Living on the Links

Make yourself at home on the fairways and greens

Living on the Links

The River Course (above) at Kingsmill on the James is home
to the annual Michelob ULTRA Open.

For more than a few luxury-home owners, the good life is having a golf course just a short drive away—a short drive in a golf cart, that is. Life in a golf-course community is different from life “on the outside.” For golfers it means less hassle scheduling a tee time and no energy wasted getting to the links. For non-golfers it means wide open green spaces and long range views that lend communities a sort of pastoral nature no matter the location. Studies also show that real estate in gated golf course communities holds and increases its value at a handsome rate over time—something all residents can appreciate.

Despite the sport’s long history and popularity, golf is still a growing industry in the United States, with more participants and courses than ever before. Just check Jack Nicklaus’s schedule. The Golden Bear is busier than ever, thanks to a seemingly unquenchable desire for courses bearing his name, including his design company’s top-of-the-line Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses. And he’s not alone. A bevy of course design firms, some fronted by former or current pros, is hard at work designing and overseeing the construction of world-class golf courses in neighborhoods near and far.

For true golf lovers, however, near is better than far. That’s the basic truth driving the popularity of luxury home communities that feature their very own golf course. The mid-Atlantic region is a hotbed for these upscale golf communities. Creighton Farms, an ultra-luxury country-club community just 35 miles from the Beltway in Aldie, Virginia, boasts a Jack Nicklaus Signature course designed to reward precision over power, making it ideal for players at a variety of skill levels. The course is just as important to the community’s non-players as well, with its rolling green meadows and numerous water features. Even local flora and fauna will benefit, as the community is in the process of receiving Audubon International designation, granted only to golf courses that protect the environment, conserve natural resources and provide wildlife habitats.

Likewise, the golf course at Wisp, a four-season mountain resort community in western Maryland, provides a habitat for that region’s many migratory birds and native species. A second course at Wisp, the Lodestone Golf Club private course designed by Hale Irwin, is scheduled to open in 2009. Located just three hours from Baltimore and Washington DC, Wisp and the new Lodestone Golf Club will offer homeowners not only world-class golf, but all the benefits of a four-season mountain community. Some homes and home sites even enjoy ski-in/ski-out convenience on the base of Wisp’s slopes, and all have easy access to Deep Creek Lake, the recreational focal point of the region.

Travel south to Williamsburg, Virginia’s, Kingsmill on the James community, and you’ll find three championship caliber 18-hole courses, including the River Course, site of the annual Michelob ULTRA Open LPGA Tour event and voted by LPGA players as “Best Overall Event on Tour.”

Life in a golf course community means golf-on-demand for avid players. It also means beautiful natural landscapes for all the residents to enjoy. Regardless of the reasons, however, luxury golf course communities are in demand, with many years of growth in both popularity and real estate values likely to come.