Golf Community Reviews

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Upscale barracks for Arnie's Army

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    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

Each $800,000 unit comes with a "one of a kind Arnold Palmer memorabilia."

who "patiently gives pointers (when asked)."  The other collects first editions, is a 25 handicap and his "short game's getting better."  Both, of course, are smiling contentedly.  The reverse side of the sheet describes the amenities at Brights Creek, including the Tom Fazio golf course.  Homesites, the ad says, start at $175,000 and custom homes at $900,000, which seems a little high for the average USA Today reader, me included.
    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.

Read 4039 times Last modified on Saturday, 19 April 2008 02:24
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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.


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