When Bluejack National opens for business next fall, this picturesque plot of land onced deemed as the next “Augusta of Texas” will have come full circle. It has been 28 years since a lawyer named Thomas H. Blake first developed this property, when along comes a group led by a veteran golf course operator Michael Abbott and his friend Tiger Woods.

 Blake had initially hired Ben Crenshaw to design Blaketree National Golf Club, but they only finished 11 holes. It was later finished by Blake and his friend Sam Chapman of Butler National, and never quite realized its potential despite the many accolades and promise of a hilly piney woods course compared on occasion to Augusta National. After Blake’s death, his son Tom ran it for awhile and then later sold it to a group of business people from Dallas that wanted to use it to hunt and play golf. They had hoped the daily fees would take care of the maintenance. Before long it closed.

Enter Michael Abbott, an accomplished golf instructor and operator who had gone out on his own a few years ago to form Beacon Land Development. In pursuit of his dream, Abbott woke up one morning and declared to his wife that he was going to pursue a project somewhere outside of Houston. While Abbott initially considered Crenshaw for the design of the course since his earlier involvement, he soon turned to his long time friend Tiger Woods, who he had been following with his project in Mexico.


Abbott’s master plan involves funding from Andy Mitchell’s Lantern Asset Management. Development is well on its way with a homebuilding partnership with Woodlands custom home builder, Justin Tipler. Tiger Woods has signed off on the first nine and construction will include some 300 plus lots ranging from cottages to a few large “corporate” lots. Most will be in the range of a half to one and a half acres.


The course will feature many undulating open views with not a lot of rough and forced carries and blind shots like the old Blaketree. There will also be a nine hole challenge course to sharpen your game. Amenities will include a six and a half mile walking trail and a family fun place called The Fort. It will feature a bowling alley and zip line in addition to being a burger joint. There will be a high tech teaching facility and Abbott maintains he will bring back entertainment to his club and corporate events will be a staple at Bluejack National.




                        Bluejack National Golf Club

Questions for Michael Abbott:

How did your career in golf begin and evolve?        

My golf career began over 30 years ago when I was in the banking business and went on a golf trip to Pinehurst on a golf vacation. A good friend of mine by the name of Hank Haney was the director of instruction there and he said they had a golf intern program at Pinehurst. I decided that sounded more fun than being a banker. Within a year I became the director of instruction at Pinehurst. My teaching philosophy was to make people more comfortable and relaxed. I then spent time at Ventana Canyon, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel in Hawaii, Instructor of golf at Four Seasons of Golf with Byron Nelson for six years and then opened a golf course in Santa Barbara. In Seattle for Ochey development I opened four courses and then worked for Discovery Land Company for nine years to open Vaquero and fifteen others for them.I was an operations service guy. Get great people and treat them well. Treat people with respect and service levels remain very high. I started Abbott golf which is now Beacon with partner Casey Paulson.

Will people recognize the old Blaketree National once Bluejack National is complete?

You will recognize the trees and the great entry and some of the corridors. The rest of it you will not recognize other than its beauty.  

The old course was sometimes compared to August National. How will Bluejack National be compared to the famed Bobby Jones course?

There will be azaleas, dogwoods, and redwoods with 100 foot tall pines. We will revert back to old August principle of one cut of turf with pine e straw and mulch. We are not so bold to think we are the next Augusta National, but the elevation changes and the sweeping long views reminiscent at Augusta has certainly been replicated by Tiger Woods and his design team.


Michael Abbott