|The Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai may not have company from Tiger Woods Dubai, after all. (Stuart Adams/WorldGolf.com)|
As the world economy has teetered on the brink of extinction these last 12 months, there has always been one thing out there that made it seem like it was all a passing fancy - Tiger Woods was doing just fine.
The world's best golfer had spent the economic downturn dutifully repairing his injured knee while advancing the omnipotent Tiger Woods brand. Sure, maybe you had lost your job, but as long as Tiger was doing fine, there was obviously an end in sight.
But the soothing knowledge that all was well in Tigerland was shattered recently, as we all realized that even Woods isn't immune to this economic crisis. Yes, sources from Dubai have recently let out the news that Woods' first golf-course design - Tiger Woods Dubai - will be delayed indefinitely.
Now, you can look at the stock market as an economic predictor. You can look at the price of durable goods or commodities. You can research the price of oil and the unemployment rate. But nothing - I repeat, nothing - gives you a better read on future economic events than seeing a deal for a hyper-luxury golf heaven involving Dubai and Tiger Woods fall apart.
My friends, let me say this as calmly as possible: Take all your money out of the banks and head to the hills. We're officially 11 minutes from seeing the entire world meltdown into a Mad Max-like anarchy where only hot dudes on motorcycles prosper.
Don't get me wrong, I hate being hyperbolic. I'm a take-it-as-it comes kinda guy. But seeing Tiger's golf mecca fall under financial pressures is just too big to ignore.
This was to be the first golf course Woods ever designed. This was to be the super-luxurious Tiger Woods we all knew would one day come. Sure, we knew we'd never get to play it, but that's to be expected. Tiger Woods is not for the masses and his golf courses should be the same.
And not only was this to be Tiger's first design, it was to be a "Caligula's Ultimate Dream Golf Facility." Not just a golf course, but a community of opulence was supposed to surround it - 22 palaces, 75 mansions, 100 luxury villas and a high-end hotel.
But now, that dream appears to be over. At best, construction of the course will be delayed at least until next year, if not indefinitely.
"The difficulties, like those affecting 99 percent of the developments in Dubai, are due to the current economic unpredictability," a source with knowledge of the project's progress told the UK's Guardian newspaper. "There could be a thousand different reasons [for the problems] such as people deferring on their payments."
Now it appears Tiger Woods' first course design project will be at The Cliffs in High Carolina. It should be nice enough. After all, you won't really have a chance to play it, either.
But let's be honest, it's no Dubai. In fact, Cliff's owner Jim Anthony, who wooed Woods, has yet to even mention if he planned to build any palaces near the golfer's new course.
But this does nothing to tamp down the truth of the matter - we're all screwed. Because wasn't it just a year ago that Tiger Woods earned $12 million or so just for getting out of bed? And wasn't it only a year ago that Dubai was building everything out of gold and diamonds, to hell with the cost?
Those days are now gone. Today, even Tiger Woods and Dubai are having money problems. So find yourself a refrigerator box that fits your whole family. Because if Tiger and Dubai can't build a golf course surrounded by 22 palaces and 75 mansions, there is just no hope for the rest of us.
June 19, 2009
William K. Wolfrum keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation. You can follow him on Twitter @Wolfrum.
I've been slumming it out on cheap public courses my entire life. At one point, aren't I entitled as a lifelong golfer to finally enjoy the fruits of my suffering on a well conditioned, thoughtfully designed private course from one of the game's premier architects?
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