Aug 03, 2016
At the Edge of Paradise

(PARADISE ISLAND, BAHAMAS) They say it’s one of the most hotly-anticipated real estate developments in the Caribbean. Certainly the location and views might warrant that kind of hyperbole. One Ocean, the new condominium project on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, had its grand opening this month. The 10-story project is higher than any other residential building on the island, allowing for views in all directions—over Nassau Harbour, across the neighboring One & Only Ocean Club golf course, and towards the Atlantis. The developer, Replay Resorts, acquired the former Ocean Place condominium development last year and completely transformed the building inside and out, reinventing it with a dramatic new roof, stunning pool deck, and upscale interiors. The property contains everything from underground parking to an outdoor pool, a fitness room and direct elevator access to every residence, all just across the road from one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful beaches, Cabbage Beach. But best of all, if you buy one its two and three-bedroom residences (or four-bedroom penthouse), you can join the One & Only Ocean Club golf course. Condo prices start at $750,000. 

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Aug 01, 2016
Shrinking Courses

(PHOENIX, AZ) Part of the golf appeal of Phoenix, beyond 300+ days of sunshine a year, is the sheer number of courses to choose from (more than 200 in the Phoenix area). Turns out that number may be too high to sustain. Several golf courses there have been in the news lately as developers consider shrinking the courses, or getting rid of them altogether, and using the valuable real estate for housing or other development. Last week, the owners of the Raven Golf Club in south Phoenix dropped plans to turn half of the course’s 18 holes into houses after sustained community and city opposition. But the Phoenician resort’s new owners may turn their 27 holes into 18 and the Phoenix City Council this month approved the first phase of transforming what was once the Vistal Golf Club in south Phoenix into hundreds of single-family homes, according to The Arizona Republic. Phoenix has seen “renewed interest” over the last few years in turning golf courses into other uses, Alan Stephenson, director of Phoenix's Planning and Development Department, told the newspaper. At least they can’t take the sunshine away.

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Jul 29, 2016
Presidential Club Selection

(WASHINGTON, DC) We know where President Barack Obama is going to live after he leaves office next January (he’ll stay in Washington), but speculation has been ramping up over where he will take a golf membership. It will have to be close to home. Obama has played nearly 300 rounds during his presidency and the expectation is that he’ll want to play lots more once he has the freedom to do so. Club & Resort Business reports on the speculation gathered from D.C.-area publications and the smart money seems to be on Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Maryland. According to the article, a full membership there carries initiation fees of $80,000. The club was founded for the Jewish American community in 1913 and was the only D.C.-are club before the 1950s that would accept Jewish members . The publication noted that the club has won “Best Place for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah” in every readers’ poll conducted by Bethesda Magazine since 2011. “How cool is it that the first African-American president of the United States may well be joining a country club originally established because Jews couldn’t get in anywhere else?” asked Ronald Halber, the Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, D.C.

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Jul 27, 2016
The Bandon Boost

(BANDON, OR) Bandon Dunes must be used to the praise by now for having positioned itself as the best pure golf experience on the planet. Its courses are on every serious golfer’s bucket list. And now the resort’s local newspaper, The World, has published a piece praising the golf mecca for becoming “one of Coos County’s greatest economic boosters in terms of payroll, taxes and a host of indirect economic benefactors.” The article cites a University of Oregon report that says the total rounds played at Bandon Dunes, the county’s top employer, reached nearly 147,000 in 2014, an increase of 64 percent compared to 2010. Not only are more rounds being played, but golfers are staying longer (no doubt due in part to the increased number of courses at the resort). And golfers are spending more in the region during the stay. “Through job creation and tax contributions alone, [Bandon Dunes Golf Resort] emerges as a key champion of the South Coast’s current and future economic growth,” according to the University of Oregon report. “With that long-term vision in mind, BDGR has also engaged in what appears to be an authentic and mission-driven effort to support the region well beyond job and tax growth through a series of comprehensive community engagement initiatives.” High praise indeed.

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Jul 25, 2016
Star Power

(JERSEY CITY, NJ) F. Scott Fitzgerald said it most famously, that the rich are different from you and me. And as if we didn’t know, celebrities are, too. Forbes reported last week, that celebrities also buy homes differently than rest of us and listed six ways. Some of the ways are not surprising. They spend more money on their houses, lots more. They have better amenities (While Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s four gold toilets may not appeal, Britney Spears’ 3,500-bottle wine cellar may get you a wee bit jealous.) Celebrities also buy younger and shop with a team. But perhaps the most intriguing ways they buy houses differently is that they buy off market (these pocket listings never appear on MLS) and they don’t get emotionally attached to their houses. Forbes cites Jordan Spieth, who just sold a home he purchased in 2014 for another more expensive place, as an example how celebrities buy and sell homes much more frequently.

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