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Nov 23, 2015
Battle Royale


(LONDON) We are used to watching Ryder Cup battles played out on the golf course. But at Wentworth Golf and Country Club, considered the birthplace of the Ryder Cup, members are getting ready to face off against a new management team. Last year, Chinese conglomerate Reignwood purchased the club for $210 million. Changes were bound to come, but members apparently never expected what the new owners announced last month: that they would cut membership of the club from 4,000 to 800. Not only that, but members must reapply for membership and pay $155,000 for the privilege. It gets worse for current members—for the lucky few that make the cut, their annual fees will double to $25,000. Members are considering taking legal action against Reignwood, which recently said it would invest over $30 million in the club over the next two years. Those new membership fees should provide plenty of cash to cover that investment.

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Nov 20, 2015
Multi-Million Dollar Renovation


(ISLE OF PALMS, SC) After a six-month, multi-million dollar renovation, the Links Course at Wild Dunes Resort has re-opened.  This is the first renovation since the course reopened following 1989’s Hurricane Hugo. “We’ve been talking about renovation for the last four or five years and finally got approval to do it this year,” director of golf Jeff Minton told The Post and Courier. “Basically, we rebuilt all the greens and increased the square footage from 62,000 to about 115,000 square feet so the greens are a lot bigger. They have a lot of subtle Fazio-type undulations. We were able to add close to 300 yards on the scorecard by moving some of the greens back a little and a few tees back.” The course’s seaside 18th hole, originally a par-5 that has battled erosion problems, remains a par-3 after the renovation.  “We are still in an erosional cycle and didn’t feel comfortable going back with either a par-4 or any kind of par-5,” Minton said. “For the short term, we just build a really good par-3 finishing hole that’s protected from the ocean with the idea that once this natural accretion they call for happens that we could build it back as a par-4 or par-5.”

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Nov 18, 2015
Glitzy Grand Opening


(WEST PALM BEACH, FL) It was quite a party. Members at The Club at Ibis (formerly known as Ibis Golf & Country Club) were joined by Jack Nicklaus, whose family designed Ibis’ three golf courses, to celebrate the grand opening of a breathtaking new clubhouse that added 22,000 square-foot of space and plenty of glitzy amenities to the high-end club's operation. The clubhouse extension completes a $33 million Capital Improvement Project that included an all-new 28,000-square-foot sports village. The extension creates more than 40% additional space and allows new restaurants such as The Atrium and The Pub to move upstairs and take advantage of the eye-catching scenery of the Nicklaus courses. Among the highlights on the clubhouse's lower level is Panache, a fine-dining restaurant that also can be used as a place for private parties and celebrations. Improvements also include an enlarged Golf Shop, enhanced locker rooms, and four new game rooms. Ibis's members took ownership of the club three years ago and quickly embarked on the $33 million Capital Improvement Plan to enhance the current members' experience and to attract the next, younger generation. 

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Nov 16, 2015
Another Strong Quarter for Kiawah


(KIAWAH ISLAND, SC) Host of the 1991 Ryder Cup and the 2012 PGA Championship, The Ocean Course put Kiawah Island on the golfing map. Pete Dye’s course also put the island on the real estate radar. (10 miles of beach and nearby Charleston didn’t hurt demand either.) And the buyers keep on coming. Property sales on Kiawah Island stayed strong in the 3rd Quarter. Year-to-date, dollar volume of all real estate sales on the Island was up 30% over the same period last year. Transaction totals are at a pace not seen since 2007, and they are projecting them to match or exceed pre-financial crisis levels. One of the reasons, Kiawah has continued to shine is its controlled development. : In naming Kiawah as one of their “15 Best Places for Second Homes,” Barron’s Penta magazine put it nicely: “Developers of gorgeous areas often succumb to the temptation of selling everything to the highest bidder, and cramming as many houses as possible onto the land, but Kiawah’s developers have protected the beauty of the place, creating a national treasure in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.”  

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Nov 13, 2015
Kitchen No-No’s


(SAN JOSE, CA) Designer kitchens are in. But if you building or renovating, you might stop and think before you sink big money into the latest trends. Unless, of course, you never plan to sell. Jamie Wiebe, who writes about home décor for House Beautiful, Veranda, and others, reports for realtor.com about five kitchen design trends that could be costly and embarrassing mistakes. Our apologies to those who’ve already made to the move to these fads predicted to fade quickly. Her list of top five no-no’s includes mixing metals (“appalling”), DIY concrete countertops (“already passé”), open shelving (“unattractive, dust collecting”), reclaimed wood (“horrible”), and industrial style (“unless you’re living in a loft”). And those granite countertops? “Designers expect they’ll be in style for the foreseeable future, so you’re safe giving them a starring role in your makeover,” says Wiebe.

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