Tiger Woods' first golf course on hold in Carolinas

Tiger Woods' first golf course on hold in Carolinas

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by MICHELLE BOUDIN / NewsChannel 36

Bio | Email | Follow: @MichelleBoudin

WCNC.com

Posted on May 6, 2011 at 5:28 PM

ASHEVILLE, N.C. -- The Carolinas will eventually be home to Tiger Woods' first golf course, but construction is currently on hold at the Asheville development.

The Cliffs at High Carolina is having trouble selling homes in the upscale community.

Developer Jim Anthony showed NewsChannel 36 what will someday be a golf course on a mountaintop, 4,000 feet in the sky

"This is number 10 back behind us. Eighteen is over on the other side," he said.

The design is done. The land is prepped. But construction is on hold. Anthony said construction on the course ended in late November.

Woods unveiled plans for the Cliffs at High Carolina in August 2007. He greeted a crowd of prospective homeowners back then, saying, "We're looking forward to the golf course taking shape over the next couple of years."

The course was supposed to open this year, but Anthony says it won't open before late 2013.

"As golf course construction goes, this is the beginning," he said.

Woods and Anthony are partners in High Carolina. Anthony is a successful developer, responsible for eight luxurious Cliffs communities around the world. When we toured the High Carolina site with him this week, he admitted, things are a little off course.

"I'm not a very patient person and certainly we're working to get the construction back up in the summer and move ahead," said Anthony said. "I think frustration is a proper term."

The course with spectacular mountain views is supposed to be surrounded by spectacular, multimillion-dollar homes. We visited the first completed house there with Anthony more than a year ago. It is still the only home built. And of the 1,200 available lots, only three percent have sold.

"It's not where we'd like to be," Anthony said.

Like most developers in this recession, Anthony ran into money trouble, but in an unusual financing move, he went to the residents of his other Cliffs communities for cash.

"Over 500 of those property owners invested in the Cliffs and provided the working capital to complete the amenities," he said.

The Cliffs residents handed over a $65 million loan, and with it they got a little say-so about how the money is spent.

"The sales pace governs how fast we can spend that money and the sales pace in 2010 was not adequate for us to continue with two courses," Anthony said.

So, work stopped at High Carolina and instead continued on a different project.

Woods' other planned courses are also reportedly in trouble, meaning, despite the delays, High Carolina may be the first finished anywhere.

Anthony says he's forgiven Woods for the affairs that tarnished his image and believes most others have as well.

"The way I look at it is Tiger is still the number one name in golf," Anthony said.

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