Forbes - 12 Best Private Golf Communities
There are thousands of golf communities across the country, but not all are created equally. If your dream is to enjoy world class golf courses with a slew of other amenities in a wonderful setting, the field gets narrowed substantially, but there are still plenty of choices.
For three years I wrote a weekly real estate column on second homes for USA Today, and have covered the topic for a host of other publications, from Robb Report to Outside to the Golf Channel’s websites. I was already one of the leading experts in the nation on golf travel and courses, and this gives me a unique and informed perspective into what makes a great golf community. I haven’t visited everyone in the nation, not by a long shot, but I have visited many of the best. So while this list is not comprehensive, and there are certainly some great golf communities not included, these are my twelve (well, actually thirteen) favorites, and each one is well worth a look.
3 Creek Ranch/ Shooting Star, Jackson, WY
One of the wealthiest and most star-studded towns in the nation, Jackson, WY is home to movie stars like Harrison Ford, Vice Presidents like Dick Cheney who lives here full-time on a golf course, so many multi-millionaires they hardly register, and billionaires like Charles Schwab. It is home to the finest ski resort in the nation, and even more popular in summer due to its extensive outdoor beauty and activities as the gateway to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. In keeping with Jackson’s accolades it is home to two golf communities so spectacular I couldn’t pick just one, so it is a tie. 3 Creek Ranch has a fantastic Rees Jones layout with an enviable location near town with the region’s best views of Grand Teton, showcased on the sixteenth hole which plays directly at the Grand, while seventeen, a fabulous par-3, and eighteen, an immense 630-yard par-5, both have tremendous views of the Tetons, for a truly stunning finishing trio. The community is full of Old West style log luxury homes, has a full-time naturalist and many activities aimed at families. A staff fly-fishing guide helps members fish the property’s pristine streams and stocked trout ponds. Early buyers here were Schwab and Tiger Woods. The newer Shooting Star has an equally excellent Tom Fazio course reminiscent of a mountainous version of Shadow Creek, a standout design, and likewise boasts impressive log cabin luxury, with a great clubhouse, spa and fine dinging. The main difference is that while 3 Creek is close to the town of Jackson, Shooting Star is immediately adjacent to the ski resort, literally bordering its parking lot. Both have great golf and access to the best of Jackson, so you’ll have to choose carefully.