Two advertisements for golf communities fell out of my copy of USA Today yesterday morning. The more effective of the two was for Brights Creek, a sprawling 5,000-acre community not far from Lake Lure in Western North Carolina. The cover features the street addresses in Brights Creek of two neatly attired but unnamed Joes. One is a retired publisher and scratch golfer
The other ad was for The Villas at Palmer Place in the community of Seven Falls, located about 30 minutes from Asheville, NC and between Brevard and Hendersonville, both nice towns. The ad features the most pretentious approach I can recall in decades of looking at golf community advertising, a "genre" known for calling most everything "paradise" and making some amazingly grandiose claims.
"Remember when you got me?" the text starts beside a photo of the young Arnold Palmer that is inscribed from Arnie to someone named Bill. Presumably that's Arnold or the autograph talking to a formerly young fan who, the ad implies, should now consider buying an $800,000 town home in The Villas because the place has Arnie's name on it. The ad changes voice, recounts how Arnie signed an autograph for a scared youth in 1964 at Augusta, and wonders, "Who would've thought that one day you'd have the chance to own a golf villa next door to the first Arnold Palmer Premier Course?" There must be, what, two or three of USA Today's millions of readers thinking just that?
The ad ends with "Funny how life comes full circle. Funny how there's a wall there [the ad doesn't say where "there" is, but presumably it means inside your new villa] where I'd look really good."
Funny how desperately stupid this ad is. I don't own an Arnold Palmer signed photo, and neither does the vast majority of those who had the ad sheet drop into their lap. However, in case your mother threw out the Arnie photo with your baseball cards, The Villas has an answer. Each fully furnished, professionally decorated unit comes with a "one of a kind Arnold Palmer memorabilia." Perhaps one of them is a photo of Arnie signing an autograph for a young fan at the Masters in 1964?
Desperate times call for desperate actions.