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Site originally expected to host Tiger Woods first golf course design now on sale for $19M

A 550-acre swath of land in Swannanoa, once the site of Tiger Woods’ first planned North American golf course, is up for sale for $19 million. It’s the second time the property has hit the real estate market after plans to develop the site fell apart in the late 2000s.

The property, located 17 miles east of Asheville, has had two owners since Woods visited in 2007. The whole 800-acre site sold in 2019 for $15.3 million, according to Citizen Times reporting. The 400 Spring Mountain Road property is tax-appraised at $2.3 million and is currently owned by the South Carolina-based New Fort LLC.

Former owner David Straus told the Citizen Times in 2019 the property was sold that year for $15.3 million due to expenses and a lack of interest in the land.

“We didn’t really want the property anymore and there were a lot of expenses involved in it,” Straus told the Citizen Times in July 2019. “At that point, the house we had on it we would use to vacation on it had been torn down to make way for the golf course. It really didn’t have the kind of value to us anymore that we wanted, so we had been trying to sell it for a number of years.”

The site had been previously listed for $24 million in 2016.

Tiger Woods of the United States plays his shot on the first tee during the first round of the PNC Championship at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club on December 16, 2023, in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Mike Mulholland/Getty Images)

The listing for the property notes the 6-acre private lake and deep wells located on the property, which has elevations as high as 4,300 feet. The property is being listed by the Asheville-based Altamont Property Group.

While Woods has made no mention of involvement in the property in recent years, the listing notes that “past development and golf course plans” are still on file. The listing also indicates the presence of white-tailed deer, turkey, foxes and black bears, with the site possessing “significant conservation value.”

Straus financed a deal to develop the property in 2007, under a deed to The Cliffs. The Cliffs make up seven private luxury communities owned by South Street Partners, a development company based out of Charlotte and Charleston, South Carolina. The project would’ve led to the development of nearly 1,000 new luxury homes in a development dubbed “The Cliffs at High Carolina.”

In 2007, Woods said he would visit Fairview “as much as I can” to see the project through to completion. The project’s late 2000s demise coincided with Woods battling a series of injuries and coverage of a high-profile infidelity scandal.

Other golf legends have built courses in the area, while another planned course fell through due to financing problems and a criminal scheme.

The Arnold Palmer-designed Seven Falls course in Etowah came apart in the late 2000s. The site developer Keith Arthur Vinson was later sentenced 18 to years in prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud, conspiracy to defraud the United States, misapplication of bank funds, wire fraud and money laundering in a complex financial scheme.

Golf course designer Tom Fazio designed a course at Bright’s Creek in Polk and Henderson Counties. A Henderson County home designed by Tom Fazio hit the housing market in October, listing at 7.7 million.

Woods has since designed a handful of courses, and his golf course design firm, TGR Design, announced in 2023 that it would construct a golf course in Park City, Utah, at Marcella Club. It’s the first mountain design for Woods and will be the fourth golf course to bear his name, including Bluejack National in Houston, El Cardonal at Diamante in Cabo and Payne’s Valley in Hollister, Missouri.

Will Hofmann is the Growth and Development Reporter for the Asheville Citizen Times, part of the USA Today Network. 

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