Woods ‘pleased’ with progress of Bluejack National

MONTGOMERY – Tiger Woods was back in Texas last week to check on the progress of his latest course, Bluejack National.

The 7,400-yard course nestled in the pines of FM 1488 in Montgomery is currently under construction, and Woods was pleased with its progress. Since construction began in August, 15 holes have been cleared and the rough is beginning to take shape on the front 9 and on the short course, The Playgrounds.

The course is scheduled to open in fall 2015.

Related: Eye of the Tiger

Bluejack is a special place,” Woods said. “The movement of the land through the magnificent forest is a terrific foundation for the course. I’m very pleased with where we are right now, and looking forward to the finished product.

“We’ve cleared the underbrush surrounding the holes—the forest floor is mulch and pine straw. The wide landing areas and open green fronts will deliver a great golf experience for players at any skill level.”

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A piece of heaven

BluejackTigerBy Matt Keyser

The long, thin, winding road is tucked in between thousands of pines that hide the land’s natural beauty. ¶ Nearly all 755 acres are filled with singing birds, scurrying critters, and herds of deer grazing alongside the road. ¶ In the distance, the faintest echo of a backhoe’s engine rumbles to a start, offering the only sign of urban life on this rural land. ¶  As the road descends, a white cottage comes into view as the land opens to reveal all its natural beauty: the majestic pines, the mighty oaks, the beautiful rolling hills. ¶ Here, it feels as if Heaven dips to earth, as if time stops, and, for a moment, in all its tranquility, all is right in the world.

It’s troubling, then, why such a tranquil  landscape has been unkempt for nearly two years. The land, the former home to Blaketree National Golf Club, the course envisioned by self-made millionaire Thomas W. Blake, allegedly, to mimic Augusta National, was all but abandoned overnight on Oct. 29, 2012—left for the weeds to roam, the feral hogs to destroy, to let a man’s dream … die.

As the rumor goes, millionaire playboy Thomas Blake wanted to bring Augusta National to Texas after he was denied membership at one of America’s most pristine and respected country clubs. Blake, who built his fortune as an attorney-turned-oil magnate, had a lifelong affinity for golf. A single-digit handicapper in his prime,  Blake was a member at various golf courses worldwide—some speculate more than 100—including Houston’s most exclusive club, Houston Country Club. Blake had the power, the money, and the game to travel, play, and live the playboy lifestyle wherever he pleased. Everywhere but Augusta, that is. So, as the rumor goes, Blake did the next best thing: He brought Augusta National to his hometown Houston.

Scott Cory remembers the phone call vividly, even four years later.

Scott, can you go to the airport and pick up two guys? the voice on the other line says.

Sure, no problem.

One of the guys is Byron Bell, the president of Tiger Woods Design,
the voice says. Scott, it goes without saying, but we need to keep this quiet.

There was no need for alarm for Cory, the do-it-all head golf professional at Blaketree National. When he accepted the job in 2007, JP Realty Partners, the company that owned the property, was upfront that its  sole intent was to flip the property within a year. The company hired Cory from the Hyatt Hill Country Golf Club, where he served as the head golf professional, to run the day-to-day operations at Blaketree and maintain the course while executives searched for a buyer. But the company’s plans foiled as it sat on the property for a third year, leaving Blaketree, a once prestigious golf course, stagnant in a dark period that spanned the better part of six years.

“They were stuck. The course wasn’t designed correctly, it needed close to $2 million in renovations, if not more, and we were out in the middle of nowhere getting about 13,000-14,000 rounds per year,” Cory says. “Are you going to spend that kind of money to renovate a golf course? When are you going to get your money back? And with their plan to sell the property, why invest that money when you’re likely going to sell it to a developer that’s going to blow the golf course up anyway?”

What the phone call failed to state was that Bell would be joined by Beau Welling, Tom Fazio’s former righthand man and now owner of Beau Welling Design, to help Bell scout the property. Their stay was brief. Cory drove them back to the airport the next morning, and that was the last he heard from the two. Eight months later, Cory resigned from his post at Blaketree and accepted a job as the general manager/director of golf at Cypresswood Golf Club in Humble, a position he holds today.

Thomas Blake made his fortune as a Houston attorney who specialized in oil and gas. In 1940, he won a landmark case, Downey vs. Humble Oil, and invested money earned from the case to buy an oil rig, which, among various other investments, he used to build his fortune to fund his love for golf and his lavish lifestyle. Blake became a celebrity through channels that didn’t involve Hollywood stardom—although his youngest daughter, Tessa, turned a $1 million check from her father into a film: Five Wives, Three Secretaries and Me, a documentary centered around her father’s playboy lifestyle. Blake mingled with Hollywood’s biggest stars, from Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Howard Hughes, and Gary Cooper. He wasn’t shy about hosting posh parties with Hollywood celebrities and beautiful women. By 1984, Blake, 84, was on his fifth marriage and had fathered four children. Even such a large family couldn’t slow down the oil baron. Blake continued to live his eccentric lifestyle and play golf with the game’s best players—including his childhood friend and three-time Masters winner Jimmy Demaret, Sam Sneed, and Ben Hogan.

There’s a story that tells of a time that Blake ran into Hogan on the putting green at Seminole Golf Club in Florida. Blake, a smart businessman who had poor judgment in terms of golf, challenged Hogan to a money game, and Hogan, three rounds later, scorched Blake for more than $2,000.

With such a love for the game, and such deep pockets, it’s no surprise that Blake set out to build an exclusively private course of his own, a mere 52 miles form his hometown Houston, for himself and his group of friends. To help with its design and construction, Blake enlisted the help of a young man named Bill Coore, but in order to attract his wealthy friends away from Houston Country Club, Royal Oaks, and other prestigious country clubs worldwide, he needed an equally impressive name to lead the project. Blake reached out to Ben Crenshaw, a native Texan himself who was coming off a victory at the 1984 Masters. Crenshaw and Coore began construction on the 7,196-yard course in 1985.

Hole 1, like all of Bluejack National, is currently overgrown and hasn't been maintained in years. But Tiger Woods, Bluejack President Casey Paulson, and his crew are already in the process of turning the former Blaketree National site into one of the nation's premier golf communities.  [Photo: Cheyne Kendall]
Hole 1, like all of Bluejack National, is currently overgrown and hasn’t been maintained in years. But Tiger Woods, Bluejack President Casey Paulson, and his crew are already in the process of turning the former Blaketree National site into one of the nation’s premier golf communities. [Photo: Cheyne Kendall]
As the gas-powered golf cart navigates the bumpy terrain, completely overgrown from tee box to green at this point, Casey Paulson hits the gas and a smile extends across his face as he speaks about the landscape. “The canvas we have to go create something here is very unique, very special. We have 755 acres of tall, wooden pines, 155 feet of elevation change, and, to think, we are less than an hour away from the fourth most populated city in the country is really exciting,” he says.

Paulson and business partner Michael Abbott formed Beacon Land Development in February, a Dallas-based company that specializes in developing luxury resorts and private golf clubs. Paulson and Abbott have a combined 50 years’ experience in the luxury resort and private golf club industry, and are leading the resurrection of the land—to take a piece of Blake’s vision in Blaketree National, and turn it into a vision of their own: Bluejack National.

Prior to founding Beacon Land Development, Paulson served nearly eight years as the general manager/chief operating officer at Vaquero Country Club, an exclusively private club in Westlake, Texas, near Dallas. Abbott’s résumé includes time spent as the vice president of operations of Discovery Land Company, where he oversaw all aspects of the development of courses such as Vaquero; El Dorado in Los Cabos, Mexico; and Mirabel in Scottsdale, Ariz. Prior to partnering with Paulson, Abbott owned Abbott Golf Management in Keller, Texas, in which he was involved with golf course and real estate management. For both men, golf has been intertwined in each of their lives, and much like Thomas Blake, it comes as little surprise that both Paulson and Abbott have ventured to build a course they can call their own.

“Our goal is to create a truly distinctive environment where families and friends can reconnect, enjoy their time together and create lasting memories and traditions they’ll cherish for years to come,” Abbott says. “Casey and I have years of experience developing and executing these types of experiences at some of the world’s most celebrated private clubs and resorts. At Bluejack National, we have the opportunity to build upon all of that know-how to deliver a lifestyle unlike any other to our members.”

Helping forge that environment is none other than Tiger Woods and his team at Tiger Woods Design. “Bluejack National has one of the best natural settings for golf I have seen. With its changes in elevation, the beautiful pines and hardwoods, Bluejack National is reminiscent of the pinelands of Georgia and the Carolinas,” Woods says. “The opportunity is here to create a golf course unlike any other in the Houston area, and our goal is for it to be among the best in the nation.”

It might not be much to look at yet, but once complete, the 180-yard par 3 12th at Bluejack National will feature a beautiful backdrop of mighty pine trees, reminiscent to No. 12 at Augusta National [Photo: Cheyne Kendall]
It might not be much to look at yet, but once complete, the 180-yard par 3 12th at Bluejack National will feature a beautiful backdrop of mighty pine trees, reminiscent to No. 12 at Augusta National [Photo: Cheyne Kendall]
Like Woods, that’s exactly what drew Paulson and Abbott to the property. Though the canvas has already been marked upon, there’s so much…emptiness…to be filled. As for golf, Bluejack National will incorporate parts of the original design of Blaketree, but will add traits of its own—holes will be switched: No. 6 on Blaketree will be converted to No. 9 of Bluejack; a new hole, No. 14, will be carved out in a grove of trees; No. 12 of Bluejack, the course’s unofficial signature hole, a 180-yard par 3, will feature a small lake in front of a green that sits nestled next to a backdrop of trees, reminiscent to No. 12 at Augusta. It’s that kind of focus put into every hole, the exact positioning of each tee box, the carefully thought out approach to a green, the scenery around each hole, that is going to help the property end its troubled times.

Blake, in his mid-70s at the time, was very hands-on with Crenshaw and Coore as they worked to design the course and route each hole, which often created tensions and disagreements between the two parties. Finally, tensions became too much, and the parties separated, leaving Blake to design the final six holes himself. Blake had many traits that made him a successful man, but golf course architecture was not one. A common complaint Blaketree received after its opening were the logistics of certain holes—the fourth hole, for example, featured a green that severely sloped from back to front, making it near impossible to find a fair pin placement on the surface. Other holes featured greens that drained into bunkers, and downhill tee shots with uphill approaches.

“If you’re not a golf course architect or an engineer, and you don’t know what you’re doing, you can really mess some stuff up, and that’s basically what happened,” Cory said, who served as the head pro at Blaketree from 2007-2010.

Related: Live luxuriously at Bluejack National

Blake’s struggles expanded beyond the course’s architecture. The bubble that was the oil market burst in the 1980s, which forced Blake to halt production of Blaketree until 2000. On Sept. 8, 2001, months before the course opened, Blake, 91, passed away. Though he never saw the course’s completion, Blaketree became one of Texas’ most heralded public courses from 2001-2004. In 2004, The Dallas Morning News named it Texas’ fourth-best course to play in the $45-$60 price range, and the Houston Chronicle named Blaketree’s signature 12th hole the sixth hardest par 4 in the Houston area.

But Blaketree was decaying from the inside. Blake left his precious course to his family: his fifth wife, Muffin; son, Tom; and Tessa, all of whom had no knowledge of golf course management, to carry out his vision. The course began to deteriorate: feral hogs destroyed the fairways, fungus grabbed hold of the greens, and a lack of water was killing the course. By 2005, the family put the course up for sale and quit funneling money to keep it maintained. Finally, it sold in 2007 to JP Realty Partners.

Three years after he started, in 2010, Cory received the phone call that he needed to go to the airport. Now, four years later, the property might finally be reaching what Blake had envisioned in 1985. These days, more backhoes and dump trucks frequent the property as construction of Bluejack National officially began July 22. The course is scheduled to open as early as fall 2015, though amenities such as Bluejack Coffee, the Playground, and the Porch could open as early as the spring. The team at Bluejack Realty will begin selling vacant lots as early as this fall.

“This is going to be a special place,” Paulson says, overlooking the property as the early afternoon sun begins to ascend to the top of the pines. “Hopefully, we’ll do Mr. Blake proud.”

Live luxuriously at Bluejack National

MagnoliaCottage

Construction is well underway at Bluejack National, Houston’s newest luxury golf club and community, and now, Bluejack officials announced, reservations are being accepted for real estate purchases beginning Sept. 12.

Bluejack is offering 234 estate lots [½-1 ½ acres ], 96 cottages [1,800 square feet], 28 member suites [800 square feet], 23 Sunday homes [2,800 square feet], five homestead lots [three acres].

“This is tremendously exciting phase for Bluejack National,” said Michael Abbott, partner in Beacon Land Development, the developers of Bluejack. “We have enjoyed a terrific response from the community at large, and there seems to be a lot of excitement and anticipation with regards to the type of distinctive lifestyle and club experience we will offer.”

For more information, email info@bluejacknational.com, or call toll-free 866-810-5885.

Bluejack National Amenities

Bluejack National outline

GOLF

The Porch: Rounds start and end at the Porch, a casual grill that will offer golfers a casual atmosphere to relax with good food, signature drinks, and a fine selection of cigars. Private member suites will be available for overnight stays.

The Playgrounds: This Tiger Woods-designed short course will allow the serious golfers to work on their game from 100 yards in, and allow the less serious golfers an opportunity to get out and enjoy the game.

Golf Performance Center: The center will provide members and their guests an area for instruction, programs, club fitting, performance testing, and personal training.

Comfort Stations: The course will feature two comfort stations, one on each nine, and will offer golfers locally grown fruit and treats.

CLUB

The Bluejack National clubhouse will provide a host of amenities that include fine dining, spa and wellness center, corporate entertainment area, event lawn, tennis center, and a resort-style swimming pool.

ADVENTURE

Outside of the 18-hole golf course, Bluejack National will feature a variety of opportunities to explore the outdoors, including a ropes course, swimming lake, zip lines, archery range, fishing dock, and tennis, pickle ball, and sports courts.

The Fort: a specially crafted inside hangout area, will feature a bowling alley, movie theatre, game room, potter room, a classic American burger joint, and a bunkhouse for supervised sleepovers.

[Images: top: Cheyne Kendall; bottom: Bluejack National]

Sign here, please

For more than 20 years, CJ and D.E. Chester have collected autographs from golf’s biggest names––Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Bubba Watson, Michelle Wie––and have built a comprehensive golf room that holds years’ worth of memories

By Matt Keyser

CJ_DE_Chesters
CJ [left] and D.E. [right] Chester of Houston have collected more than 1,000 autographs from professional golfers over the last 24 years.
The pictures hanged on the forest-green walls tell stories of years’ worth of golfing memories. There’s Payne Stewart in his famous pose after sinking the 18-foot par putt to win the 1999 U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 over Phil Mickelson. On an opposite wall, a picture hangs of a younger Mickelson shortly after he debuted on Tour. Thousands of other pictures hang, featuring Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Bubba Watson, Jason Dufner, Tom Watson, Michelle Wie, Se Ri Pak. Shelves are filled with signed pin flags, hats, golf balls, gloves, books. Every piece is personally autographed by the golfers themselves.

This room is so much more than just a golf room … it’s a golf sanctuary—one that has been carefully crafted by D.E. Chester and wife CJ through more than 20 years of dedication and persistence.

It’s April, the Tuesday before the start of the Shell Houston Open, the first practice round of the week, and the temperature is already pushing 90. A crowd fills the Golf Club of Houston – Tournament Course, formerly known as Redstone Golf Club, braving the heat and humidity as the Texas summer approaches to get an early, more intimate look at the best golfers in the world. Among the crowd is a quiet couple, an older man and woman, standing between the second green and third tee box, scouting players as they make their way to the putting surface.

“Who’s coming?” D.E. asks CJ.

“I can’t tell. Let them get closer,” she says.

The Houston couple braves the heat, group after group, doing what they’ve done best for 24 years: adding to their vast collection of autographs. It’s a passion D.E. has been chasing for nearly a three decades. CJ, as she says, is just along for the ride. But she’s as much part of the room as D.E.’s love for every piece that hangs on its walls; every signed, framed golf ball that sits on its shelves—every picture that reads, “To the Chesters, all the best, [signed, professional golfer].” It’s nearly three decades worth of perfecting a technique that almost always ensures they get the autograph D.E. wants to add to his—their—already impressive collection.

At the second hole, the Chesters receive word that five-time Tour winner Padraig Harrington is on the tee box. D.E., standing next to a brown bag stocked full of memorabilia pulled from the room, reaches in his bottom right pocket of his brown cargo shorts for an envelope full of photos from professional golfers that he or CJ have taken, or photos he’s acquired of the golfers whom he hopes will autograph.  He pulls out a picture of Harrington from 2008 kissing the Claret Jug following his British Open victory—his first of two Majors that year—and hands it to CJ, who’s in charge from there. “Honestly, it’s easier for me to get an autograph than it is for him,” she says. “Golfers seem to respond best to little kids and girls.” Not a second later, a young boy on the other side of the ropes, no older than 10, runs back to his parents with a wide-eyed smile after receiving an autograph.

The Chesters are patient, and patience is a virtue when it comes to this hobby—no, this passion—that requires hours of waiting in the hot blistering sun, time and money spent traveling to tournaments across the country—across continents!—in hopes of getting a professional golfer to spare 30 seconds of his time to sign a piece of memorabilia that will proudly hang on their walls.

This isn’t a passion for the impatient. In order to succeed it takes gusto! it takes brass! it takes … drive!

“Anyone can buy a golf room,” CJ says. “You can go on eBay and buy all sorts of memorabilia. You’re going to pay a pretty penny, that’s for sure. But it’s not the same. You don’t get the experience of going out, interacting with the golfers; you don’t get the authenticity that they actually signed the picture. When they sign the picture in front of you, you know it’s real. But when you sit on eBay, or when you send off a picture to them, you miss all the experiences that comes along with getting it, all the memories.”

With thousands of autographs, the Chesters have equally as many memories to match.

Chester's Golf Room

There was the time at the 2013 President’s Cup at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, as they were standing next to the 16th hole, and D.E. suddenly spotted Tiger Woods—the Tiger Woods!—leaving  the 11th green and cutting across the ropes to 17 tee box, no more than a pitching wedge away from their location. With all their gusto, brass, and drive, CJ and D.E. approached the tee box, the only spectators around, and asked Tiger to sign their white President’s Cup hat and a Tiger Woods book that D.E. just happened to be lugging around in his brown bag. “You make it work. You go to a tournament and work for this stuff,” CJ says. “But sometimes things just fall in your lap. How often would you have Tiger walk in front of you?”

Even coming face to face with the world’s former No. 1 golfer, the man whose lifelong goal is to break Nicklaus’ 18 major wins, who is still on pace to become the winningest all-time player in PGA Tour history, isn’t the memory that stands out most.
It’s dusk, the Wednesday before the 2010 British Open at the Old Course at St. Andrews, and the Chesters are enjoying a walk down the 361-yard par 4 18th. The hole sits nestled next to a public road, and overlooks Hamilton Hall, among various other buildings on the opposite side of the street. They cross over the famous Swilken Bridge, the historic mark so many famous golfers before them have crossed, and as they approach the green, a golf cart stops, and out steps Arnold Palmer—the Arnold Palmer!—who’s returning to Hamilton Hall following the annual Champion’s Dinner. The red brick building is located across the street from the 18th green, but a temporary fence installed solely for the Open and standing no more than four feet high, blocks the course from the road and is impeding upon Palmer’s return. Why the golf cart didn’t drive him to the Hall’s front door is anyone’s guess. The only way past is a long trek around or to go up and over, and the crowd that formed to get an up-close look at the 62-time Tour winner, including D.E., took the opportunity to help hoist one of the greatest golfers of all-time over the fence to a group waiting to gently place him on the other side.

“He was so nervous, his hands were trembling, and we all felt so bad for him,” D.E. says, “but he was very thankful.”
Though no autograph was exchanged in that moment, four years later D.E. received a letter back from Palmer with a photo, so carefully signed in near-perfect handwriting, Arnold Palmer.

It’s those kinds of experiences that build that gusto, that brass, that drive needed to approach and ask professional golfers for a moment, to step away from their workplace, and do something as seemingly mundane as signing their name. [CJ admits she’s never been a shy person, however.]

As Harrington begins his approach off the second green at the Golf Club of Houston, CJ, with her ever-so-gentle touch and her lucky He Golfs, I Shop sequined shirt, approaches the ropes. Her welcoming demeanor draws Harrington over, where she hands him a silver Sharpie and the photo. Once signed, she says, “good luck this week,” as he makes his way to the third tee box. “You have to be very polite; you have to respect them,” she says. “But you can’t be above joking with them, either.” It’s an interaction that lasts no more than 30 seconds, but one that will remain etched on their walls for years to come.

It’s a collection that began in 1980, shortly after the Chesters attended the Women’s World Amateur Teen Championship at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina—the same course that held both the men’s and women’s U.S. Opens in June, which they just so happened to attend. [“We’ve been to five U.S. Opens, but we decided to make it one more since this was the first time both the men’s and women’s were played in back-to-back weeks,” CJ says.]

D.E. started the collection after CJ’s aunt, Ed Dell Wortz—a former amateur golfer who won her first golf tournament in 1932 at age 10; who, in 2000, was the first woman inducted into the Arkansas Golf Hall of Fame; and who received the Isaac B. Grainger Award by the USGA for 25 years of service—gave him a golf bag in 1968. At the Women’s World Amateur Teen Championship, in 1980, the Chesters expanded their collected from a golf bag and a set of golf clubs, to various hat pins and badges they collected from golfers playing in the tournament. Weeks later they found themselves at the Greater Greensboro Open [now known as the Wyndham Championship], where they used a film camera to snap photos of the many celebrities during the Pro-Am—including Johnny Bench, Hank Stram, Foster Brooks, and Leslie Nielsen—and the golfers—including Fuzzy Zoeller, Fred Couples, and Greg Norman. Their plan: take photos one year and return the next to have the celebrities and golfers autograph them.

“Back then we were the only ones taking pictures, because other people hadn’t thought of it or they didn’t go to tournaments each year,” CJ says. “It took some work. You have to go take the picture one year, get it developed, and then go back the next year to get them signed. The world has changed a lot since those days.”

Since then, the Chesters have traveled to more than 50 golf tournaments, from their annual visits to the local Shell Houston

D.E. Chester's advice: Don't try and get autographs at Major tournaments, because the crowds are FAR too big  [like the 2014 U.S. Open around here].
D.E. Chester’s advice: Don’t try and get autographs at Major tournaments, because the crowds are FAR too big [like the 2014 U.S. Open around here].
Open and Insperity Invitational, which, D.E. says, “local tournaments provide the best opportunities to get autographs”; to the Wal-Mart Northwest Arkansas Championship, where they recently got their photo signed with this year’s U.S. Women’s Open champion Michelle Wie [further proving D.E.’s point]; to attending all four Majors on the men’s tour, the U.S. Senior Open, and the U.S. Women’s Open.

Though the Chesters have had their share of luck when it comes to collecting autographs, luck hasn’t always fallen their way. In those instances, D.E. turns to his second resort: contacting the players’ agents, finding where to a send a photo of the golfer, along with a self-addressed stamp envelope—the trick is to make it as easy for the golfer to return it as possible, he says—and then wait, sometimes up to a year for it to return.

Patience.

“We’ve got a lot of junk, and what’s it going to be worth when we’re gone? No one wants photos of other people with famous golfers,” D.E. says. “All of this stuff, it’s come from—all of a sudden I’ll get an idea and think it’ll be nice to have a couple of those, whether it’s a signed flag, or matches or glassware from certain tournaments, so we’ll go out and get it, and that’s it. It’s something I enjoy doing.”

But it’s so much more than … junk. It’s a collection of moments—hours spent patiently waiting in the blistering sun—creating once-in-a-lifetime memories.

“I wonder if Arnie remembers that night at British?” CJ asks.

“If so, he won’t remember who helped him,” D.E. says.

No matter. It’s a memory, like so many others, that will forever live with them.

Sorry, Falon, but golf is Rory’s game

Jimmy Falon, the new king of late night T.V., had the world’s No. 1 golfer Rory McIlroy and former No. 1 golfer Tiger Woods on his show Monday and challenged McIlroy to a golfing duel. The challenge: Who could break all the glass panes of the opponent’s face first, McIlroy or Falon, who was coached by Woods.

“If we lose, this will be your fault,” Falon tells Woods.

This was doomed from the start, but it’s entertaining as hell.

McIlroy asserts his dominance as a golfing badass immediately––as if there were any doubt lingering. On his first shot, he calls the top right corner and shatters the glass and Falon’s dreams of winning the competition. Falon, though, does pull off a few good shots of his own, but he’s no match.

Even Falon’s crew knew the outcome. McIlroy’s trophy, his fourth in in five weeks, already had his name engraved.

McIlroy_Falon

An exclusive look inside Ace In The Cup

Eight months ago, I was lying in bed questioning what the hell I was doing with my life. At 25, I was stuck at a miserable job and sorely missed my days of creative writing, designing, and chasing down stories. I sold out of journalism for a job that paid much more money, offered much better benefits and vacation time, but didn’t allow the creativity and freedom that journalism had. I dreaded going to work every morning. I was sick of busting my ass six days a week for the most negative, two-faced bosses I’ve ever worked for. So, lying in bed, I questioned how I could get out of such a terrible situation. Then it hit me: start a magazine.

That was Dec. 1.Keyser_headshot

Now, after eight months of pursing this dream that many have called crazy, stupid, and ridiculous, Ace In The Cup is off to the here, more than a bedside thought, but a reality that hits stands Aug. 25. To all of you who have shown your support, I can’t thank you enough. To all the haters who said chasing this dream was an idiotic idea, thanks for the extra motivation. After spending so much time on this first issue, I have a feeling of “now what?” But with a great staff throwing out a lot of top-notch ideas, and the continued support of family and friends, there are a lot of great things coming to the magazine.

Finally, I no longer dread going to work every morning.

This is my calling.

– Matt Keyser, editor-in-chief

So, what can you expect in the inaugural issue of Houston’s premier golf magazine?

Of course the latest news on Tiger Woods and Bluejack National.

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We begin our breakdown of every Houston golf course in the Greater Houston area, starting with central and north Houston. Next issue, on Nov. 17, we’ll take a look at all courses in south and east Houston.

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What’s Arian Foster have to say about his golf game?

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How CJ & D.E. Chester put together an unbelievably golf room!

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Like A Man: What it means to be a man, and how you can be a better man. Plus, a look into craft beers, and the best damn steak of your life!

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Subscribe, and receive your copy and a free two-year subscription!

 

Tee Box Talk: A Little Piece of Heaven

Hole 1, like all of Bluejack National, is currently overgrown and hasn't been maintained in years. But Tiger Woods, Bluejack President Casey Paulson, and his crew are already in the process of turning the former Blaketree National site into one of the nation's premier golf communities.  [Photo: Cheyne Kendall]
Hole 1, like all of Bluejack National, is currently overgrown and hasn’t been maintained in years. But Tiger Woods, Bluejack President Casey Paulson, and his crew are already in the process of turning the former Blaketree National site into one of the nation’s premier golf communities. [Photo: Cheyne Kendall]

Episode 3: A Little Piece of Heaven

Special Guest: Casey Paulson, president of Bluejack National

Download on iTunes

Paulson is overseeing the project that brought Tiger Woods and Tiger Woods Design back to Texas, and will be Tiger’s first course designed in the United States. Bluejack National, the former home to Blaketree National, is reconstructing the 755 acre lot with a brand new 18 holes, 384 private residents, nearly 100 cottages, and countless other amenities for the golfers and non-golfers alike.

 

[1:41]

The fact we can have this kind of canvas and this kind of place that we can create something special is really awesome

[4:37] Time is the most finite resource we have

[5:47] We have a very diverse set of amenities

[6:50]

There are a lot of holes out here that have taken great advantage of the topography

[7:00] How exciting was it to get the word that Tiger was going to come here?

[10:28] I think that his vision and our vision are very aligned in a similar direction

[10:35] A little piece of heaven

[12:05] We think we’re really going to create an iconic place in the entire south part of the country and something that’s going to be respected on a national level

[16:44] We’re trying to limit cart paths as much as possible, just to restore that look of pure golf

[19:44] There’s nothing like seeing your golf ball fall against the trees

[21:03] We’ll certainly respect that legacy and respect the heritage and those who came before us

[24:02] There’s only a couple of places I’ve seen that have the elevation like this at all in Texas

[28:52] People love golf courses that are maintained impeccably and we’ve hired who we think is the best agronomist in the state

[41:08]

Tiger: “He’s very down to earth and very engaging and very focused on what he’s doing and very concerned with the quality of the golf course

[41:19] Timeline of Blujeack

[48:44] We’re really excited about what we’re about to do