The ultra exclusive Albany resort was developed by businessman Joe Lewis and his private investment company, the Tavistock Group, in association with a number of high profile investors from the world of golf, including Tiger Woods and Ernie Els.
The Big Easy was further involved architecturally, as Greg Letsche from his golf design company routed the fairways through a 565-acre real estate development which lies close to a couple of other top end resorts – Lyford Cay and Blue Shark – in the south west of New Providence island.
Officially opened in December 2010, the links-style course measures over 7,400 yards from the back tees, configured as five par fives and five par threes with the remaining holes laid out as par fours. Five tee positions on every hole allows non professional members to enjoy a shorter, though no less enjoyable, round at Albany.
The Big Easy and his design team transformed a basically flat site by building a series of lakes then using the excavated material to form the framework for the false sand dune formations which now separate the fairways. Sand dredged from the deep-water channel into the resort’s marina was then used to cap these man-made dunes.
Feature holes include the par three 2nd (which Ernie Els likens to the 13th at Muirfield, one of his favourite holes), the short par four 14th (with a split fairway tempting golfers to go for the green off the tee), and the par three 17th, where many the tee shot will be devoured by the lake that wraps itself round the left of the green.
In 2014, the World Challenge was hosted at Isleworth Golf & Country Club after a fourteen-year stint at Sherwood Country Club in California. In 2015, the event moved outside the US for the first time to Albany, where Bubba Watson became champion. The Hero World Challenge was again staged on New Providence in 2016, when Tiger Woods made his long-awaited golfing comeback after injury. Woods finished 15th as Hideki Matsuyama won the title, holding off Henrik Stenson over the final few holes.
In 2017 at Albany, Rickie Fowler's final round 11-under-par 61 broke the Hero World Challenge and course records in a tournament where Tiger Woods dominated the headlines after yet another return from injury.