High point: You can see most of the layout, community and Blue Ridge Mountains from the highest elevations of the Reems Creek golf course.
Reems Creek does not provide the sleek, sophisticated country club experience of other communities in the Asheville, NC area. Its links-style golf course is semi-private, permitting daily fee play, although members receive preferential starting times. Houses are fairly close to the golf course perimeter, somewhat encroaching visually on the golfing experience, but the designers made sure to bury some of the routing below the house line. That causes the layout, designed by the English firm Hawtree & Son, to feature some unnervingly blind shots and some bizarre lay-ups, such as a five-iron tee shot on a par four. Water comes into play only on two holes.
At less than 6,500 yards from the tips, the layout is not long, but it is tricky enough to warrant a rating of 71.9 and slope of 133. From the white tees, at just 6,100 yards, the course will present little challenge to those with less than low-teens handicaps. The golf course was in fine shape when we played it a little over a year ago, although the fairway grass was a little thin, and it offered enough high-risk, high-reward shots to be worthy of a return trip someday.
Greens fees are a bargain at $49 on the weekends (just $44 during the week). Fees are even less if you hold an "area's resident" card. Non-equity membership initiation is just $5,000, which includes pool, tennis courts and driving range that aims straight up a hill toward a pair of houses we estimated were about a John Daly drive away. Dues are quite low at $170 per month, and we found it charming that members are not billed for their dues; "It is the member's responsibility to pay," says the membership information sheet.
Reems Creek is located in Weaverville, about a 20-minute drive north of Asheville. The course and surrounding real estate is owned by the developers of Kenmure, a more upscale community about a half-hour south of Asheville. What Reems Creek may lack in panache, it more than makes up for in real estate prices considerably lower than other area golfing communities. It is still possible to purchase a Reems Creek lot with mountain and/or golf course views for less than $100,000 and, if you don't need the golf view, for around $50,000 for a half-acre. New homes start at around $300,000. Exterior house styles in the community are eclectic; we saw the entire range, with some brick, some wood, some plantation style and some that appeared almost New England colonial.
The town of Weaverville supplies all services to Reems Creek, including public water and sewer. Utilities are underground, preserving the nice views from most spots in the development. The homeowners association is "voluntary" and, therefore, owners are not assessed any fees. Supermarkets, houses of worship and fast-food restaurants are within just 10 minutes, with a hospital, university, cultural and entertainment options and fine dining an additional 10 minutes away. Asheville Airport is a good 30 minutes.
Not as high in elevation and price points as other communities in the Asheville area, Reems Creek is not lowdown by any means. From the high point at the middle of the golf course, you can see just about the entire community and the rest of the course. Views of mountain ridges from local homes are good, and views from them of the golf course are excellent. The popular city of Asheville is a convenient 20 minutes away. Housing is about 20% less than in other golf course communities within an hour, and Reems Creek golf fees are tens of thousands of dollars less than local private clubs.
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Five-iron is all you need or want at the 348-yard par 4 5th hole at Reems Creek.