Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Norman Will Design Second TPC San Antonio Course

The PGA Tour announced this morning that Greg Norman has been selected to design the second golf course that is part of the TPC San Antonio project. Pete Dye is already at work on the first golf course, where the Texas Open is slated to move in 2010.

I'm excited about this. Norman is a very underrated designer. He builds big, bold golf courses with great shot values and great aesthetics. His TPC Sugarloaf hosts a PGA Tour event, and his course at Red Sky Golf Club in Colorado outshines the Tom Fazio course at the same venue. HIs two Tiburon courses in Naples, Fla., and the Doonbeg course in Ireland have also drawn much attention. Texas golfers know Norman through is Meadowbrook Farms in Katy.

Personally, I would have preferred the team of Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore - as would have the PGA Tour, according to rumors. Those rumors had it that Crenshaw & Coore wanted the project and were in talks with the tour early in the TPC San Antonio process, but just couldn't find a way to add the project to their schedule.

If true, Greg Norman is a very good second choice. Jack Nicklaus or Tom Fazio would have brought bigger buzz, but Norman might just turn out the better golf course. Kudos to the Tour for not picking someone "safe."

From the Tour's announcement:

“I am excited about pooling the collective resources of Marriott, Lumbermen’s, Pete Dye and the TPC Network to create an unmatched resort destination,” Norman said. “I am confident that this golf course will positively reflect on the rich history and distinct character of San Antonio.”

The world-class golf resort, which will feature a 1,000-room JW Marriott Resort, will be located north of downtown San Antonio on a 2,855-acre tractowned by Lumbermen’s. Marriott will develop and manage the resort and will retain PGA
TOUR Golf Course Properties to operate the golf facilities.

“Greg Norman has established an outstanding reputation in the golf course design industry, which we’ve experienced first-hand through his course at the TPC at Sugarloaf,” said Vernon Kelly, President of PGA TOUR Golf CourseProperties, referencing the annual home of the TOUR’s BellSouth Classic near Atlanta. “Not only has Greg designed premier courses throughout the world, his dedication and passion for creating environmentally sensitive golf courses made him an absolutely perfect fit for this project.”

Headquartered in Jupiter, FL, Greg Norman Golf Course Design has opened nearly 50 courses worldwide and has another 20 projects under development. Since
establishing the company in 1987 in his home country of Australia, Norman has
become known as a champion for environmental stewardship in golf course design
and construction.

Norman serves as a Board of Trustee member for The Environmental Institute for Golf and chairs its Advisory Council. ...

“I begin each new project with a least-disturbance approach so as to maximize the natural features and incorporate them into the routing,” Norman added. “This course will utilize the natural hill country topography and indigenous flora to strengthen the environmental balance in the landscape.”

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