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America’s Top 100 Golf Communities: The Top 25

21. Isleworth

Windermere, Florida

There may be more stellar rounds of golf played on the Steve Smyers–amended course at Isleworth than at any club community in the U.S. Along with the well-publicized Tavistock Cup contested by Tiger, Ernie, Retief and friends, the community also hosts an annual Isleworth-UCF Collegiate Invitational that vies for recognition as America’s premier collegiate golf event. A club Wellness Center attracts two opposite types, the workout fanatic and the massage-and-manicure set. You have to spend a bit of time here to realize how long a stretch of beautiful Butler Lakes shoreline the property enjoys.

22. Wade Hampton Golf Club

Cashiers, North Carolina

Any successful golf resort with unbuilt land adjacent to it is a real estate project waiting to happen. Developers of the Wade Hampton Golf Club waited sixty-odd years—through three generations of the McKee family—to make the leap into residential property. High Hampton Inn was their flagship and this club is the answer to the question so many families would ask at season’s end: Why do we have to leave?

23. Tradition

La Quinta, California

The studio system and Pierce-Arrow coupes with rumble seats are long gone. Meanwhile, La Quinta, the cove-like settlement beside the Santa Rosa Mountains that Walter H. Morgan founded in the 1920s, endures and thrives. Arnold Palmer put his imprimatur on the desert town by establishing this community and building a winter home here.

24. The Bear’s Club

Jupiter, Florida

For a good many of the Friends of Jack who were founding members of this posh, polished enclave, the club’s upcoming tenth anniversary will make them wonder where the years went. By now the walls of this community’s forty-thousand-square-foot Tuscan-style clubhouse hold a rich trove of golf lore.

25. Cornerstone (New)

Montrose, Colorado

Golf meets West in this six-thousand-acre expanse of Rocky Mountain beauty and sports activity. The Cornerstone resident is in great need of footwear: golf spikes, hiking boots, stream waders, tennis shoes, ski boots, riding boots and (one hopes) loafers. Dallas-based Hunt Realty Investments is the developer— sister company of Hunt Oil. Among the housing options: Golf Foursome Cabins, made up of four master suites, each with a private bathroom, walk-in closet (for those shoes and boots), steam shower and private patio. Golf director Mark Wood brings his superior blend of physical-mental golf training to a theme-park-style practice complex he designed himself.

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