Tiger Woods has displayed an affinity for short courses in the early stages of his design career, with projects including The Hay at Pebble Beach and the Oasis Short Course at Diamante (Cabo San Lucas, Mexico), both par-3 layouts.
The 82-time PGA TOUR winner has embraced golf’s early access points, and continues to do so. Woods announced on Twitter Wednesday that he will design two 18-hole putting courses in Sarasota, Florida. In conjunction with TGR Design, Woods designed 36 putting holes for the PopStroke Sarasota entertainment center, which is set to open April 28.
According to the release, the Tiger Red Course “challenges even the most experienced putters with strong contouring and tricky hole locations,” while the Tiger Black Course “has softened contours to create an ideal course for families and anyone new to golf”.
Woods, who made his return to TOUR competition at the Masters after suffering severe injuries to both legs in a single-car accident in February 2021, was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in March, and in his induction speech he spoke fondly of putting contests as an 8-year-old at Heartwell Golf Course, a par-3 layout in Long Beach, California.
Tiger Woods, statements
“My mom … would give me 75 cents,” he said. “So 75 cents would allow me to buy a hot-dog, and that 25 cents would be used to use the pay phone to call her to come pick me up.
If the pay phone swallowed it, I had a backup. “Well, that backup turned into putting contests … I ended up pocketing a few more quarters”. He’s made a few more since then. PopStroke Sarasota will also include a restaurant, bar, playground and more, according to the release.
The joint venture of TGR Ventures and Greg Bartoli is slated to open locations in Orlando, Houston and Tampa later this year. Additionally, there are redesigns of existing PopStroke locations, plus other planned venues, in the works.
PopStroke locations are open in Port St. Lucie and Fort Myers, Florida, as well. The Fort Myers location, opened in 2020, includes 36 holes created by TGR Design, and a TGR renovation is planned for Port St. Lucie.