Mar 28, 2016
Mammoth Manor

(WESTCHESTER, NY) The Donald is used to getting what he wants. But 20 years after buying the opulent Westchester mansion know as Seven Springs, the 230-acre property remains an undeveloped family summer retreat. Trump spent nearly a decade trying to get approval for what would have been his very first golf course. He got as far as hiring Arthur Hills to design the course and contemplated naming it The Trump Mansion at Seven Springs. But the locals vigorously opposed his plan and, uncharacteristically, Trump gave up on his vision for the property that was once owned by the Rockefellers, settling instead for approval to subdivide it and build homes. That still hasn’t happened and the 50,000-square-foot home and carriage house, where the Trump family spent summers and weekends, remains a part of the family’s portfolio. Who knows? The way things are headed, Seven Springs might become a Presidential summer retreat.

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Mar 25, 2016
Water Wise

(CARMEL, CA) Significant—and smart—renovations at The Preserve Golf Club in the Santa Lucia Preserve Community will be noteworthy, not just for how they will improve the playing experience at the top-ranked course. In water-starved California, the renovations will also result in a marked decrease in water use—by as much as 35 million gallons a year. The fairways are being changed from bent grass to Santa Ana Hybrid Bermuda grass for a firmer, faster, and consistently superior playing conditions. A complete renovation of its bunkers and new tees that add length and variety will added to seven holes. But the renovations have another benefit. Working together, the club and The Santa Lucia Preserve Community were able to realize a marked reduction in water use by improving and increasing the course’s ability to collect and store drainage water. The course could reap savings of 22 million gallons of water per year initially, and when all the efforts are complete, savings could be as much as 35 million gallons of water annually. The Preserve is the only community in America with a perpetually endowed, 18,000-acre nature conservancy.

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Mar 23, 2016
No Relief

(COEUR D’ALENE, ID) Ouch! Former members at The Golf Club at Black Rock, who paid initiation deposits ranging from $40,000 to $125,000, lost a class-action lawsuit this week to get those initiation fees back. The Spokesman-Review reports that the 2008 recession and credit crunch of 2008 killed new sales at Black Rock, a luxury golf community with 382 homesites. When the club began to default on $12.5 million in loans from Washington Trust Bank back in 2010, the bank forgave the debt in exchange for ownership of the property. All memberships were terminated and the bank negotiated the sale of the club to a homeowners’ investment group for $6 million. It has since reopened as The Golf Club at Black Rock LLC. The new owners sold buyback memberships for $25,000 each, but the former members were left holding the bag. 

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Mar 21, 2016
Scottish Hazard

(ABERDEENSHIRE, SCOTLAND) Jack Nicklaus worked his way out of many a hazard over his storied career. He hopes to resurrect that on-course magic once again in Scotland. At stake is approval for a course at Ury Estate in Aberdeenshire that would also include 90 luxury houses, a hotel, and clubhouse. Some local planning chiefs have recommended the plans be scuttled over concerns for mature trees in the area. Though Nicklaus is well known for being a good steward of the land he builds golf courses on, a report before the local board states “New woodland planting is proposed and, although this could provide valuable connecting woodland in the long term, this in no way replaces woodland habitat which has developed over hundreds of years.” For its part, Nicklaus’ team says its goal is to “not only protect this unique environment but enhance it for generations to come.” With 200 jobs and a £55.5 million boost to the local economy at stake, we’ll see if the ancient woodlands prevail.

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Mar 18, 2016
Best Development

(SARASOTA, FL) Named for the famous putt Jack Nicklaus conceded to his European counterpart, Tony Jacklin, in the 1969 Ryder Cup, resulting in the first tie in Ryder Cup history, The Concession Residences is one of the most desirable, gated-community addresses in South Florida. Better yet, the Manatee-Sarasota Building Industry Association just honored the low-density luxury enclave with its “Best Development Award” for communities with 201 to 500 homesites at the Parade of Homes. The CORE Development project also won “Best Entranceway” and “Best Amenities,” further validating its unsurpassed lifestyle offerings. A number of the community’s stable of elite builders also took home prestigious awards, including Best Overall, Best Kitchen, Best Curb Appeal, and Best Master Suite. The Concession is 75% sold out, and they anticipate a limited supply of lots by the end of the year. Core Development is nationally known for numerous award-winning design-builds including The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota and The Residences at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota. Concession residents are invited to join The Concession Golf Club, with its 7,474-yard tournament-caliber layout winding through over 500 acres of thick stands of live oaks, magnolias and pines.

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