There’s a prevailing quip around the Southeastern U.S. that golfers from the “Windy City” are “blowing down” to the land of sunshine, sweet tea and biscuits faster than you can say “Lou Malnati’s.” But it’s not just Chicago – take a spin around any golf community in SEC and ACC territory and you’re just as likely to see Big 10 flags flying from front porches.
That’s not to say that Midwestern golfers don’t love their meat and potatoes roots. Many of them are retaining residences – and a set of clubs – in both locales. This is, after all, the gilded age of the remote worker. But these two private golf communities in particular are welcoming more and more Midwestern members than ever before.
The Club at Olde Cypress, Naples, Fla.
Naples, Fla. is well-established as one of the true golf capitals of the U.S., boasting 90-plus 18-hole courses spanning the “Paradise Coast” from North Naples south to Marco Island. At its epicenter is The Club at Olde Cypress, one of the most progressive and vibrant golf communities in the entire region.
The club is the centerpiece of a highly sought-after, 450-acre gated enclave with resale homes ranging from $550,000 to over $1 million. And the cornerstones of the club are its 34,000-square-foot clubhouse and P.B. Dye golf course, the architect’s only design in Collier County.
“Have clubs, will relocate” golfers take note: Olde Cypress completed a multi-million-dollar remastering of the golf course in the fall of 2021. The expansive project entailed the resurfacing of all 18 greens, practice green and chipping area; enlarging, leveling and re-grassing tee boxes; installation of a new subsurface drainage system and new artificial turf on the driving range.
Additionally, the Pro Shop was reimagined with interior design upgrades ranging from color pallets, woodwork and lighting to countertops, artwork and flooring. In short, Olde Cypress is perfectly positioned for upswell in golf participation and membership demand that’s forecast to continue into the foreseeable future.
For more information visit www.oldecypress.com.
Champion Hills, Hendersonville, N.C.
Champion Hills is a rarity in Western North Carolina, a private community and club offering golf year-round on its Tom Fazio-designed “Mountain Masterpiece.” It’s location in the state’s southern tier puts it just 45 minutes from Greenville, South Carolina and less than 30 minutes from Asheville, a climatological zone that enjoys high temps in the 50s throughout most the winter.
Champion Hills is nestled amid one of the most dramatic stretches of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and its mountain-lodge-style clubhouse features unobstructed views of spanning hundreds of miles in each direction. Resale homes, while limited, currently range from $535,000 to $1,850,000 and custom building lots range from .5 up to 1.5 acres, with prices from $50,000 to $300,000.
The club has responded to a seismic demographic shift in demand with its new “Equity 55,” a full golf membership designed for those age 55 and under. With Equity 55, the private $40,000 initiation fee is divided into four equal payments over four years, dues and replacement reserve fund contributions are reduced by 50% and the club’s $800 annual food and beverage minimum is prorated for new members.
Golf is the preferred pursuit among Champion Hills members, and the club delivers with what many consider to be Fazio’s purest example of mountain golf course architecture. Ranked among the top 51 residential golf courses in the U.S. by Golfweek, his brilliant routing takes golfers through heavily forested hills, deep ravines and cool mountain streams of its Blue Ridge Mountain setting.
For more information visit www.championhills.com.
*Champions Hill Photos Courtesy of Dave Sansom, Olde Cypress Photos Courtesy of Adventure Creative