Hicks recruits Norman to create Argentinian golf course

Tom Hicks’s investment firm is the latest to partner with Greg Norman. The former golf champion will design an 18-hole course at a Patagonian resort being developed by Hicks and a local partner.

Hicks Trans American Partners (HTAP), a subsidiary of Tom Hicks’ private investment firm, has struck a deal with Greg Norman Golf Course Design for the Australian entrepreneur and golf pro to design an 18-hole course at El Desafío Mountain Resort.

Located in Argentina’s Patagonia region, the 1,050-hectares (2,500-acre) luxury resort community is being developed by HTAP in partnership with Terra Patagonia, a Buenos Aires-based firm that invests in and develops Patagonian land with a focus on preservation.

Greg Norman

Nicknamed “The Great White Shark”, Greg Norman amassed 91 victories, including 20 US PGA Tour titles and two British Open Championships, in the 1980s and 1990s. He began designing golf courses in 1987 and frequently partners with private investment firms. One recent example, which includes three Norman-designed golf courses set to open this year, is the Isithmar-backed Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai.

Norman has designed more than 60 golf courses in 30 countries, but El Desafío Mountain Resort will be his first in Argentina.

“Argentina generally, and Patagonia in particular, are already well-respected as unique destinations for sports and eco-tourism,” Tom Hicks said in a statement. “We are proud to help consolidate Patagonia’s offerings by bringing the talent of Greg Norman to design a world-class signature course in El Desafío Mountain Resort, Argentine Patagonia.”

In addition to the golf course, the resort will feature two professional polo fields, horse jumping and equestrian facilities, low-density residential lots, a luxury hotel and mountain spa. The Andes mountains resort will also set aside 600 hectares as a nature reserve.

HTAP, based in Dallas, Texas, pursues corporate acquisitions and real estate developments in Latin America. Its portfolio includes Argentinean pet food company Grupo Pilar and “numerous residential and hotel developments in Argentina”, according to the firm. Parent investment company Hicks Holdings has real estate investments include Glorypark, a $1.3 billion retail, residential, office and hotel development in Arlington, Texas, and a hotel development joint venture with Gatehouse Capital Corporation.