T&L Golf’s Top 100 Communities has decided Nicklaus touch

The Bear’s Club (No. 2) leads a list of 24 golf communities,
including eight of the top 20, that feature a Nicklaus golf course

Nicklaus Design’s dominance in the “golf lifestyle” market is evident in Travel+ Leisure Golf’s recently released list of “America’s Top 100 Golf Communities,” where The Bear’s Club in Jupiter, Fla., was ranked No. 2 to lead a contingent of 24 communities in the Top 100 that feature a Nicklaus Design golf course. Communities with a Nicklaus golf course also took eight of the top 20 spots.

The survey takes in to account many of the features one would consider when searching for the idyllic “golf lifestyle,” including the paramount golf experience itself. The list ranks the first 25 positions, considering those with the best all-encompassing features, including golf, quality of housing, community amenities and activities, location and the X-factor. The remaining 75 communities that make up the 100 are broken down by state but are not ranked.

As the magazine mentions, The Bear’s Club involves a Nicklaus in “every aspect of the development,” from the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course to the Tuscan-style clubhouse, where wife Barbara’s design flair is evident throughout.

At No. 5 is Mayacama, an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Course woven into the foothills of Sonoma wine country in Santa Rosa, Cal. The Cliffs Communities, which will soon have two Nicklaus courses–Walnut Cove and Keowee Falls–to their roster of five courses spread across North and South Carolina, was ranked No. 9. The next two spots were taken by Promontory in Park City, Utah, with its Nicklaus and Pete Dye courses, and Palmetto Bluff, whose centerpiece amenity in this Bluffton, S.C., development is the Nicklaus-designed May River Golf Club.

Rounding out Nicklaus Design’s top-20 entries are Colleton River Plantation (No. 16); the year-old Club at Pronghorn in Bend, Ore., at No. 17; and The Greenbrier Sporting Club (No. 20) in White Sulphur Springs, West Va.

The remaining top-100 Nicklaus entries, by state, were:

Alabama (Shoal Creek)
Arizona (Desert Highlands; Desert Mountain; Superstition Mountain)
California (Sherwood)
Colorado (Castle Pines; Roaring Fork)
Florida (The Loxahatchee Club)
Georgia (Reynolds Plantation)
Hawaii (Hualalai)
Louisiana (English Turn)
Nevada (Lake Las Vegas)
New Mexico (Las Campanas)
South Carolina (The Reserve at Lake Keowee)
Texas (The Woodlands-The Club at Carlton Woods)
Washington (Snoqualmie Ridge)

The magazine also compiled a watchlist of five golf communities that will open in the near future and, no pun intended, “bear watching.” Among the five was The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club at Creighton Farms in Northern Virginia.

The top 100 was determined from an initial universe of 2,000 golf communities across the country. According to the magazine, part of the reason for such dominance on the list by Nicklaus Courses is due to the respect associated with the Nicklaus name and value that brings to developers in the industry. The magazine went out of its way to point out that courses like Pebble Beach and Jack’s Ohio home club of Muirfield Village were not considered because the golf course and the surrounding residential community are not technically related.

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