The Next 15
These top communities include a desert jewel, an island paradise and a mountain hideout.
11 Palmetto Bluff Bluffton, South Carolina
The community's architecture pays tribute to Low Country plantations, but with 20,000 acres of marshland and shore, Palmetto Bluff is also for nature lovers. Boating, fishing and a sumptuous spa supplement the Nicklaus course.
12 The Vintage Club Indian Wells, California
The unmarked entrance gates are understated, but inside, the homes are spectacular and every blade of grass seems to be personally attended to. This resort-style oasis has lakes, waterfalls and thirty-six Tom Fazio holes.
13 Kuki'o Golf& Ocean Club Kona, Hawaii
Picture paradise: blue ocean, white sand, lava fields, cottages near the beach and in the hills. This is Kuki'o. You'll never need a tee time on the Tom Fazio course, and the rest stations are stocked with gourmet treats.
14 Iron Horse Whitefish, Montana
Located between a pristine lake and the Big Mountain ski resort, Iron Horse is a favored escape for tycoons. An on-site comprehensive concierge arranges white-water rafting and dinner in artsy Whitefish. The golf is by Tom Fazio.
15 Lake Nona Orlando, Florida
Sure it plays second fiddle to Tiger's nearby Isleworth, but Lake Nona has its own cast of Tour stars, a great Fazio course, a spa, a wine cellar and excellent fishing and boating.
16 Colleton River Plantation Bluffton, South Carolina
Augusta National meets the Low Country. In addition to eighteen holes by Nicklaus and eighteen by Dye, there's an Augusta-like par-three course. Some of the homes, with acres of marshland as backdrop, have deepwater access.
17 Pronghorn Bend, Oregon
The weather is great on the eastern slope of the Cascades, and so are the courses by Fazio and Nicklaus. If the extensive amenities (some still being built) and fabulous views aren't enough, nearby Bend offers art, charm and boutiques.
18 The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe Rancho Santa Fe, California
North of San Diego, this wealthy enclave has rolling hills and canyons, a Tuscan-style clubhouse, a sports center and a spa. The golf, by Robert Trent Jones Jr., is as good as the climate.
19 Silverleaf Scottsdale, Arizona
Antique beams and tiles for the clubhouse were imported from Europe, choice parcels of land were preserved for parks and the New Urbanism design promotes street life. Tom Weiskopf crafted the challenging desert course.
20 The Greenbrier Sporting Club White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia
Residents have a private Fazio course plus access to all three of the courses at Sam Snead's old place, the Greenbrier Resort. A spa, members' lodge, abundant fly-fishing streams and an equestrian center complete the picture.
21 BigHorn Palm Desert, California
Begin with access to private jet service. Add a spa, a salon, five dining venues, Hollywood celebrities and astronomical property values. Then check out the opulent courses by Arthur Hills and Tom Fazio.
22 Mirasol Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
The grand clubhouse, evoking 1920s Florida, overlooks two courses—one by Fazio, one by Arthur Hills. The 2,300-acre community's sporting center includes clay-court tennis.
23 John's Island Club Vero Beach, Florida
Turning into John's Island from Vero Beach is like falling down Alice's rabbit hole: a grand clubhouse, homes that make jaws drop, a superb resident chef and, to top it off, three courses—one by Fazio and two by Dye.
24 Southern Highlands Las Vegas
The last course that Robert Trent Jones Sr. helped design is a hilly masterpiece. With a great grillroom, phenomenal spa and family-friendly orientation, the community is, surprisingly, only ten minutes from the Las Vegas strip.
25 Mirabel Scottsdale, Arizona
Mirabel's uniqueness goes beyond the Frank Lloyd Wrightstyle clubhouse and the walkable Fazio eighteen with a caddie program. Services include an on-course chef cooking snacks, and chilled lavender towels by the eighteenth green.