Nicklaus takes two of top five; Desert Mountain places all five
Nicklaus Design, lauded for years for its ability to masterfully weave golf course design with the residential component of a project, proved once again that it is the industry leader by taking almost a fifth of Golfweek’s Top 100 Residential Courses for 2005. Included in the listing were all five of Desert Mountain’s eligible layouts.
Nicklaus Design also took two of the top five spots, with Castle Pines Golf Club (Castle Rock, Col.) ranked No. 4 and Mayacama Golf Club (Santa Rosa, Calif.) at No. 5. Castle Pines has hosted the PGA Tour’s International since 1986. Mayacama opened in August 2001, and less than eight months later appeared in Golfweek’s list of America’s 100 Best Courses.
"Every time you do a real estate development, you’ve got to look at every hole and every shot you do on the golf course," Jack Nicklaus said, "and remember that somebody is going to be buying a lot there and you have really got to be very observant of what the views are to the golf course from each of the lots. So, we are very aware of how we design the golf course inside a residential project."
Among the 19 Nicklaus Design courses to make the Top 100 were layouts involving all three of the Nicklaus sons who have courses open for play-Jack II, Steve and Gary. The Prospector Course at Superstition Mountain (Ariz.), a Jack and Gary Nicklaus co-design, was No. 64, followed by Jack II’s solo design at Estrella Mountain Ranch (Goodyear, Ariz.) at No. 81, and Steve’s Tradition Course at Ibis Golf & Country Club (West Palm Beach, Fla.) at No. 99.
"Market research has shown for years that Nicklaus Design adds tremendous value to a residential project, whether that is reflected in lot prices, home prices, speed of sale or just membership pricing," said Jack Nicklaus II, president of Nicklaus Design. "A simple but significant reason for that is that we believe in offering the developer and the eventual consumer a quality golf experience. I think this also reflects our efforts over the years to maintain a high level of quality and expertise in our work."
Desert Mountain not only had all five of its courses represented-Chiricahua (No. 57); Geronimo (No. 61); Cochise (No. 63); Renegade (No. 67) and Apache (No. 79)-but developer Lyle Anderson also had his first project with Jack Nicklaus, Desert Highlands in Scottsdale, finish 34th. Anderson also developed Las Campanas-Sunrise in Santa Fe, N.M., which ranked No. 48, and Superstition Mountain.