Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Mickelson designing N.C. course, too

Not only is Tiger Woods designing a golf course in the North Carolina mountains, so is Phil Mickelson.

If you’ve ever played golf in the North Carolina mountains, you understand the attraction.

For Mickelson, the course is named River Rock and will be located in Cashiers, the wealthy mountain enclave in the far western part of the state. Ground has not actually been broken on the course but Mickelson’s new company - Phil Mickelson Design - has already plotted the layout.

In fitting with Mickelson’s style, it will be dramatic and daring.

How long and how daring?

How about:

  • A 305-yard par-3. That’s right, par-3. The good news, at least according to topography maps and press releases, it will play 65 feet downhill to a green with a 180-degree view of the mountains. I’m not much with calculus but 305 yards, no matter how far downhill it is, seems a little extreme for a par-3.
  • The third hole will be a 343-yard driveable par-4. Yes, the release, says, it’s driveable - and not just for Phil. The fairway drops 104 feet from the tee. Imagine the cart ride from the tee to the fairway.
  • The fourth and 15th fairways will criss cross, a rare feature for the professionals but not terribly uncommon for the average hack who often plays from one fairway to another.
The course is near the top of a mountain but will have only a handful of uphill holes. However, it isn’t scheduled to open until 2010.

Mickelson is also helping design the residential master plan around the private River Rock course.


David McKnight said...

Though he's talking Smoky Mountain terrain, Mickelson should consider the amazing winding, wispy residential roadway loops of Peppercorn Lane and Belvedere Avenue in Charlotte, so he can have some houses with back yard verandas looking out on the fairway just like folks do in and around the Charlotte Country Club. That way, when Tiger drops in at tea time or tee time either one, he'll be able to make sure Lefty isn't leaving him smack up against a sandtrap.