National will be his first completed course in the U.S., only one of Woods’ international designs has come to fruition—the recently opened El Cardonal at Diamante in Cabo San Lucas. But if El Cardonal is any indication, Tiger is off to a roaring start.
As of now, Bluejack National isn’t completely done, but Woods has said that, “at this stage, we’re pretty much final.”
You won’t lose (m)any balls at Bluejack National
Woods said, “the course will be more open. But more than anything, it’s very playable. One of the neat things about playing Augusta National is that you never lose a golf ball. You may lose one in Rae’s Creek, but the vegetation has all been dug out. We’re trying to do the same thing here so that you can play one ball all the way around.
“Obviously there are some big lakes, so stay out of the lakes. But if you hit your ball in the trees you should be able to find it. Not too many courses are like that any more. Some of the older courses are like that, and we’re trying to have that older feel here.”
Photos and video of the course reveal the Augusta-like features Woods is talking about. Bluejack National, however, won't be nearly as green as Augusta.
The course will play hard, flat and fast
Water conservation seems to be a key concern for Woods’ design and maintenance team. He noted that the greens are designed to play hard and fast and to remain healthy even though they'll be watered at a minimum. “There are some easier chipping areas around the greens. The whole idea is to make it play fast, and give you a lot of options. We want these greens running really quick.”
Bluejack National will be a family-oriented community
In addition to the 18-hole course is “The Playgrounds,” a nine-hole short course designed for use by the whole family. A learning center is also being built, and according to Woods, “the amenities are going to be second to none.” See below for a rendering of the “cottages” at Bluejack, and click here for a look at the “Master Plan.”