Dec 08, 2014
Dustin Downsizes

(JUPITER, FL) Dustin Johnson may have given up a lot of money with his leave of absence from the PGA Tour this year, but he’s found a way to make up for the loss in earnings. According to real estate records, Johnson sold his 7,860-sq. ft. home in Jupiter, Florida, last month for $6.25 million. The waterfront home included six bedrooms, eight baths, putting green and private dock. He bought the home three years ago for $3.7 million, giving him a cool profit of about $2.5 million. (By comparison, his 2013 tour earnings were a tad under $3 million.) It appears he’s replaced his Jupiter home with one that’s nearly half the size and half the cost. The new place in North Palm Beach measures “just” 4,500 sq. ft. and cost $3.35 million. No need to feel sorry for Dustin, the home also includes a dock that can handle a 75-foot yacht. Now let’s see what Phil Mickelson can do with Rancho Santa Fe home that he’s put back on the market for $6 million after failing to sell it for the asking price of $7 million last year.

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Dec 05, 2014
Whale of a Course

(LOS CABOS, MEXICO) Soon-to-be Congressional Gold Medal recipient Jack Nicklaus officially opened the Quivira Golf Club this week on the dramatic coastline at the tip of the Baja Peninsula. Taking advantage of the unique Baja terrain and mountain-desert-ocean ecosystem, the course showcases sheer granite cliffs, larger than life sand dunes, and panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean from every hole. This winter would be great time to check out the course that Nicklaus says is “one of the great pieces of property in the world.” During the winter months, the ocean around here swells with thousands of breaching whales showing off during their mating season. All you need to do is book a play and stay at Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort, Montecristo Estates Luxury Villas, or Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Golf & Spa Resort. Oceanview suites and unlimited golf are available in their all-inclusive packages. Might want to choose an extended stay; this place will be hard to leave.

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Dec 03, 2014
Tumbling Treetops

(GAYLORD, MI) When your golf resort is located in northern Michigan, there’s not much chance of getting more than six months a year of playable weather. Treetops Resort and Spa, which made the list of most national golf magazines’ top golf resorts, filled the winter months with a full slate of snow activities. Apparently it wasn’t enough as the company that owns the resort filed for bankruptcy protection last week. The Detroit News reports that a court filing states the resort has suffered substantial operating losses and cash flow deficits." The financial problems were "due in part to the declining economy (and the golf resort business generally in Michigan) and, in part, due to poor management." This, despite the fact that total rounds of golf played rose from 48,843 in 2010 to 96,430 in 2013. Gross revenue rose 72% during the same period. Seems hard to place the blame on golf when it was trending up and when the resort’s long-term debt was dragging the operation down. Here's hoping they successfully negotiate bankruptcy. There's some fabulous golf to be played there.

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Dec 01, 2014
Headed Up

(MEADOW VISTA, CA) Things are looking up at Winchester Country Club, set in the Sierra foothills between San Francisco and Sacramento. We don’t mean just the views, which are spectacular at this exclusive golf and residential community that sits below the Sierra Tahoe snow line and above the Sacramento Valley fog. That advantageous elevation allows members to experience a unique doubleheader in the winter: skiing in the morning and golf in the afternoon. The club finished $1.3 million in capital improvements in August, including new bent grass putting surfaces throughout the entire course and aesthetic landscaping and club upgrades. Sales have been robust as of late and the increase in traffic spurred them to raise prices by $5,000 per homesite last month. Already prices per square foot at the community are drawing more than $100 per square foot above the average price per square foot in the area. Currently the average square foot price of a Winchester-built home is $368. With easy access to both Sacramento and San Francisco, plus recent inclusion in Golfweek’s Top 100 Residential Golf Course List, that’s a price plenty are willing to pay.

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Nov 28, 2014
Water Woes

(NIPOMO, CA) The ongoing drought in California has already had a big effect on the state’s golf courses. Now, the water shortage has prompted Trilogy at Monarch Dunes to consider ditching a planned third course and using the land for a vineyard instead. (The community is located in the heart of California’s Central Coast wine country.) According to The Tribune, the developer’s original plan called for 1,320 homes, three golf courses, a 500-room resort and a 140,000-square-foot commercial center. Their new proposal replaces one golf course with a vineyard and downsizes the resort to 300 rooms. The developer says the vineyard would save 88 million gallons of water per year compared to a golf course and that homeowners would have a stake in the vineyard. Seems like a proposal everyone can raise a toast to. 

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