Golf Community Reviews

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007


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    Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island, SC, has been in the news lately for its five-year, $500,000 renovation program to restore the community's Jack Nicklaus Signature Course to a top ranking among the Grand Strand of Myrtle Beach's 115 courses. 

    Writing in Golf Business magazine, Peter Blais indicates that 250 trees have been removed and others pruned to increase sunlight to the turf on the 1989 layout.  The greens on the course, which had become thin on top and thick with organic material below the surface, are now under an aggressive agronomic program to promote grass growth, and all the sand traps are being refaced and reshaped.  We know it is working because we played the course in March, and it was in its best condition in five years.  Initiation fees are $15,000; a 4 BR, 3BA home in Pawleys Plantation is currently listed at $549,900. If you want to read the entire article, it is posted at the Nicklaus Design web site.   

    Speaking of Nicklaus, the upscale Fairmont chain has announced that Jack will design its new course on the Caribbean island of Anguilla.  Not only will the course be designated a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course, but also it will bear (pardon the pun) the distinction of being one of only 25 Jack Nicklaus Clubs worldwide.  The Clubs are part of a network of Nicklaus designed clubs that provide reciprocal privileges.  You will find more information at www.fairmontanguilla.com ...    

    Never to be outdone by Jack without a fight, Arnold Palmer recently announced something called Arnold Palmer Premier.  As far as we can tell from the firm's press release, those courses designated "Premier" will be of the highest quality design and, therefore, carry higher design fees than The King's current highest price of $1.5 million; and the clubs will have to maintain a high level of service, quality and course conditions to retain their Premier status.  In a recent interview in Golf Business, Erik Larsen, an exec with the Palmer Design group, said "Arnold likes to measure a place by how his friends and family would enjoy it, and not just once, but year after year."  As long as they don't have to pay that design fee...    

    Rarity Ridge, one of the group of handsome Rarity Communities in eastern Tennessee, sent us a brochure recently touting a new release of properties and indicating two previous events had sold out in four hours.  The copy mentions "One Day Only Pricing and Incentives" and an invitation to visit during the community's "Priority Selection Event weekend."  To qualify to attend, you must provide a fully refundable $1,000 deposit.  Only one problem:  No dates are indicated for the special event.  Just our luck:  We'll give them the $1,000 and find out the event is the same weekend we've been invited to Pine Valley.   

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Larry Gavrich

This blog was conceived and is published by me, Larry Gavrich, a former corporate communications executive who founded HomeOnTheCourse, LLC, in 2005.  Our firm advises baby boomers and others seeking a lifestyle in which golf is a major component.  My wife Connie and I own a home in Connecticut (not on a golf course) and a condo at Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island, SC, on a Jack Nicklaus layout.  We began our search for our home on the course more than 15 years ago, and the challenges of the search inspired me to research golf communities and write objective reviews of them.