- The Washington Times - Monday, November 6, 2006

As if we need any more evidence that Tiger Woods wants to be the next Jack Nicklaus, the world’s greatest active golfer announced today that he’s starting a company to design and build golf courses around the world.

Woods will be the chairman of Tiger Woods Design, a company that will no doubt try to emulate the work of companies like Jack Nicklaus Design and Robert Trent Jones II, LLC.

“My goal is to provide a unique collection of amazing courses all over the world that represent what I love about golf,” Woods said. “I’m very excited to announce the formation of this company and get to work on finding the right projects for my first few courses.”

Woods even credited Nicklaus with helping to get the new business off the ground.

“I’ve spent a lot of time talking with experts in this field and gathering as much information as possible about what a great course should be,” he said. “Friends like Jack Nicklaus and Tom Fazio have been a tremendous help by sharing their support and advice on this new venture. I hope I can bring as much to this industry as they have over the years.”

It will be interesting to see how much time Woods devotes to this new enterprise. He may find that running a business doesn’t jive with trying to kick the living snot out of every other golfer 20 times a year.

Woods is already the top earner in all of sports, pulling in $87 million last year in prize money, appearance fees and endorsements. Golf Digest expects he’ll hit $1 billion in total earnings by 2010. This new venture will likely expand his bank account further.

Jack Nicklaus, who hardly plays anymore, now pulls in more than $15 million annually in off-the-course earnings, and Arnold Palmer, another retiree-turned-designer, makes about $25 million, according to Golf Digest. No doubt, Tiger Woods is setting himself up to be one of golf’s top earners even after he stops playing. And there’s no indication he’s doing that anytime soon.

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