Former Tiger Woods golf course site on auction block

Buncombe County property slated to become a Tiger Woods-designed golf course is now up for auction. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

What was once Western North Carolina's biggest golf story, the first Tiger Woods-designed course in America, has gone beyond bust.

The now former Cliffs at High Carolina has a new name and is officially on the auction block.

The project really never got off the ground.

It was almost 10 years ago when the announcement was made, but too many things went wrong.

From a delay over environmental concerns, to a housing market that tanked, to a golf legend who fell from grace in his personal life, and his game.

"You really can't mess this up, OK?" Wood laughed at a news conference then. "Even an idiot can't mess this up, so, I think I'm a little bit above that."

They were funny lines at a news conference, words Woods may regret ever saying.

He came to the mountains to make history.

"We're here to officially announce that my first American golf course is going to be here at the Cliffs at High Carolina," he said.

The property is now called Majestic Highlands, and is listed for auction by Hall and Hall as a one-tract deal, the entire property, with sealed bids.

That's after no one was interested in it for a $24 million asking price.

RELATED | For sale: Site of former Tiger Woods-designed golf course in Fairview

The auction website shows 795 acres of beautiful vistas, along what it describes as the Swannanoa mountain range. It talks about mature hardwoods, hiking, nature and equestrian trails. A lake for swimming, canoeing, kayaking and fishing.

A Google Earth image shows the Woods layout partially underway, much of it scraped earth.

People invested in homes, but as of a year ago, only 40 lots had been sold.

Some folks lost significant amounts of money, while the local golfing community lost a dream.

"When it was announced that a Tiger Woods golf course was coming to Asheville, I couldn't have been any happier, both as a golf professional and owning a store, and for the wider community of Asheville," GOLF USA owner Robert Green said. "I thought it was fantastic."

Green is a PGA teaching pro who wishes people were up at the Cliffs at High Carolina right now, playing golf, like it was supposed to be.

"Whether it be Tiger's scandal or the great recession, you know, that's understandable, but it's a shame it never happened," Green said.

News 13 talked with environmentalists who said they will keep a close eye on whatever deal is done on the site.

They made what they call a fair compromise with the last developer to protect trout streams, and believe it needs to be upheld.

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