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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cliffs developer stands by his man

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Winter, spring, summer, or fall,

All you have to do is call,

And I'll be there, yes I will,

You've got a friend. -– James Taylor

 

        The sky above Tiger Woods turned dark and full of clouds this week. Mere hours after the former best golfer in the world finished tied for 44th at San Diego’s Torrey Pines, one of his favorite golf venues, the developers of the first Woods-designed golf course in the world, in Dubai, announced that project had been shelved.  Then on Tuesday, Brendan Steele, Woods’ playing partner for the final round in San Diego, told an online blogger that Tiger had given it less than his best effort on Sunday, and the insult went viral.  Say what you will, Tiger Woods is fiercely proud of his game, if not his reputation.  Tabloid revelations are one thing, but such open criticism about his golf game is a major slap -- and from a rookie, no less.  So much for the fear factor Tiger once inspired.

        People can be so cold, but Tiger may take some small comfort that he continues to attract the fierce loyalty of Cliffs Communities’ developer Jim Anthony, even if his statements of support for Woods have some scratching their heads.  Anthony told the Asheville (NC) Citizen-Times on Monday that construction on Woods’ first American golf design, The Cliffs at High Carolina, which was suspended in December, would recommence in April.  The problem is that Anthony’s chief of sales told Citizen-Times reporters a significantly different story.

        Sales Director Mac Triplett:  “We're looking at the pace of construction being tied into how sales are going.”

        Jim Anthony:  “That's not exactly correct.”

        Besides the embarrassment of a public disagreement with a member of your senior staff, Anthony’s prediction

His lenders and own sales director say construction of the Tiger Woods course is tied to property sales. The developer says they are not.

may come as news to the group of Cliffs residents who loaned him $60 million to complete a lush roster of promised amenities, including the Woods course.  The lending contract included language that would put the brakes on spending if real estate sales languished. 
         Since the High Carolina project has not sold a single property since August, according to the Citizen-Times, the lender group (called ClubCo) issued a letter in December saying that work would be stopped on the Woods golf course because sales were too slow to justify going ahead (at least for now).

        We wonder what has changed in a matter of weeks to make Anthony so optimistic about an April re-start.  Cliffs members might be wondering too.  When we reported on the letter here in December (click to read), one of the Cliffs members told us he believed High Carolina “an unnecessary addition to the Cliffs formula” and that "a split off of High Carolina [is] something I view as inevitable, and hopefully before it destroys value [in] the rest of the Cliffs.”  That from one of the lenders.

        While Jim Anthony is doing all he can to save face for his friend Tiger Woods, public kerfuffles will do little to influence potential buyers to plop down hundreds of thousands of dollars for a lot -- or to inspire his on-site benefactors with confidence in the investments they have made. 

Read 2843 times Last modified on Friday, 27 September 2013 11:29
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Larry Gavrich

This blog was conceived and is published by me, Larry Gavrich, a former corporate communications executive who founded HomeOnTheCourse, LLC, in 2005.  Our firm advises baby boomers and others seeking a lifestyle in which golf is a major component.  My wife Connie and I own a home in Connecticut (not on a golf course) and a condo at Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island, SC, on a Jack Nicklaus layout.  We began our search for our home on the course more than 15 years ago, and the challenges of the search inspired me to research golf communities and write objective reviews of them.

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