- Golf at Tupper Lake to become a Norman signature course
- Promises to retain elements from original Donald Ross design
Greg Norman and his Great White Shark Enterprises firm is becoming a partner with the Adirondack Club & Resort, a proposed 6,300-acre ski and golf facility in Tupper Lake, New York.
The 60-year-old Australian golfer will help renovate the existing Tupper Lake Golf Club, which was built by Donald Ross in 1932, into a Greg Norman signature course. The golf course is scheduled to open in 2018, depending on weather conditions.
Norman said his course will preserve most of the design elements from Ross, whose courses include the No. 2 course at North Carolina’s Pinehurst Resort.
“The diamond is there,” Norman said in an interview. “It just needs to be polished off. I’ve been in some extremely remote places in the world building golf courses with developments that are looking into the future, so I’ve got the experience of understanding and seeing how they can be successful. When you do create something special, people will go there.”
Financial terms of the agreement between Norman and developers Tom Lawson and Michael Foxman of Preserve Associates LLC weren’t disclosed.
Norman’s involvement comes as the project, which has been in development for more than a decade and faced opposition from environmental groups, begins its plan of raising public and private funding.
Construction on the resort’s base lodge, restaurant, marina and ski mountain will begin this year and continue in six phases over several years, according to developers. Tupper Lake is about 295 miles (475 kilometers) from New York City, about a five-hour drive. Albany, the state capital, is 144 miles away and Montreal 132 miles away.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has set up a competition for three $500 million grants that seven regions, among them the North Country that includes the Adirondacks, are competing to get. He also separately pledged $500 million to expand broadband access to rural regions in the state, and both programs will use cash derived from a $5.4 billion surplus from legal settlements with financial firms.
Unemployment in Franklin County, where the Adirondack Club will be located, was 7.2 percent in March, tied for 49th among the state’s 62 counties, according to the New York State Department of Labor.
Norman, whose businesses are based in West Palm Beach, Florida, first spoke with developers Lawson and Foxman more than a year ago and visited the property in April.
“I never knew the beauty and the magnitude of the area,” he said. “There’s all this stuff up there that you’re kind of oblivious to. This had been a place that had been sitting idle for many decades and was in need of an injection of government stimulus and some re-branding.”
Norman said he will also build a personal home on the ski resort as part of the agreement.
The project has approvals for about 650 homes, most of which would be located around the existing Big Tupper Ski area and golf course. It is the only such resort ever approved by the Adirondack Park Agency, which governs land use in an area as large as Vermont, developers said. An exclusive, gated community and marina will also begin development later this year.