Battle of the billboards on Highway 17

        No highway east of the Mississippi and, perhaps, in all of America is more chock-a-block with golf communities than is U.S. Highway 17, which begins somewhere around Winchester, VA, and runs out of macadam in Punta Gorda, FL.  For most of its length, the highway hugs the coast, breezing through or brushing against such popular golfing destinations as Wilmington, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, and Savannah.  A couple searching for any type of golf community on the coast can pretty much stay on U.S. 17 for a few weeks worth of visits.

        South of Norfolk, U.S. 17 makes its way through the Albemarle Sound area.  The Albemarle, located on the northeast coast of North Carolina, was a little late to develop golf communities.  The towns of Hertford, Edenton and Elizabeth City did not provide the lure of, say, a Myrtle Beach, for northerners seeking entertainment and other attractions to go with their golf course living.  For peace and quiet, though, it is hard to beat.

        Until recently, Albemarle Plantation, with its Dan Maples course Sound Links, could lay claim to being the only golf community of note in the area.  But now it has some competition in Scotch Hall Preserve, a fledgling community that will be built around an already opened and well-reviewed Arnold Palmer golf course about a half hour south of Albemarle Plantation and just a couple of miles off U.S. Highway 17.  I am making my first trip to Scotch Hall tomorrow to play the golf course and talk with the developers; I visited Albemarle Plantation a few years ago and was impressed with its location and its golf course.

        Unlike in places like Myrtle Beach, where there are so many golf communities that any attempt to stand out is an expensive and potentially futile exercise, the Albemarle Sound area is different, with just these two players.  I noted on my drive south today that the marketing skirmishes between the two communities have begun in the trenches, literally, alongside U.S. 17.   The dueling billboards reminded me of the gas wars of the 1960s.  Customers looking for the type of lifestyle the Albemarle Sound can provide should be the beneficiaries of the added competition.

        If you are interested in more information about either of these communities, or in arranging for a visit, please contact me.