Telecommuting has been on the rise for some time, and now with the recent surge in gasoline prices to three dollars a gallon and beyond, corporate America's work-from-anywhere mindset has only intensified.
If indeed you can work from the field—or if you no longer have to work at all—there is nothing to stop you from moving to one of the more manageable midsize cities in the warm climates of the Southwest. They've certainly got the upscale golf infrastructure in place.
The three Sunbelt communities shown here offer lots and houses both with and without views of the fairway. The latter might be best for those telecommuters who actually have work they need to do.
Oro Valley, Arizona The city lights of Tucson glimmer to the south and two mountain ranges loom into view as a Stone Canyon–dweller shifts his gaze left and right. This is an unabashedly upscale development luxuriating on 1,400 Sonoran acres. Residential lots are one-acre minimum and the low-slung homes are loaded with bold design elements. One of golf's great desert architects, Jay Morrish, twirled his wand over the canyon and delivered a course that critics can't get enough of. Along with golf, the diversions here include a lavish new health and fitness center and pool. The home pictured represents the typical style of the houses in the new Tuscan Estates neighborhood. It comes with a separate guest casita and rights to a club membership. Visit stonecanyon.com.
Cedar Park, Texas Having embraced the healthy sporting lifestyle at Twin Creeks, you are bound to spend less time clubbing at Emo's, the Lucky Lounge and all those other nightspots your out-of-town friends will want to visit in nearby Austin. The community is strictly private but has enough resort-type features to keep it hopping, including an executive chef plucked from the Intercontinental Hotel downtown and a water park with two pools, interactive fountains and themed waterslides. The three-year-old golf course, by Schmidt-Curley Design with an assist from Fred Couples, is draped over a Hill Country landscape of oak and pecan groves with creek beds in play throughout. Pictured below is a Craftsman-style single-family home located in the Reserve, a higher-end Twin Creeks neighborhood. Visit twincreeksaustin.com.
Santa Fe, New Mexico Successful entrepreneurs who move to Santa Fe thinking they'll settle down, soon encounter a network of thinkers, deal makers and risk takers who naturally restoke the retirees' ambitions. The clubhouse at Las Campanas, according to a recent Forbes article, is the ad hoc headquarters for an "angels"-style funding group for start-up high-tech companies. Also in keeping with the Santa Fe ethic, Las Campanas maintains an on-site "university" where residents can master a foreign language. The more than 4,700-acre community is another successful collaboration of pioneering desert developer Lyle Anderson and Jack Nicklaus, architect of all thirty-six holes on the property. A spa and an active equestrian program round out the amenities. Pictured is a seven-fireplace residence with desert views and two roof decks. Visit lascampanas.com.