Phil Mickelson to design NC mountain course

    We missed the announcement of the formation of Phil Mickelson Design.  Perhaps it was the same day that Tiger announced he would be designing his first course (in Dubai); once again, Tiger beats Phil.  We learned about Phil's new venture in an advertisement for a new community, River Rock, near Cashiers, NC, way up in the mountains.

    What especially caught our eye in the double-page ad was the photo of a smiling Phil, rising like a god above the mountain landscape, his head literally in the clouds.  He looks like a giant billboard.  On his head is the ubiquitous golf cap bearing the unfortunately horsey Bearing Point logo, and on the left breast area of his shirt the Callaway Golf logo.  Near his right sleeve is the River Rock logo, larger than the others but almost a half page below Bearing Point, which is the first thing you see on the page.  Bearing Point's lawyers must have done a great job of the fine print when they signed Phil to the contract.

    River Rock is Mickelson's first project since announcing formation of his design company in January.  His only other golf course design was for Whisper Rock in Scottsdale, AZ, which opened in 2001.  Mickelson Design also has other projects on the drawing board in Hawaii, Mexico and the Caribbean.  No scheduled opening date for the course at River Rock is listed.  We've visited the area and know that the landscape is breathtaking.  River Rock will be composed of five separate villages within a short drive of each other and near Lake Glenville, the most elevated lake east of the Mississippi River.  The planned $100 million in amenities will rival the Cliffs Communities which are about an hour away.  Home sites are offered at prices up to $1.5 million.

    One final note:  The logo for Phil Mickelson Design is clever and cute.  Between the words Phil and Mickelson is a graphic icon of a golfer, arms raised with putter extended from one of them, feet slightly off the ground.  Anyone who watched the end of the Masters tournament three years ago will recognize it as Phil's magical levitation after his clutch winning putt at the 18th.


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