Fourteen years after setting up his course design company, TGR Design, Tiger Woods officially opened his first US golf course that is open for public play.
The former world no.1 took part in an official unveiling ceremony at Payne’s Valley Golf Course at the Big Cedar Lodge Resort in Missouri on September 22, where he joined forces with fellow American Justin Thomas to win a match against Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose. Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player were also in attendance at the opening.
Woods founded TGR Design in 2006, but because of his busy playing schedule has only two completed two courses – the El Cardonal course at Diamante Cabo San Lucas in Mexico, and Bluejack National, a private course in Texas.
Named in honour of the late Payne Stewart, who grew up near to the course, Payne’s Valley is open to non-resort guests and has a green fee of $225.
“I couldn’t be prouder of how it turned out,” Woods said of the course before Tuesday’s match. “My goal when starting TGR Design was to create courses that are fun and playable for golfers of all abilities. This was particularly important at Payne’s Valley, my first public golf course. I want to see a lot of birdies made here.”
Woods added: “The green complexes at Payne’s Valley are a lot of fun,” Woods added. “The tightly mowed green surrounds promote creativity for the lower-handicap players and provide a variety of recovery options for the higher-handicap players. And the greens are simply contoured, allowing for firm-and-fast conditions.”
Payne’s Valley joins four existing courses at the Big Cedars Lodge resort. The others include Buffalo Ridge Springs, which was designed by Tom Fazio; Ozarks National, designed by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw; Mountain Top, a 13-hole course designed by Gary Player; and Top of the Rock, a par-3 course designed by Jack Nicklaus.