Golf Community Reviews

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Friday, November 13, 2009

When a big deal in a golf community is no deal at all

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        The Internet is a great way to do research on golf community homes.  It can provide a lot of basic information about communities before you visit.  Pricing information, of course, is most helpful; if you can't afford to live in a place, then why waste your time with further investigation, no matter how great the golf community looks or how good the golf course seems.

        I scan golf community related websites often and subscribe to some newsletters that provide information about golf communities.  One I particularly like is the Golf Course Home Network, but I take what I read there with a lump of salt.  Like virtually all media devoted to golf communities, Golf Course Home Network shamelessly promotes its clients' developments.  Every reference to them is great, and they all sound like paradise and great investments.  Of course, in reality, none are perfect.  (Note:  We have chosen a different model here, never charging fees to anyone -- developer or homebuyer -- in order to maintain our objectivity.  We go so far as to pay our green fees when we play a golf community course.)

        Golf Course Home Network, which provides specific information about communities and wraps it all in a positive package, is typically accurate and timely.  I was surprised, therefore, to note last week an unusual faux pas.  The Network's newsletter and website announced that an upscale condo development in Charleston, SC, called Reverie on the Ashley River, was offering, with the purchase of some of its condos, free golf memberships at the exclusive and expensive Briar's Creek on nearby John's Island.  I visited Briar's Creek earlier this year and was impressed with the course, the clubhouse and the elegant but understated nature of the place.  Briar's Creek had just dropped its initiation fees to a still robust $100,000, so my curiosity was piqued by the Reverie offer.

        But when I went to the Reverie website, I saw no mention of the offer.  I love a good investigation, and I decided to conduct a Google search for further information.  I found an August press release announcing the free membership deal -- that expired nine days before the Golf Course Home Network newsletter arrived in my inbox.  Alas, too good to be true.

        As Emily Latella of Saturday Night Live fame used to say after being advised of a malaprop, "Never mind."

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Larry Gavrich

This blog was conceived and is published by me, Larry Gavrich, a former corporate communications executive who founded HomeOnTheCourse, LLC, in 2005.  Our firm advises baby boomers and others seeking a lifestyle in which golf is a major component.  My wife Connie and I own a home in Connecticut (not on a golf course) and a condo at Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island, SC, on a Jack Nicklaus layout.  We began our search for our home on the course more than 15 years ago, and the challenges of the search inspired me to research golf communities and write objective reviews of them.