GOLF DIGEST ARTICLE: Tiger Woods ‘did a helluva job’ on Bluejack National, his first domestic course design
Instructor and former PGA Tour player Dave Stockton Jr. gave a clinic at the opening last week of Bluejack National, Tiger Woods’ first domestic course design, and returned with rave reviews.
“He did a helluva job with this design,” Stockton said on Thursday. “It did have the feel of Augusta National with the pine trees and elevation changes and the slopes. There were a limited number of bunkers and it’s not crazy with the bunkers around the greens.
“There’s no rough. The only way you’re losing a ball is if you hit it in the water. You’re not going to be searching or hunting for balls, so rounds will go quicker. It’s got a heckuva buzz and I can see why.”
Stockton said there are four scorecards, beginning with the Tiger tees, “which is as long as you want.” There are members tees, ladies tees and even kids tees, he said. “People are going to love it.”
Though the golf course is the centerpiece of the private development in Montgomery, Texas, outside Houston, it is only one of the attractions, and attractive qualities, at Bluejack National.
“It’s really impressive,” Stockton said. “There is a relaxed feel. If you want to wear jeans, fine. You want to wear your shirt untucked, fine. Look at golf today. Why is the game struggling to find new people to come play? Maybe they don’t want to get dressed up. Today’s kids, and some adults, want a little more relaxed attitude.”
Bluejack National also features a 10-hole practice course, with holes ranging from 35 to 110 yards. That ought to appeal to kids, but it will have competition. A miniature Fenway Park is being built for Wiffle ball games. Renowned skateboarder Eric Koston is designing a skate park. There is a zip line. And tree houses in which to spend nights.
“The concept of the whole club and what they’re doing is truly special,” Stockton said. “It has a great relaxed feel being there, a family feel, where there’s something for everyone.”
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Dozens of eager Texas golfers got their introductory playing test of Tiger Woods’ first U.S. design Thursday at the official member opening.
While the designer himself was unable to attend due to recent back surgery, those that played Bluejack National expressed satisfaction with the gentle rolling Southeast Texas layout dotted with dozens of mature trees, located 45 minutes from downtown Houston.
“For this day to finally come is very exciting,” said Bryon Bell, President of Tiger Woods Design. “It’s really important for this course to finally be open, and the real payoff is to hear the members talking positively about it.”
Nearly 100 members were on the grounds at Bluejack, which had a seven-hole loop open for the initial play, with the full course expected be ready by early 2016.
Former PGA Champion Dave Stockton and his son Dave Jr. gave a clinic on the large driving range, while members and guests took several turns on the layout that Woods worked on with former Tom Fazio associate Beau Welling.
“Sometimes architects give lip service to a playable, walkable course, but that’s what we did here,” Welling said. “We want people to enjoy the game and walk the course and that is what is happening. People said golf takes too long, but if it’s fun, people will do it for a long time.”
The first player to challenge the course was former President George W. Bush, who played with his good friend and land developer Michael Abbott in a special Monday preview round. Bush took advantage of the friendly conditions, covering the 7-hole loop in 40 minutes.
Early Thursday morning, Bell called Woods at his home in Jupiter, Fla., to tell him members were getting a chance to play his first American course and promising to take plenty of photos for an expected Woods return here in 2016.
“This course will define a new Tiger Woods,” Abbott said. “When people see this course and what has been created, they will not only think of the golfer with 80 victories, but a skillful architect as well.”
Abbott first walked on the land, site of the old Blaketree National course, in June 2013 and said he was gratified to see members enjoy the new golfing creation.
“We couldn’t be more proud,” Bluejack President Casey Paulson said. “To see it come from a piece of paper to a completed course is a great day.”
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Written by Paul Takahashi – Reporter for Houston Business Journal
A luxury homebuilder is nearing completion of the first luxury homes in a new golf resort under construction north of Houston.
Tipler Design and Build LLC, began construction in May on 147 resort homes in Bluejack National, a new residential community anchored by the first championship golf course designed by Tiger Woods set to open in the U.S. The 755-acre development, at 4430 S. FM 1486 in Montgomery County, will offer a mix of hotel-style suites, cottages and patio home. The resort homes, which will feature smart home amenities, range in size from 1,200 to 3,300 square feet and in price from the mid-$400,000s to nearly $1.5 million.
Bluejack National developers Beacon Land Development and Lantern Asset Management, both based in Dallas, partnered with Tipler to build the resort homes, designed by Montana-based Nick Fullerton Architects. Bluejack National also will offer 234 estate lots for custom homes, which Tipler said can start immediately.
Tipler Design and Build, a custom homebuilder based in The Woodlands, is set to finish its first homes by the end of November and will begin construction on pre-sold homes toward the end of October.
“Our cottage products have sold really well,” said Justin Tipler, co-founder and managing partner of Tipler Design and Build LLC. “Pre-sales are strong. We’re actually ahead of plans.”
Although Tipler declined to share specific sales figures, he said Bluejack National’s resort homes have attracted buyers looking for a vacation home. Most of the buyers so far are from Houston — particularly within the 610 Loop — but there are buyers from as far away as Chicago and Milwaukee looking to snowbird in Houston.
“The people who are buying now tend to have multiple properties,” TIpler said. “We’re seeing a lot of the out-of-state folks come in and enjoy the Houston weather during certain times of the year.”
Bluejack National developers and homebuilders hope to attract both serious golfers and their families to the resort community. While golfers can enjoy Tiger Woods’ 18-hole championship golf course, their non-golfing family members and children can enjoy the resort’s amenities, which include a movie theater, zip line and a fishing dock.
“We have young professionals out of River Oaks who are looking for a weekend retreat,” Tipler said. “They want to drive their kids up here after school on a Friday night so they can forget about life’s pressures until Monday.”
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Hole No. 1 is a medium-length par-4, showcasing the property’s undulating topography with a majestic lake hugging the left side of the fairway and green. Hole No. 2 is a moderate-length par-5 with strategic fairway and greenside bunkering, surrounded by gorgeous stately pines. These opening holes offer an inviting balance of challenge, playability and fun.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”1710″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]
Hole No. 1 is a medium-length par-4
(Bluejack National / Aidan Bradley)
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”1711″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]
Hole No. 2 is a moderate-length par-5
(Bluejack National / Aidan Bradley)
Raised in Colorado Springs, CO, in the shadows of Pikes Peak and the Broadmoor Hotel, Matt Marino joins Bluejack National as Co-Head Golf Professional. Most recently, Marino served as an Associate Golf Professional at Colonial Country Club – home of the Crowne Plaza Invitational — in Fort Worth, TX, where he was in charge of the day-to-day golf operations.
Marino played golf for Whittier College and Citrus College in Southern California. Following his collegiate career, he moved to Las Vegas, NV, to caddie at Bear’s Best Golf Course. He returned to Denver, CO, to join the PGA of America and serve as the 1st Assistant for seven years at Columbine Country Club. Additionally, Marino spent one year as the 1st Assistant at The Club at Pradera in Parker, CO. He was elected to the PGA Membership as a Class A professional in November 2011.
Marino’s illustrious career is matched by his passion for the game, but his expertise as a club professional extends far beyond the golf course.
Golf Course Architecture magazine has been published quarterly for the last 10 years. Golf Course Architecture’s sister website is colorful, easy to navigate and full of legacy stories from previous issues of the magazine. The magazine explores golf design, development and renovation in depth, with feature stories that give accurate, consistent and articulate insights into golf course design. The in-house editorial staff and the industry’s most respected and authoritative sources provide editorial points-of-view. The magazine does a fine job of covering golf course architecture issues around the world from its UK base of operations.
We were absolutely delighted to host writer Adam Lawrence during his visit to Bluejack National, and he had a chance to not only walk the course but speak with members of our team about our vision for Bluejack National. We know you’ll enjoy reading Mr. Lawrence’s insightful article. Please click the cover image below for a downloadable/printable version of the GCA article in PDF format.
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