Fishing and golf go well together. Many of the PGA tour's best golfers are also ardent anglers, and some of the world's best golf courses have some great fishing. Even Tiger Woods is a very avid fly fisherman.
But it took three conservation groups to ensure that some vital trout waters in North Carolina didn't get buried in order for Mr. Woods to build his first U.S. golf course.
From the Associated Press:
Construction on Woods' first American golf course, The Cliffs at High Carolina near Asheville, N.C., is back in full swing after developers agreed to reduce the planned impact the layout would have on area trout streams by almost half the original design.
Woods said in a statement Thursday that new routing makes the course a tad shorter and some of the walks between greens and tees a little longer, but does not take away from his intent to have a walkable, mountain course with breathtaking views.
The Southern Environmental Law Center, Western North Carolina Alliance and Trout Unlimited had challenged permits issued by North Carolina's Department of Environment and Natural Resources. They charged that developers planned too much impact to trout streams without sufficient mitigation.
Attorney DJ Gerken with the Southern Environmental Law Center said The Cliffs quickly got in touch with the environmental groups to see how best to settle the dispute. The new design calls for 1,655 linear feet of impacts compared to 3,132 linear feet in the original design
Gerken said mountain construction involves steep slopes that require significant grading and the underground piping of streams in the way.
"There was a lot of back and forth," Gerken said. "Eventually, The Cliffs came up with a creative solution."
Woods' PGA Tour season ended with the BMW Championships two weeks ago. He is scheduled to play for the U.S. team at the Ryder Cup matches in Wales next month.
Jim Anthony, founder and CEO of The Cliffs Communities, said he was initially disappointed in the challenge because of how hard his company worked with North Carolina state and local agencies to limit environmental impacts. Still, Anthony said they slowed down construction to discuss the issues.
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