January 31, 2011
Oh, it was supposed to be such an amazing destination, such a place of wonder and majesty. And like so much else built on sand, Tiger Woods' planned Dubai golf resort is falling apart and fading away.
Golf Digest's Ron Sirak notes that the Al Ruwaya project, Woods' first, is officially "on hold," but notes that watering has stopped at the resort. After Woods plays in the Omega Dubai Desert Classic next week, the project will "return to sand." I'm no golf course designer, but that doesn't sound good.
"It's been put on hold for right now. A lot of projects are out there," Woods told the Associated Press at Torrey Pines. "It's still there. We've got six completed holes and a few that were about to be grassed before construction was halted. Everything is on hold."
The Al Ruwaya was supposed to have a full 18 holes, as well as 100 villas, 75 mansions, 22 palaces, a boutique hotel, a golf academy and a 139,000-square-foot clubhouse. Work started in 2007 and it was supposed to be done in September 2009. You'll note that deadline has slightly passed.
This is already being cast as yet another blemish on Woods' reputation, but that's not just unfair, it's flat-out wrong. The resort was vacuumed up by the same real estate/credit crunch sinkhole that's consumed so many other Dubai projects. Not even the pre-hydrant Tiger could have bested the global economic collapse ... though he probably could have taken it to a playoff.
Tiger's Dubai Project [Golf Digest]