Where else in the world can you find six Jack Nicklaus courses on one property? Nowhere. From the Renegade Course, which made its debut in 1987, continuing on to the sixth layout, Outlaw, which opened in 2003, Nicklaus produced a stunning array of outstanding desert designs at Desert Mountain, including the Cochise Course, former host of The Tradition on the Champions Tour. While the breadth and quality of golf may be the community’s calling card, there is far more to Desert Mountain. There are six clubhouses in all, featuring some of the finest dining in Scottsdale. The magnificent Sonoran Clubhouse serves all of Desert Mountain’s members, with facilities that rival the finest resorts. There’s a state-of-the-art fitness center, with personal trainers and spa treatments. The tennis facility is considered the “Wimbledon of the West,” with grass, clay, and hardcourt surfaces. There are two swimming pools and a Kids Activities Center to make Desert Mountain a family-friendly place. The 8,000-acre property includes over nine miles of hiking and biking trails. Adding to the richness of the community, Desert Mountain has created a series of exclusive member events, ranging from special nights of food and wine to music and art. To assist members with everything Scottsdale, Phoenix, and the desert Southwest have to offer, the member services department is modeled after the finest concierge services found in five-star hotels throughout the world.
There are 32 gated communities, each with its own style, from contemporary designs to Tuscan-styled homes to Pueblostyle dwellings, and more. Homes are available starting around $550,000 on up to multimillion dollar estates. There are still many home sites available, starting at around $150,000. Desert Mountain is about 20 miles north of central Scottsdale, sitting at a higher elevation that means a temperature five to 10 degrees lower than on the Valley floor. That’s a natural advantage to go along with the many man-made luxuries and benefits of living at Desert Mountain.
Visit Desert Mountain’s website.
By Ben Hale…
Have you ever visited a Golf Property where your experience is so rewarding that you say “wow, this is really a feel good place”? That was my experience last week when I had the fortune of playing the Arthur Hills Course at Dunes West, a semi private Golf Course Community in Mt. Pleasant, SC.
Granted the weather that day was perfect and the course impeccable, but the experience went well beyond that. From the warm welcoming I received when I drove through the gate, to the friendly pro shop staff, I knew right away that this was going to be one of those great days and I wasn’t disappointed. When you step to the first tee already feeling good about the place, you can’t help but have a great day.
The course itself was in fantastic condition and offered a phenomenal test of golf that if truth be told; beat me up pretty badly that day. Arthur Hills did a great job designing this masterpiece as every hole is clearly visible from the tee boxes so there wasn’t that annoying “trickery” you often sees at some Golf Community / Resort Courses. The greens reminded me of New England greens as they were rather small in comparison to other Low Country Courses, and demanded accurate approach shots on every hole. The best part of the course layout was the fact that the houses were all set way back from the fairways giving you the feeling of playing a Golf Club and not a Golf Community.
The community itself is regarded as one of the top golf communities in the Charleston area and is famous for its Low Country charm and eloquence. The houses are stunning and the location couldn’t be better as it’s close to the best area schools and only 20 minutes to Historic downtown Charleston and the numerous area beaches.
At the end of the round, as is often the case, we strolled into the clubhouse to quench our thirst and get a more in-depth feel for the place and once again we were not disappointed. The Clubhouse staff was very friendly and the hospitality refreshing. I sat next to a club member and proceeded to strike up a conversation in hopes of getting a firsthand opinion of the club and his opinion wasn’t any different than the one that I had formed during my short time on property. He said it was a great club with great members and everyone couldn’t be nicer which confirmed my initial impression.
I am fortunate to visit and experience some incredible properties and on rare occasions, I leave with the feeling that I just had a truly special day, that was the case with my experience at Dunes West. Dunes West is a “True Feel Good Club” that I would highly recommend for either a round of golf while you’re in the Charleston area or better yet, make it your home. You will not be disappointed.
For more information on Dunes West, visit their site at duneswestgolfclub.com.
by STEVE WINSTON
Waking up in the morning, opening your curtains…and looking out at Paradise.
There aren’t many places which afford us that privilege. But the Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa is one of them. Tucked alongside a thousand feet of private beach, in the picturesque town of Jupiter, FL, the resort’s only 80 miles north of Miami. But it may as well be a million.
One of the most beautiful beaches in South Florida lies behind the resort, splendidly unoccupied during the day, and occupied mostly by giant nesting sea turtles (which can weigh over a hundred pounds) at night. In fact, sea turtles return to this beach every year to hatch their eggs. During nesting season (April through October), the hotel actually leads tours at night to the nesting grounds. From a short distance away (shhhh!), you can watch this natural miracle taking place. There are no lights allowed on the beach at night; even the guides don’t carry them. And, during nesting season, the hotel recommends that guests avoid lighting up their rooms unnecessarily. Too many bright lights can drive the turtles away…and destroy their chances of giving birth.
The signature restaurant at the Jupiter Beach Resort is Sinclair’s Ocean Grill. Here, you can feast on fish and seafood so fresh it was in the ocean just a few hours ago. It’s an upscale, but relaxed, atmosphere (after all, this is Florida!). If your dining preference runs more to the casual, on the other hand, the poolside Sandbar Restaurant is a nice place for old favorites and light snacks – which taste even better if you’re having them while looking out at the ocean. And later on, you can sip a tropical tall one at Sinclair’s Lounge, which draws a well-dressed local crowd.
The Spa at the Jupiter Beach Resort has a Waterfall Room and a Tea Bar, where you can relax with specialty teas from all over the world, either before or after treatments such as the Tropical Sugar Rub, SweThai Massage, or De-Stress Massage. There are modern touches that integrate perfectly with the tranquil atmosphere, such as state-of-the-art music systems (soooothing). And there’s always an aroma of a natural floral or forest or sea scent in the air. It’s a small, intimate spa. And – take it from one who knows – after getting a massage there, you’ll really believe you’re in Paradise.
The Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa has been around since the 70’s, under various names. It was converted from a Hilton in 2006, after suffering damage from Hurricane Wilma the previous October, and then renovated top-to-bottom. In addition to the beachfront, there’s a heated pool, fitness center, and lighted tennis courts. The ambiance is Florida/Caribbean…soft colors and pastels, local artists on the walls, and comfortable, light-wood tables and chairs. The 159 rooms include 34 suites, as well as ocean-side penthouses from which you can see forever.
Jupiter has long been symbolized by its famous lighthouse. Although Native Americans were here as long as 10,000 years ago, the area’s first “Anglo” settlers were the U.S. Army, and later the Navy, in the mid-1800’s. They built the lighthouse at the start of the Civil War. Then came settlers, who helped maintain the structure in an effort to stem the number of shipwrecks off this coast…and, when they weren’t successful, to help guide shipwrecked sailors trying to swim for shore. (This area isn’t called “The Treasure Coast” for nothing!) This was also a Coast Guard base in recent times, and there’s a good little museum on the grounds that documents the colorful history of the place. And if you can negotiate the 105 steep steps up the narrow winding staircase of the lighthouse, you’ll get the same view as the early lighthouse-keepers got.
There’s actually a surprising amount to do in the Jupiter area. There are boat cruises up the Intracoastal Waterway (past one of Tiger Woods’ homes). Golf at the nearby headquarters of the Professional Golfers Association. Major League spring training – both the Florida Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals train at nearby Roger Dean Stadium. Minor League baseball all summer long (both the Marlins and the Cardinals have Minor League teams here). And shopping and dining at the high-end Gardens of the Palm Beaches.
After enjoying it all, you can return to the Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa, and that white-sand beach kissed by a warming surf in the daytime, and filled with nesting turtles at night.
And, of course, that view of Paradise when you open the shades the next morning.
The Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa
Steve Winston (www.stevewinston.com) has written/contributed to 17 books, and his articles have appeared in major media all over the world. In pursuit of “The Story,” he’s been shot at in Northern Ireland, been a cowboy in Arizona, jumped into an alligator pit in the Everglades, trained with a rebel militia in the jungle, climbed 15,000-foot mountains, trekked glaciers in Alaska, and explored ice caves at 11,000 feet in Switzerland.