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Golf Getaways

Luxurious homes, spectacular spas and the privileges of a private sanctuary add spice to golf vacations
Jeff Williams
From the Print Edition:
Francis Ford Coppola, Sept/Oct 03

(continued from page 3)

Like so many of these developments, Briar's Creek attempts to tread lightly on its landscape. About 50 percent of the property will be designated a conservancy and there is an established nature walk. A large equestrian center is nearby. "More than anything, I think Briar's Creek is just about being a really tranquil place," says Martin. "It's one of those places where you can have a permanent home if this is the area you live in, or a second home that's very easily accessible, certainly from the East Coast. You come here, kick back and play golf, or do nothing if you like."

The Promontory, Park City, Utah

For those with a hankering for Big Sky, The Promontory is 6,500 acres of rugged mountain and valley terrain blanketed by the natural big blue dome. You can be excused if you think that you are on the edge of the stratosphere. It does take your breath away.

The area is well known for skiing and a few golf courses. The golf ante was decidedly raised at The Promontory with the creation of the Canyon Club course by Pete Dye and the soon-to-be-developed Valley Course by Jack Nicklaus. Based on demand, as many as three additional courses may be built. Playing on Dye's exquisite layout, you may have a gallery watching you that could include deer, elk or moose.

The Promontory also has an equestrian center, tennis facility with a stadium court that converts to an ice rink in winter, miles of hiking and biking trails, fishing and hunting, and a convivial family atmosphere. It, too, has a conservancy, and 75 percent of the land will be reserved for green space. Homesites start at about $250,000, with the average selling prices pushing $400,000. Some of the $95,000 golf course membership fee is included as a promotion by the developer in the cost of the homesites, which generally range from one to four acres.

The project is being developed by The Pivotal Group of Phoenix. Chief Executive Officer Francis Najafi defines The Promontory's concept as "bohemian bourgeoisie." By that, he means elegant but comfortable, classy but not stuffy.

"We have tried to encompass the perception of Utah as being crisp, clean, and a place where people cherish the outdoors and their families," says Najafi. "We are very careful about how we go about utilizing the land. We want to maintain the integrity of the landscape while we create a legacy for our members."

Lake Las Vegas, Henderson, Nevada

Now here's a novel concept—escape from Las Vegas by actually going there. It's true. It can be done. In less than a half hour's drive from Las Vegas's McCarran International Airport, you can distance yourself from the neon jungle and find yourself in a watercolor setting with glorious golf, a lake full of fish, and the sun dancing off the waters of a 300-acre lake (artificial, of course. Hey, it's Las Vegas.)

Lake Las Vegas is a blending of the pristine and the man-made, a place of craggy pinnacles where bighorn sheep roam, and acres of lush fairways where the well-heeled roam. Lake Las Vegas has three golf courses, two designed by Jack Nicklaus and one by Tom Weiskopf. Reflection Bay is Nicklaus's course for the resort, next to the Hyatt Regency Hotel Lake Las Vegas. His other course is South Shore, for members only; membership costs $125,000. Weiskopf's Falls Course is open to the public but, like Reflection Bay, has a membership component.

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