Any room in a five-star hotel is guaranteed to please, but there’s a reason they build presidential suites. Likewise, grandstand seats at the Super Bowl lose a bit of their luster if your friend is sitting in a luxury box. The golf real estate equivalent of this is one private community that’s ensconced inside another. Only a handful of properties fit this sanctum sanctorum model, though their early success is likely to inspire imitators. The concept was born of the master planner’s need to take large parcels of land and divide them into multiple versions of the dream lifestyle. For homeowners, the payoff is the chance to avail themselves of two worlds, one resortlike and one townlike, both replete with services.
North Scottsdale, Arizona
DC Ranch is a self-contained community in the Valley of the Sun, with a Tom Lehman–John Fought eighteen as its golf complement. House hunters with the bigger bucks will find their way inside gated Silverleaf, home to a Weiskopf course. Unlike other enclaves within enclaves, Silverleaf invites the outside world in—its Canyon Village is a glossy mixed-use development with boutique retail and office space. Discerning types are also drawn to the fifty-thousand-square-foot Silverleaf Club and Spa. The Silverleaf housing stock includes compact casitas (pictured) and villas, but what’s most eye-catching is the custom-home collection. Visit silverleaf.com.
Baths: 3 full, 2 half
Square Feet: 4,700
Price: $3.275 million
Blackstone Country Club at Vistancia
Vistancia is a landmark project coming to life in the once-desolate Northwest Valley. Within its 7,100 acres are such residential options as the age-restricted Trilogy at Vistancia—with a public course designed by Gary Panks—and the family-pleasing Vistancia Village. The most envied residents are those in the gated golf subcommunity, Blackstone Country Club. With distinctive architectural themes, a Jim Engh course and a blockbuster clubhouse, it’s a bit of Scottsdale posh in this late-blooming sector. A community so high-end might struggle in an emerging market, but the smooth streets and quality schools built by developers make it less of a gamble. Visit blackstonecountryclub.com.
Square Feet: 4,838
For the golf-loving Seattle resident who owns too many umbrellas, the Suncadia resort represents much sunnier upscale recreation eighty miles to the east. The Prospector Course is Suncadia’s centerpiece, but residents of Tumble Creek play it only as a diversion from their private Tom Doak design. Tumble Creek is lodgelike and intimate—its Hill House Swim and Fitness Center and Golf House gathering spots are designed like great dens in a manor home. Its “cabins” are up to 3,500 square feet of Aspen-influenced comfort. All Tumble Creek members are automatically members of Suncadia, which is set to open a Peter Jacobsen–Jim Hardy course in 2010. Visit tumblecreek.com.
Square Feet: 3,544
Price: $2.4 million