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."
Kassab adds that Orlando will also likely lose its exclusive hold on the Tavistock Cup, a two-day exhibition in which Woods and other top players compete.
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.
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.
Phi Mickelson adds Bay Hill to step up Masters preparation It’s true that Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson plan their seasons with the goal of peaking four times for the four majors. In the past, Mickelson has chosen to play fewer events in the buildup to the Masters, but after struggling since finishing second at Torrey Pines in January, Mickelson added next week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational in Bay Hill to his schedule, according to ESPN UK.
"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."
Palmer helps put kibosh on Jack Nicklaus Golf Trail Scott Maxwell of The Orlando Sentinel reported on a funny piece of Florida state legislation last week: A state senator proposed that Florida build golf courses in its state parks, and included a clause that the golf courses could only be built by Jack Nicklaus. Maxwell said the proposal was so ridiculous he almost couldn’t believe it.
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.
Cooler heads ultimately prevailed, including one of the coolest of all, Arnold Palmer, whose playing rivalry with Nicklaus has morphed into a course design rivalry over the years. Maxwell said that Palmer’s criticism of the bill might have been the fatal blow.
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."
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.
Point scored for Palmer in his design rivalry with Nicklaus, which has provided some fun stories over the years. In one story, Nicklaus and Palmer are arguing over the design of a course they are building together. At one point, Palmer asks someone on Nicklaus’ team, “Who’s buried in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier?” When the guy can’t answer, Palmer says, “Go ask Jack. He knows everything.” In another story, Nicklaus is on a plane and notices a golf course below. He likes the design and asks an associate who designed it. The associate tells Jack that it is a Palmer course, and Nicklaus says, “Has Arnie seen it?” Stray Shots: Things we saw while breaking out our Lake Nona blue shirts for the Tavistock Cup…
Jeff Overton and Anthony Kim completed their first-out round at Doral on Sunday in 2 hours and 6 minutes 2 hours and 40 minutes. Kim finished the tournament at 6-over and Overton was DFL at 10-over. (Via CBS Sports)
Despite what you may have read, Rory McIlroy said that he did not buy a $2 million car. (Via The Belfast Telegraph)
A golfer was shot and killed on the 17th tee of the Deerfield County Club in Florida’s Palm Beach County during an armed robbery by two masked gunmen. (Via The New York Times)