We came across an interesting three-year old study that proposes that Jack Nicklaus golf courses are the most valuable of all.  We doubt that has changed over time, based on our own observations of house prices in the golf communities we've visited.  Homes in communities that sport a Nicklaus-designed course are almost always priced higher than comparable communities bearing other architects' names.   And if you believe, as we do, that homes in communities with a well-perceived golf course appreciate faster -- all other things being equal -- then factoring in the designer's name with other considerations is important.
    The study, by the UK-based Golf Research Group, focused on the value of Gary Player’s name but ranked other major architects in terms of their net present value (NPV) in 2003. Nicklaus, who has designed well over 100 courses in the U.S. and almost 300 worldwide, easily outdistanced Player, who finished just ahead of two Toms, Fazio and Weiskopf.
    The rest of the 14 listed architects included, in order, Jay Moorish, Pete Dye, Greg Norman, Robert Trent Jones Jr., Rees Jones, Jim Fazio, P.B. Dye, Arnold Palmer, Robert Cupp and Arthur Hills (one of our favorites).
    You can read the full report by clicking here.

    When we attended the Live South trade show in Connecticut last weekend, we met two pleasant young agents representing Pine Ridge Plantation, a brand new community in Edgefield, SC.  They were brimming with enthusiasm without being cloying.  We had visited Edgefield briefly 18 months ago on our way to look at communities in the Aiken, SC, area.  It is an historic town with a quirky distinction:  It is the home of the National Wild Turkey Foundation (the bird, not the bourbon).
    But Edgefield is a good 45 minutes from the nearest airport (Columbia) and not exactly a destination.  To encourage visitors to Pine Ridge, the developers are offering an impressively priced discovery package that includes 3 days and 2 nights of accommodations and a round of golf for two for just $69.  Non-golfers can opt for a dinner certificate in lieu of golf.  Of course, you will have to sit still for a presentation of real estate opportunities, but that comes with the territory.  Model homes (three bedrooms) begin at $227,000.
    Pine Ridge's new web site is up and running but not exactly full of info yet.  Click on the golf tab at the site and up pops a generic photo of a golf hole, followed by another page with two paragraphs right out of the golf cliche textbook.  ("You'll feel rejuvenated by the soothing views of the tranquil ponds...").  We feel rejuvenated as well by the thought of $35 a night for a room, golf included.
    If you visit, please let us know.