Unfinished business: Gary Player home ready at Cliffs, but his golf course must wait

         With typical Cliffs Community fanfare, developer Jim Anthony and Gary Player announced in 2006 that not only would the legendary golfer design the golf course at The Cliffs in Mountain Park, but also that he would move his business and family to the South Carolina community.  Next month, Player's 8,000 square foot $5 million home at The Cliffs at Mountain Park will be completed -- at least two years before his course is.

         The course was initially slated to have been completed by now, but local environmental groups have thwarted progress.  To date, just three holes are built while Cliffs owner Jim Anthony and his lawyers try to negotiate a

Trout are holding up a Cliffs Communities golf course design by Gary Player, and threatening to do the same to Tiger Woods' course.

settlement with a range of environmental groups representing as many as 20,000 citizens.  The main issues center on the North Saluda River, over which Player's design would put 15 bridges for cart traffic -- and Anthony would build one more for resident traffic.  The local groups argue that there are better routings for the course that would not affect one of the few substantial trout habitats in the state.

         Golf course completion is now expected to be in 2011, assuming agreements are reached.

         Mountain Park is not the only environmental battle Anthony and The Cliffs face.  The developer's much-ballyhooed High Mountain project, where Tiger Woods is making his American design debut, is also being assailed by local groups for its plan to bury hundreds of feet of the headwaters of trout streams underground.  Some concerned citizens believe such an action will alter water quality downstream.

            Meanwhile, Gary Player and his family are undeterred by the local imbroglios and could spend the upcoming holidays in their new home.  Marc Player, son and CEO of his dad's company, led a local TV station on a tour of the almost-finished home a few weeks ago.  If you want a look, click here.



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