TIGER WOODS PLANNED GOLF RESORT
Here is the general Release on October
Tiger Woods Golf Course to be Built in Baja California
By Brian Flock
· Woods’ Punta Brava course poised for private golf and ocean club community
Baja California Threatened by Resort Development
Terms: Partner Press Release
From members of the community of Ensenada
For Immediate Release
April 22, 2009
Tiger Woods' golf resort would destroy one of Baja California's most Fragile Environmental and Cultural
Texas billionaire McCombs 'discovers' pristine and endangered habitat; plans exclusive golf course and
resort catering to foreign millionaires.
Punta Banda is the point located on the tip of Ensenada Bay, Baja California, Mexico. It is one of the last
remaining areas of endangered maritime coastal scrub habitat and the site of countless prehistoric and
historic archeological sites. This spectacular landscape-often compared to California's Big Sur-boasts sea
bluffs, caves, coastal terraces and wondrous tide pools creating a unique coastal environment in the region.
Its cultural and archeological significance has been documented by the international scientific community
and Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), and visits to the site have long been a
tradition for local and foreign peoples alike.
The beauty of this site has attracted Texas billionaire B.J. "Red" McCombs, who ironically hopes to
dynamite the area and create an exclusive golf course and resort. Prices for these homes range from 3 to
10 million dollars; helicopter flights will allow the elite clientele to take a short ride from San Diego to the
resort. Infrastructure needs for the golf course include copious amounts of water which are unavailable in
this arid region. The project foresees a desalination plant which will discharge huge quantities of salt sludge
directly into the bay. This brine has the potential of affecting water quality and the whole marine ecosystem.
"The hundreds of acres that would be devastated by the impact of this development belong to an ancient
cultural landscape that has attracted people for thousands of years," explained Ensenada anthropologist
Michael Wilken. "There may be evidence of the earliest entry of humans into the Americas, and certainly of
thousands of years of human history. There may be sacred sites that should be respected or complexes of
Kumiai Indian villages. However if only a token amount of "salvage" archaeology is carried out, we stand to
lose priceless and irreplaceable knowledge about the shared cultural heritage of the Californias."
McCombs has a history of siting projects in pristine areas which have lead to opposition and litigation; one
example is Wolf Creek in Colorado, where permitting processes have been successfully stalled by local
communities . In the case of Punta Banda McCombs is relying on the reputation and stature of international
golf celebrity Tiger Woods to promote the development. However possible losses of the cultural heritage at
the site, as well as the environmental fragility are major issues, and have provoked strong resistance from
the Ensenada community, which is keeping a close eye on the permitting process.
At recent public hearings related to the project, local scientists, community members and activists pointed
out numerous glaring flaws and inconsistencies in the environmental impact report presented by the
promoters, leading the government's Environmental Secretariat (SEMARNAT) to request additional
information. While Punta Banda is known for its archeological significance, the INAH, the federal agency in
charge of all cultural and historic preservation in Mexico, has shown little interest in sites without pyramids
or monumental architecture, granting developers quick, low cost permits with minimal mitigation. A project
of similar dimensions in the developers' own country could easily take years and millions of dollars to
complete; in this case it is not yet clear what plans the INAH's federal bureaucracy has for its archeological
"salvage" project. Although the Mexican Constitution guarantees the right of Mexican citizens to direct
access to the coast, local residents have been alarmed to find that the area has been fenced off, denying all
access. Additionally local residents have pointed out that municipal land use ordinances for the area do not
allow the construction of this type of development in this fragile zone, and yet the permitting process
Local community leaders, scientists, residents and activists fear the loss of cultural and natural heritage at
Punta Banda. The resort as planned would destroy acres of archeological sites as well as fragile coastal
and marine ecosystems home to sea lions, harbor seals and peregrine falcons. This week Tiger Woods will
be receiving over 200 letters and petitions written by local residents and organizations. The community is
calling on Tiger Woods to withdraw his support of this project, to consider the enormous value of the area
for future generations and to collaborate in the creation of a nature preserve which would protect the
archeological sites and ecological integrity but also allow for appropriate public use and enjoyment of the
area, including hiking in the area's spectacular landscapes, exploring caves, kayaking, rappelling,
sightseeing and scientific research in this rich biodiversity area. "This area must be protected not only for
Mexican citizens but for the whole world to benefit from its magnificent landscapes, wildlife and cultural
heritage" said Mercedes Armendariz, local resident of Punta Banda.
For more information, contact:
Carlos Lazcano 52 1 (646) 175 9038
Moises Santos Mena 52 1 (646) 148 9907
Gabriel Camacho Jimenez 52 1 (646) 161 4158
Fernando Ochoa Pineda 52 1 (646) 171 5348
Claudia Leyva Aguilera 52 1 (646) 136 9161
in San Diego
Aida Navarro (619) 261 2060
Mike Wilken (619) 578 3149
I thougt this warranted an update:
Obviously as of 01/01/10 a lot has changed in Tiger Woods life. I used to make a
joke when driving in Ensenada "Look there is Tiger Woods girl friend". My wife
thought it was funny. Who knew? Although this is definately a set back to the
I recently met the man who owns the property. He assured me the project is still
going forward. Tiger Woods is only designing the course. He reminded me that
there was still a good deal of interest and they are raising money to finish the
I have tried to put this in perspective. This was exciting when it was announced
and for a month after that it was all anyone talked about. For the locals it was great
gossip and it prompted us to started saying things like "look there goes Tiger
Woods" or "Tiger Woods ate dinner there" as a joke. He was seen even when he
was nowhere near the area.
Since I have been asked about this project I put together this collage of information.
I make no judgments or suggestions as to whether in this economy they will
actually build this course, but so far it is starting to look like the Donald Trump
Project to me. If you have driven down to Ensenada you have seen it north of
Rosarito. It started as a big pile of dirt, a sign with Donald Trumps picture and is
still a big pile of dirt. Un the mean time, US Citizens were taken by other US
Citizens. Mexico had nothing to do with it. In the case of this proposed resort, last I
looked at the area, there was a road and a boat launch, but I admit that was a
couple of months ago. I promised to look again to see if they have done anything
else at this point.
This is a good place to point out just how many projects are talked about in the
Baja, but never come to pass. So pretend I am from Missouri, show me. I have a
saying, never buy anything in the Baja you cannot kick the tires. In other words,
don't ever buy what has yet to be built! So keep in mind the pictures you see on the
right are plans and projections not actual buildings.
In that spirit, I have given you three articles.
1) The first is the general release, October 7, 2008.
2) Another view of the general release, October 18, 2008.
3) The Second is drawings, plans, and more info, March 30, 2009.
4) The final article is about environmentalists opposing the resort, April 22, 2009.
Lot's of noise and information, but no Golf Course yet. I promise to update you on
this project soon.
Tiger Woods' new golf resort in Mexico taps local architectural talent
Punta Brava's terraced residential enclaves mirror the geology around them.
Courtesy Punta Brava
If Tiger Woods continues to be plagued by injuries, he could always fall back on
his real estate career. He recently unveiled plans for a huge, $100 million
residential development helmed by top Mexican architects just south of
Punta Brava (which means “wild point”) will open in 2011 with villas, casitas and
a private club tucked into a dramatic, 264-acre coastal setting that includes a
1,200-foot peak and ragged sea cliffs. The project, developed by the Flagship
Group, is also backed by former NFL and NBA owner Red McCombs.
The project brings together three notable Mexican firms: project architects
Legorreta + Legorreta, ABAX Architecture, and A5 arquitectura. Alejandro
Bernardi, an architect with the firm A5, noted that the challenge was striking the
right balance between the heritage details found in Mexican architecture and a
more contemporary environment.
The villa complexes are set within the area's rugged coastal terrain.
“The merger of traditional Mexican craftsmanship or ‘artesania’ as we call it,
with the modern needs of architectural function, has an amazing result,” he
said. This look, he added, is achieved by transposing materials like traditional
terra cotta with more contemporary exposed concrete, and recreating traditional
Mexican wood details like lattice, shades, and shutters with modern lines.
On October 7, 2008 at the Bel-Air Hotel in Beverly Hills, Tiger Woods announced his third golf course design
project worldwide, and his first ocean front course ever – "Punta Brava," in Baja California, Mexico.
According to the announcement, Punta Brava is uniquely positioned in the region to bring together “a powerful
combination of land, sea and sky with a leading team of designers, businessmen and athletes to create a
private golf and ocean club community that rivals any in the world.”
Not far south of Ensenada and set on a secluded peninsula stretching seven miles into the Pacific Ocean,
Punta Brava is surrounded on three sides by rugged coastline and on the fourth by a 1,200-foot mountain
peak, creating a virtual island experience that has been millions of years in the making. As announced, Punta
Brava is expected to make an important imprint on the face of Baja California for generations to come.
A visit to the nearly 350-acre site in July 2006 was all it took to convince The Flagship Group’s co-founder
Brian Tucker that it was the right place for Punta Brava before approaching Tiger with the concept. The
project’s current land holdings include four miles of coastline; designs for 17 holes with tees or greens on the
oceanfront; ocean views from every single tee, green and fairway; and eight shots over water, something
unseen elsewhere in the world. Tiger Woods has placed the final three holes along the ocean, creating a
dramatic finish to the course.
The location’s prime real estate has been reserved for the golf course; no houses are located between the
course and the ocean. Low-density housing further ensures preservation of the unique ecology and
topography, and offers exclusivity for the residents. Natural features of the location include dozens of coves,
arch rock formations, islands, and over 1,200 linear feet of sea caves extending several miles underground.
Tiger Woods’ oversight of Punta Brava will be broken down into three phases, lasting until after the
completion of course: 1) concept development and planning; 2) concept refinement and construction design;
and 3) design oversight during construction. In contrast to more simple branding models, this requires Tiger
Woods to maintain a constant connection with the project.
Details such as fairway shaping, green contours and bunker detailing are managed, and follow-up inspections
ensure the quality of the course maturation. (Tiger is so hands-on with his projects that he spent the entire
day onsite with an injured knee, in June, a week after winning the 2008 US Open in a tie-breaker round.)
Punta Brava will offer a range of exclusive ownership opportunities, including:
· 40 estate sites ranging in size from .75 acres to 3 acres, priced between $3 million and $12 million;
· 30 individual-own villa residences (4,500 to 7,000 square feet), priced from $3.5 to $6.5 million;
· 60 partnership villas (4,500 to 6,500 square feet), with prices starting at $1.7 million;
· A private hotel with 20 villas, each with its own pool, available only to members and their guests;
· A clubhouse, an ocean club, a wellness spa, and multiple dining venues.
This offering is much differentiated from the standard Baja California real estate fare targeted towards Middle
America, and it is indicative of the very exclusive and private nature of the development.
Residential and commercial services are already addressed in The Flagship Group’s development plan. An
operational desalinization plant has been constructed, with others to be built on existing well sites.
Telecommunications systems will be managed onsite, including satellite feeds. The project will also have
sustainable sources of power.
Capital for the project is provided by The Flagship Group cofounder Red McCombs, who is currently listed in
the Forbes 400 of wealthiest Americans. About 200 local jobs will be created during construction, and
another 150 will be employed by Punta Brava in the long term.
Members and guests will utilize the project’s McDonnell Douglas MD-900 twin-engine helicopter for shuttling
residents from San Diego or the Ensenada military airport, making road transportation largely inconsequential
to the project. (Blogs by local Baja California residents have noted sightings of this mysterious, black airship
over the skies for the past several months.)
Additionally, the project will offer short-term anchoring in Todos Santos Bay for yachts and high-speed
tenders in an onsite marina. These tenders will shuttle residents to and from their yachts or the Ensenada
harbors eight miles across Todos Santos Bay. Although Punta Brava is accessible by air, land, and sea,
most members are expected to arrive in private jets, helicopters or yachts.
Tiger Woods To Design Northern Baja Golf Course
Posted on October 18, 2008
Tiger Woods, the best golfer ever, is getting into the golf course design business.
Maybe this bad knee of his is worse than reported and he sees his playing days coming to a close. Many of
golf’s greats have become designers, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Greg Norman being three of the
biggest that come to mind. I remember about 15 years ago when Nicklaus had plans to build a new course
just outside the small town of Tepoztlan, south of Mexico City. Tepoztlan is a very spiritual place with a long
pre-Hispanic history and the birthplace of revoltionary hero Emiliano Zapata. Many local people still speak
Nuhuatl and they didn’t like the idea of old Jack coming in and messing with their sacred land, even though
the earth moving equipment was in place and ready to roll. Wisely, Jack pulled out and the course was never
built, and had it been I doubt that it would still be there today. You don’t mess with the ancestors of Zapata.
So now Tiger wants to build a course and a multi-million dollar home development in Punta Banda, down on
the peninsula south of Ensenada where the famous blow-hole is. I damn near drowned there one time during a
winter storm when a rogue wave swept me off the rocks and sucked me out to see in dead winter when the
water temp was about 58 degrees. It took me 1 1/2 hours of swimming against the current before a guy in a
Zodiac miraculously came and pulled me out, surely saving my life. I couldn’t swim straight in because the
huge waves and the rocks would have killed me for sure. So I know something about the area. And I tell you it
is stunning just the way it is. A big green golf course is not what it needs and these plans need to be
I have adapted to the idea that from the border to Ensenada will all be built on one day, but south of there
needs to be preserved. And now with the world economic crisis in the mix I’m not sure the timing is right
anyway. This could easily be one the those relics that get half built when the money disappears for one
reason or another, but the environmental damage would be done. I don’t imagine that Tiger’s own money is
financing the project, but whoever it is must be savvy enough to know that Northern Baja has some security
problems these days and with a few trillion dollars lost in the stock market crash, the demand may no longer
be there for this millionaire’s-club retreat.
My advice to Tiger: go buy a Caribbean island closer to your Florida home and build whatever you want there.
Leave Punta Banda as it is. Please.
The complex includes 39 estate lots ranging from 3/4 to 3 acres, 99 villa residences from 4,500 to 7,000
square feet, and 14 club casitas for the guests of residents. Residences are perched on the vertical terrain of
the site, appearing to slide out of the hillsides in layers. With stonework that matches existing rock and
landscaping with native plants, the designs are intended to ease the transition from natural to man-made
the use of native plants helps blend the estates into the landscape.
The boundaries between indoor and outdoor will be blurred with showers open to the elements, and walls that
disappear for ocean views. Rooftops planted with indigenous plants will create usable green terraces for the
residences above, and thick stone walls will help with energy efficiency. Sustainable development here
extends to more than just desert flora: Punta Brava will be completely independent from the Ensenada water
grid, using an on-site desalinization plant and reusing all wastewater.
Hopefully the investors’ finances are sounder than Donald Trump’s, whose own Baja golf resort has recently
gone bankrupt, causing would-be investors to sue. Woods’ future off the course appears more secure, and not
just south of the border. In addition to Punta Brava, the renowned golfer has started investing in luxury
development projects throughout the U.S., as well as in places like Dubai.
Oh, and the golf course, designed by Woods himself, will be nice, too. Each hole of the 70-par course has a
view of the ocean, including eight shots that require driving the ball over the bay.
More to come. Remember, never buy anything in Mexico that you can not see and touch.