For just $500, membership in a course Trump's man designed


Easy to be hard:  The 5th green at Reems Creek (just to the left of the bunker in the distance) can be driven, but the almost sure par four is to hit a mid iron off the tee.


   The Old Course at Lahinch Golf Club in Ireland is one of the best courses in the world, according to design experts and players alike.  It might surprise many that the massive redesign begun 10 years ago was handed to an architect many of us have never heard of, Dr. Martin Hawtree of Hawtree Golf Design.  Hawtree's grandfather founded the firm in 1912. Hawtree the younger has gained some notoriety lately for

The course features a number of blind shots that make a first go at it a little disorienting.

having been chosen to design Donald Trump's ocean course at Aberdeen, Scotland, whose membership fees, if the course ever gets built, will be in the six figures.  The Hawtree firm, which does most of its work in Europe, can claim more than 700 courses it has either designed or touched up over its history.
    At today's currency exchange rates, Lahinch's green fees are about $260 US.  Add in the cost of airfare and lodging in Ireland and you are into the thousands of dollars.  For a lot less, you can actually join Reems Creek, a Hawtree Design course in the Asheville, NC area that I enjoyed when I played it a few years ago.
    I recall at the time comparing Reems Creek to a few British Isles courses I had played.  Reems Creek, located in Weaverville, just 20 minutes from the popular city of Asheville, wasn't quite a links course, but it did show its share of heather-like rough, rolling fairways and bunkering in the sides of hills, all of which gave off the odor of golf
Membership at Reems Creek is a measly $500.

in the Kingdom.  The course features a number of blind shots that make a first go at it a little disorienting, but at less than 6,500 yards from the tips, local members told me they use more finesse than brawn.  The course rating from the tips is 70.5 and slope 130.  
    I recall one hole especially, the short par 4 5th, that offered a risk/reward tee shot if ever there was one.  You could hit a safe five iron to the fairway and have an 8 iron or less into the green.  Or you could try to fly the large pond that fronts the green and skirt the trees at front left to put yourself in position for a possible eagle putt, a carry of about 220. (I think Hawtree may have been considering the 10th at The Belfry when he designed Reems Creek's #5.)  I chose risk aversion and hit the five-iron; I recall I parred the hole.
    Current membership in the Reems Creek club is a measly $500, with monthly full family dues of just $170.  Okay, the facilities are a little skimpy and you'll share your course with the daily fee players, but members at Lahinch do so as well.  Real estate adjacent to the course is a good buy, and some homes have impressive views not only of the golf course but also of the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains as well.  Lots begin at $90,000, single-family homes at $400,000, and town homes at $250,000.  The largest lot available currently is 6 acres and is listed for $255,000. At the high end, a new 5 BR, 4 BA, 4,800 square foot home, with a view of the course and distant mountains, is on the market for $948,000.  A 3 BR, 3 BA, 3200 square foot home with similar views is listed at $549,000.
    I visited Reems Creek the same week I toured Champion Hills in Hendersonville, Kenmure in Flat Rock and Mountain Air in Burnsville.  Reems Creek was not as high in
Housing prices in the Reems Creek neighborhood are about 20% less than private golf communities in the area.

elevation or price points as some of the others, but by no means was it lowdown either.  Views of the course from the adjacent homes are excellent, views of the mountains nice, if not breathtaking.  Housing prices are a good 20% less than the other communities and the golf fees are tens of thousands less.  You also can't beat the convenience of just 20 minutes to Asheville, a town that appeals to a wide range of people, young and old alike.
    If Reems Creek or the Asheville area appeals to you, let me know by clicking the "Contact Us" button at the top of the page, and I will be glad to provide you with more information and, if you want, a qualified real estate agent who knows Reems Creek and the Asheville area well.


Homes sit above most fairways at Reems Creek and provide some impressive views. 


-- Article and photos by Larry Gavrich

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