Enough with comparing Tiger Woods' new, unfinished Baja coast course to Pebble Beach
I’m not one of those bitter buffoons in the golf world who rip on everything that Tiger Woods does because they think it makes them counter cultural and edgy or something. I’m not one of those liberal loons who whines that Tiger should be making courses for inner city golfers all while they themselves are being promoted by huge money elitist websites such as the Huffington Post.
But with that said, Tiger Woods is making the kind of mistake with his new Punta Brava course that Tiger never makes.
He’s way overhyping it. This from the guy who always underplays everything. That’s been part of Tiger’s brilliance. When other lesser golfers (and every golfer who’s ever played is lesser to Tiger Woods) pat themselves on the back and try to play up their modest accomplishments into near legends, Tiger always goes completely the other way.
He downplays the knee that has him limping at Torrey Pines and pulls off the win in the greatest U.S. Open ever - while still being smart and aware enough to tell the drooling media fools that no, it doesn’t compare to Ben Hogan. Hogan was hit by a freaking Greyhound bus.
Tiger’s always understood that by not going too crazy over himself, he builds even more of an aura and gains more historical respect. But what he’s doing with his new golf course on the Baja coast of Mexico, the one that’s not even going to be completed for another three years?
He’s trying to brand it as Mexico’s Pebble Beach. He’s giving the type of 1-on-1 interviews he never gives at a swank Beverly Hills hotel (even if they five totally controlled minutes each, that’s still way more than Tiger usually does). He’s almost turning into just another salesman.
Obviously, a lot of this has to do with the fact that the owner that is paying him many, many, many, many crazy millions to design this $100 million course is trying to build buzz. But Mexico’s Pebble Beach? Before it’s even close to being much more than some nice land on the ocean?
Here’s a newsflash for the fawning sportswriters who’ve been dutifully repeating the Mexico’s Pebble Beach spin: the Baja coast already has some pretty damn spectacular ocean courses. Many of them are even public. Jack Nicklaus’ Cabo del Sol Ocean Course brings you awfully close to the surf. Cabo Real is almost just as good (though Palmilla’s 27 holes are overrated). And that’s just a few of the public golf courses in the Cabo corridor that have been around for years.
I go to Cabo at least once or twice every year for this job and my next trip is already set up for early this winter. I’ll probably try to make a side trip to see the Punta Brava site too. So I’ll be adding at least another story to the hype (though an honest one). But truth is, if you know golf in that part of Mexico and appreciate something unique, you might be more excited to see what Arthur Hills has done on a peninsula near the town of La Paz, a course that will actually open this year.
And one that regular resort guest golfers can play.
Mexico’s Pebble Beach? Three years early? Come on Tiger, you’re better than that type of hyperbole. You always have been.
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Just kidding, Chris (I just couldn't resist). I agree completely on this one, and kick myself for not heading to Cabo 8 years ago when I was invited down to write about the courses and resorts...You lucky bugger!
PS: Art Hills is a true golf course artist. I think I have loved every one of his courses that I have played. I can only imagine how great his La Paz track is going to be...
I too will be in Cabo early this winter trying to find a course or two to play on. I do like the Nicklaus course, Del Sol. Even the driving range is a spot that is really, really near heaven.
I agree it's way too early to compare an unbuilt course to a layout as magnificent as Pebble Beach (or Cypress Point, another course Tiger mentioned at his press conference). But I don't think Tiger is the one trumpeting such a statement — just because he's comparing some of Punta Brava's characteristics to Pebble Beach doesn't mean he's saying Punta Brava is as good or better. Obviously, developers might be suited to make such a boast in order to attract customers, but Tiger is respectful of the game and knows better than putting his design work on such a pedestal. After all, none of his three courses are even ready for public play yet.
Does Woods say anything about the course being challenging to the low-handicapper yet playable from numerous sets of forward tees for the high-handicapper?
Kiel...don't backtrack...tell it like it is...he doesn't need the alliterative when the a-hole (and the b and c and all the way to z) will suffice.
Let him tell it like he sees it. Why not? Aren't you media types always bitching that you don't get enough from him? If he pulls back and limits himself to less, then what will you write about...Oh, I know, Baldwin's dream girl, Miss Wie.
With that piece of land, it may well turn into CP or PB. Remember that Tiger comes by these prognosticating moments honestly; Earl did a pretty good job on his predictions, except maybe for the Tiger is JesusGandhi one.
you should know that the real name of the site for the proposed development is "Punta Banda" and not "Punta Brava". Does this piece of information remind you of something?? Also, I wanted to let you know that this project has created a lot of social stir here in Ensenada, because the project plans to remove more than 90% of the vegetation destroying a pristine ecosystem of coastal sage scrub and more than 25 archaeological sites in that area (of course, since the project is very exclusive, the rest of the people from Ensenada won’t have access to that cultural landscape anymore). You should also know that according to the Mexican Constitution foreigners are not entitled to have properties on coastal and border lands.
Finally, the area is located on top of a major active geological fault (Agua Blanca fault). Saludos from Ensenada, Baja California.
An important context point is that the land has not been a public holding since almost the Mexican Revolution and has been completely private since the 1960's. Mexico's Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) is overseeing the handling of every shrub on the place during the project. I'm unaware of 25 archeology sites but I do know of one cave that will be wholly protected.
I'm sure we'd all like a piece of such a beautiful place. Alas, even my access to the property will be removed at some point.
Yet I am confident that this project is the most environmentally responsible proposal to the property ever. It will become a new ecological standard for Baja California.
Do you understand the concept of Cultural Landscape? Heritage? Public Interest? It´s like building a golf course in Stone Henge, Yosemite, Big Sur or the Grand Canyon...
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