Golf Community Review
Chapel Ridge is a sister community to The Preserve, which we reviewed here yesterday, and although the two communities share the same Bluegreen Corporation parentage, the siblings have entirely different appeals. The golf course at Chapel Ridge is a pleasant stroll after an exhausting round at The Preserve, reflecting more the temperament of one of its designers, Fred Couples (architect Bob Moore probably did most of the work, since his name is listed first in the course descriptions). At 6,700 yards and a rating of 72.0, the course carries a modest slope of 126 (from the tips at 7,136, the slope is 132, not particularly robust at that distance). The predominant theme on the Chapel Ridge course is fairway turns, with more than half the par 4s featuring a dogleg, some significantly angled. The starting hole, a good one, makes a left turn about 230 yards out, a 30-yard long trap guarding the corner and plenty of room to the right (but of course with a longer shot from there to the green). The green featured a big swale in the middle.
One of the most unusual and challenging holes is #11, a par-5 dogleg right that plays to 544 yards. Hit a drive down the extreme right side of the fairway and you can reach the area just in front of the green with a fairway metal. If you prefer the conventional lay-up, you’ll need to hit to the far end of the fairway with the same club; come up a little short, and two thin trees on the right could affect your short iron to the green. A stream runs parallel to the fairway and up to the side of the green, waiting for shots pushed to the right.
As the course matures -- it is barely a year old -- it will provide members with plenty of variety. Initiation fees for the club are $5,000, with monthly dues of $160 for a family. For now, the course is also open to any non-member willing to pay the reasonable greens fees ($60 maximum).
Chapel Ridge’s relatively reasonable real estate prices and relaxed style are having broad appeal for young families and empty nesters on the brink of retirement, some of them with children attending nearby colleges. As is the case in new communities, early purchasers live with a lack of infrastructure and conveniences in exchange for introductory prices, but the clubhouse, pool and tennis courts are done. Lots are mostly in the ½ acre category, give or take a quarter acre, and range from $100,000 to $250,000, depending on size and view (the best views are of the surrounding hills and the golf course). All houses are custom built and they vary in style, but all are in character with this part of the south (meaning lots of wood and stone). Building costs average $150 or more per square foot. For now, property owner association dues are $600 annually, which includes use of the nice pool (with a large covered area), tennis courts, fitness center and property-owners clubhouse, which is separate from the small golf clubhouse that is open to the public.
Web site: www.chapelridgeinfo.com. Toll free: 866-301-4811.
You can go for the green in two at the par 5 11th, if you can keep your knees from knocking.
Coming tomorrow: The Governor's Club, high-end and high value in Chapel Hill.