Ex-Tiger Woods golf course, luxury housing site sold for $15.3 million


SWANNANOA — A nearly 800-acre Swannanoa, Virginia, property that once was the intended site of a luxury housing community and a Tiger Woods-designed golf course has changed hands, but future development plans there remain unclear.

The property was slated to be part of The Cliffs at High Carolina, a neighborhood project featuring about 1,000 luxury homes and what would have been the first U.S. golf course designed by Woods straddling parts of the Fairview and Swannanoa communities. It was sold in April by David Straus of Straus Family LLC for about $15.3 million.

Straus said a South Carolina-based group under the name New Fort LLC approached him to purchase the property a year ago. It had been on the market at least the past three years, listed for sale at $24 million in 2016.

“We didn’t really want the property anymore and there were a lot of expenses involved in it,” Straus told the Citizen Times on July 9. “At that point, the house we had on it we would use to vacation on it had been torn down to make way for the golf course. It really didn’t have the kind of value to us anymore that we wanted, so we had been trying to sell it for a number of years.”

Not much has been publicly shared about the buyer, New Fort, a limited liability company whose registered agent is listed as Greenwood, South Carolina, attorney Douglas L. Bell. Reached by email this week, Bell said he had reached out to his client for comment.

Straus added a New Fort representative said, “in essence, he had no comment at this time.” He noted he signed a nondisclosure agreement with New Fort while in the negotiation process for the land.

It is also unclear what, if any, involvement the 15-time major winner Woods might have in future iterations of the property. The distinction of the first U.S.-based Woods-designed course now belongs to Bluejack National, a private course located within a housing community in Montgomery, Texas. It opened in April 2016.

But Woods’ likeness was prominently featured in a past advertising campaign for High Carolina, similar to other Cliffs properties which have golf courses designed by prominent figures such as Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.

Representatives for Woods and his golf course design company, TGR Design, did not respond to requests for comment.

In 2007, Woods said he would be in Fairview “as much as much as I can” to see the golf course through to its completion. In the following years as the project took a downward turn, Woods’ career also took a hit as he battled injuries and a high-profile infidelity scandal.

He returned to form this year in winning the 83rd Masters Tournament in April before being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom three weeks later, just the fourth such golfer to receive the honor.

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