Jan 14, 2015
(ST. KITTS, WEST INDIES) Forget about the calorie-laden candy bar or the sandwich which has been pressed and steamed in your golf bag all round. At Kittitian Hill on St. Kitts in the West Indies, you’ll find the course bursting with fresh fruit and organic crops. The lavish resort is a sustainable community built on a 400-acre organic farm where the boundaries between crops and course are beautifully blurred. St. Kitts, all 65-square miles of it, was just feted by The New York Times as #34 on its list of must-visit places for 2015. Kittitian Hill stretches from the slopes of Mount Liamuiga to the beach 1,000 feet below, offering spectacular views from the golf course across the sea to the islands of St. Barths and St. Martin. Just don’t forget to ask your caddie where to find the ripest, juiciest fruit to pick along the way.
Jan 12, 2015
(FUQUAY-VARINA, NC) Platinum is considered the appropriate gift to celebrate a 20th anniversary, but members of Crooked Creek Golf Club in North Carolina got something entirely different to mark the club’s 20 years: their course halved from 18 to 9 holes. At about the same time that Arnold Palmer was declaring that golf is “alive, well and booming worldwide,” and Club & Resort Business was reporting on a surge in new course openings in 2015, NorthCarolinaGolf.com was reporting that Crooked Creek was converting to a nine-hole layout just months after celebrating its 20th anniversary. Apparently the owners received an offer they couldn’t refuse to convert the land that the first seven holes and driving range occupied to homesites. According to General Manager Drew Smith, the decision did not sit well with members. About half quit their membership, which considering there is only half a course left, seems entirely appropriate.
Jan 09, 2015
Ready to Roll
(AMENIA, NY) Luxury golf community developer, Discovery Land Company, has made a name for itself west of the Mississippi with projects such as Estancia, Vaquero, and Yellowstone Club. They’ve only dipped their toe into the Eastern U.S. (a project in the Hamptons is underway), but are hoping to start work on a $500 million luxury residential resort club community, Silo Ridge, just 90 minutes from Manhattan. This week they presented downsized plans to local officials in Duchess County. The new plans call for 245 residential and lodge units. A golf course already exists on the property, but as is Discovery Land’s custom, they plan to bring in Tom Fazio to redesign the course. The Poughkeepsie Journal reports the community "plans to sell to high-end buyers, mostly young families from the New York metropolitan area, who look for a place in the country that caters to not only adults but their kids, too."
Jan 07, 2015
Doubling Up at Diamante
(CABO SAN LUCAS) Not nearly as significant as adding a 15th major (but taking nearly as long), Tiger Woods finally cut the ribbon on his first 18-hole layout. El Cardonal, located at the premier residential community of Diamante on the tip of Baja California Sur, formally opened a few weeks back. Woods’ architectural debut was news enough, but it was also announced at the grand opening that Woods will return to build a second course at Diamante. Probably doesn’t hurt that Woods also maintains a home at the community. El Cardonal is a 7,363-yard, par-72 layout that with an ocean view from every hole, and interestingly enough (considering his accuracy with the driver lately) features broad fairway corridors. Much to the delight of the developer, Woods told those gathered for the grand opening, “With all the amenities here at the resort, I plan on spending more time here at Diamante, Cabo delivers what everyone is looking for. It’s the best of all worlds. You’ve got great golf, plus all the activities available offshore, including incredible fishing and diving.” That kind of talk will definitely get you an invitation to design another course.
Jan 05, 2015
Five to Watch
NEW YORK) All in all, 2014 was a positive year for the housing market. Mortgage rates stayed low, foreclosures dialed back, and plenty of private golf communities got back on track. But there are still hurdles to overcome and this week CNN Money published five things real estate pros feel could put a damper on the party this year. Those include big investors cashing out, a drop in foreign real estate investment (especially, and understandably, the Russians), incomes not keeping pace with real estate prices, skittish lenders, and…gulp…a sharp increase in mortgage rates. That could happen if the Federal Reserve surprises everyone and send its benchmark rate higher than it's projecting. "The Fed is uncharted territory," said Doug Duncan, chief economist for Fannie Mae. "If it pushes rates up, it could have a big impact on the market." Might be time to go ahead and close on that dream golf course home you’ve been thinking about. Or get ready to make larger monthly payments than you were planning on.