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July 2011

    July 2011

Where our subscribers are looking for their homes on the course

Hardly a week goes by without some readers asking for my assistance in finding a home in a golf community. In the coming weeks and months, here are some of the golf communities they will visit as they come closer to their dream home on the course. If you would like more information on any of these communities or an introduction to a local real estate professional, contact me: editor@homeonthecourse.com.


Fawn Lake, Fredericksburg
Glenmore, Keswick
Old Trail, Crozet
Spring Creek, Gordonsville
Wintergreen Resort, Nellysford

North Carolina

Balsam Mountain Preserve,
Brunswick Forest, Leland
Champion Hills, Hendersonville
Governors Club, Chapel Hill
Kenmure, Flat Rock
Ocean Ridge Plantation,
Sunset Beach
Treyburn, Durham

South Carolina

Belfair, Bluffton
Berkeley Hall, Bluffton
Colleton River, Bluffton
Cliffs Valley, Travelers Rest
Daniel Island, Daniel Island
Thornblade Club, Greer
RiverTowne, Mt. Pleasant


The Landings, Savannah


Palencia, St. Augustine
Ponte Vedra Beach, Ponte Vedra
Queen’s Harbour, Jacksonville
World Golf Village, St. Augustine

Reader Feedback

We want to make this newsletter as useful as possible for you. If you have comments, suggestions or observations about the newsletter, please email them to: editor@homeonthecourse.com.
I promise to respond quickly. Thanks.
-- Larry Gavrich, Editor

Dear Home On The Course Subscriber:


The dog days of summer are upon us, and with family vacations and a few extra rounds of golf, I have dogged it on getting out a newsletter for July. I will jump back on the wagon in August but, in the meantime, here are a couple of items that might be of interest.


Playing around with the time it takes to play a round

One of the most popular excuses for the game of golf’s current problems is the amount of time it takes to play an 18-hole round. “Who has the time anymore for five-hour rounds?” blog participants ask. “Young people and business people don’t have time to play golf,” others whine. “We have to find a way to speed up the game…or shorten the number of holes,” they all seem to agree. Others complain that golf is inordinately expensive. Mark me down as a contrarian on the subject of the need for speed on the golf course. I think golf’s current problems may be more fundamental than either time or money. To that point, I posted the following thoughts a couple of days ago at one of those blog sites:

I have played golf for 50+ years and have never understood the obsession with speed of play. The object of the game, I thought, was a low score rather than to "break the tape" at under four hours. I write this in the company of my niece, a skier -- I am not -- and the comparisons of the two sports in terms of what we are discussing here are interesting. The 4 1/2 hours we spend on the golf course is a fraction of the time a skier spends in one day on the slopes. My niece estimates that her actual skiing time is about 1/3 of her wait time (queuing up for the lift, the trip to the top of the mountain, etc.). Ski equipment, like golf equipment, isn't cheap; and although skiers don't have the ongoing expense of golf ball replenishment, the daily lift ticket prices more than rival green fees.

I recall being on a train from Tokyo to Osaka many years ago; my Japanese host was reading a golf magazine, and I asked him if he played. "Oh, yes," he said enthusiastically, "every Saturday." He went on to explain that he took a train three hours from his home to the public golf course. "How long does a round take?" I asked. "About six hours," he said, "but we stop for a quick lunch." For the love of the game, my Japanese friend spent six hours traveling and six hours playing on his day off from work. Perhaps, in our need for speed, we American golfers do not love the game enough.


Modest hopes for former Daufuskie Island Resort

No one likes a neighbor who doesn’t keep up with his property. It not only looks bad but it also affects real estate values. With any luck, the new neighbors for residents of Haig Point on Daufuskie Island will do a better job of maintaining their sprawling property.
Daufuskie Island is one of the prettiest and most unusual golf destinations on the east coast. Reached only by ferry (or helicopter, if you have one), it has also been one of the most unspoiled spots for golf -– until a combination of bad economy and bad management conspired to spoil the Daufuskie Island Resort, sending it and its two 18-hole golf courses (designed separately by former pro golf rivals Tom Weiskopf and Jack Nicklaus) into a bankruptcy from which it is still reeling. For two years, the resort, which included the Breathe Spa and stunning views toward Hilton Head Island and the iconic Sea Pines Plantation lighthouse, has lain fallow as a bankruptcy trustee tried to engineer a sale of the property. After failures to secure any bids at auction, the trustee sold the resort and Nicklaus’ Melrose Golf Club to a Utah investment firm run by a 32-year-old who had emerged from personal bankruptcy himself just two years ago. (We suppose beggars can't be choosers.) Weiskopf’s Bloody Point golf course was sold separately to a local landowner who showed up for the auction of the club out of curiosity and walked away $1.64 million lighter because, as he told the Island Packet newspaper, he wanted the course in the hands of "somebody that's been totally entrenched on Daufuskie for as long as I've been" (more than 20 years).
Neither new owner has a solid plan yet for what to do with their new properties. Bloody Point is a bloody mess, overgrown and in need of a significant rehabilitation. The Melrose course, which I have played and was a delight, has remained open through most of the resort’s travails, but how much traffic can you generate when it takes a ferry ride to get to the first tee? (We understand the club’s pro meets arriving players at the local dock.)
Residents of the island’s other main bulwark, the wonderful community of Haig Point, say they are unaffected by the fortunes of the Daufuskie Island Resort. Their 29 holes (no misprint) of Rees Jones golf, which was renovated at a cost of more than $5 million just a couple of years ago, are among the best in the golf-rich Carolinas, and the community maintains its own ferry and water taxi service from Southport and Hilton Head Islands, respectively. Of course, the amount of the shared costs to residents to sustain the necessary ferry system, not to mention the golf course, is dependent on the number of property owners contributing homeowner association fees and golf dues. Therefore, while they might dismiss the impact of the neighboring resort's status, Haig Point's owners have to be rooting for a healthy comeback.
Future property owners at Haig Point will think twice about an investment if the next door neighbor -– in this case the resort – does not appear to be taking proper care of its property. Haig Point residents can only hope that the new money pumped into the resort means responsible new neighbors and a new day for the entire Daufuskie Island.

To all subscribers, enjoy your summer.

Larry Gavrich
Founder & Editor

Home On The Course, LLC


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