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Michigan Golf Communites for 2002
by Art McCafferty

Once again, we have collected some of the most up to date information on Michigan golf course real estate and in one case some information about a magic place in Florida. We hope you enjoy what we have put together and hope that you will turn to http://michigangolfrealestate.com to gather further information. You will note that we also have some real estate video clips as well.

Beaver Creek Resort http://beavercreekresort.org

Beaver Creek Resort, located in Gaylord, is truly a four-season resort. They started out as a family resort with RV facilities, indoor pool, water slide, sport lake, miniature golf and tennis court. Ten years ago they added The Natural, easily one of Jerry Matthew's finer golf course designs. Of late, they have been attracting snowmobilers to their property.

The tremendous building program taken on by owner Larry Bowden has spiked the growth at the resort. He began by building affordable cabins on his property, that could be utilized as rental units. Currently, his target of 50 units is getting closer as he has built and sold 33 of the units. These cabins run from $70,000 on the resale of some of his earlier ones, to $165,000 for the newer models, that have more bedrooms, a one car garage, fireplace and come fully furnished.

The cabins share the fairways of The Natural. They are located primarily on the back nine with units located around holes 11-15.

Bowden also plans to upgrade his RV Park, by installing some Breckenridge Modular homes on the site, with those prices ranging from $24,000 to $50,000. Again, he continues to upgrade the resort every year as the fortunes of the Gaylord Golf and now Snowmobile Mecca increase in value.

While this will keep Bowden busy for awhile, there is still plenty of land to expand on his 250-acre resort. You can see all of his resort with his brand new website.

Birchwood Farms-Harbor Springs http://birchwoodrealty.com

It really all began here you know. Harbor Springs was the birthplace of Michigan golf. In 1896 some pioneering Michigan golfers teed it up at Roaring Brook Course in Harbor Springs. The Roaring Brook Course is gone now, but Wequetonsing Golf Club and Harbor Point Golf Course still remain.

Harbor Springs as been a place for the "Rich and Famous" for over a century now. First it was cruise ships, then railroads, then automobiles and now planes that bring people to the area to enjoy the natural beauty and year around activities that the north offers. Harbor Springs offers exclusive shops, art galleries, craft shows, concerts, hiking, biking, boating and a real potpourri of other things to do. Nearby, the attractions of the Mackinac Bridge, Mackinac Island and the Soo Locks, make for great day trips.

Into this rich history of Harbor Springs and golf, Birchwood Farms Golf &Country Club has claimed its place. Formerly a dairy and produce farm, Birchwood Farms continues the legacy of Harbor Springs with its 27 holes of superb golf and elegant living. Birchwood Farms was established in the early 1970s. The community represents both year round and seasonal residents, young couples, families retirees and people from diverse backgrounds that come together as neighbors.

If this is the type of community you are looking for, and really who isn't, you need to contact Rich Rochette of Birchwood Realty, Inc. "Rich indicates that of the 28 Cottages at Birchwood, nine have been taken. The Cottages at Birchwood range in price from $410,000 to $465,000, the main difference being that the higher priced cottages are on the second fairway of the golf course with the others across the road that services the site. The Cottages at Birchwood have 2600 sq.ft. to roam around in, with three and a half baths, three bedrooms, two car garage and a full basement.

Some of the amenities that will make signing that deposit a little easier are: 27 holes of no greens fee golf, a new practice facility, and a new 24,000 sq.ft. clubhouse, eight tennis courts, swimming pool for adults and a smaller one for children, groomed cross-country trails in the winter and year around activities for the whole family.

Boyne http://boyne.com

Last fall, Stephen Kircher, one of the principal's at Boyne USA and son of the late founder Everett Kircher, stunned the gathering at the Michigan Golf Course Owners Association meeting, by indicating that the golf dollars brought to the total revenue of Boyne USA represented a relatively small percentage of their business. Of particular note during the presentation, was the unveiling of the massive real estate holdings that Boyne corporate has, not only in Michigan, but also throughout their now International resort properties.

For Boyne visitors, they need only to turn on the Boyne Channel in their room to view some of these substantial holdings. Boyne feels that golf or ski real estate can add diversity to a portfolio and give the investor an investment that they can utilize. In other words would you like to pull out a printout of your portfolio and look at those stocks, or would you like to pull into a condominium and watch the sun go down and your asset appreciate?

Boyne for one is driving that message home to possible clients. They are frequent visitors. That is one of the central messages in their overall campaign. To drive that point home, they have become somewhat of a corporate sponsor to WJR's Real Estate Insiders program. Host, David Hall, has interviewed either Boyne's Steve Kircher or Jim Held on the issue of resort living. They are practically regulars on the show.

The editors of Business Week and Golf Digest (November/December 2001) recently listed the best areas in which to "settle down". Northwestetn Michigan came in #1.

"The fact is that real estate in our area has always fared well in comparison during economic downturns," states Rik Lobenherz, president of Vacation Properties Network and Boyne Realty.

Given the cachet of this northern Michigan real estate niche, it seems unlikely that talk of recession, real or imagined, will taint expectations or slow momentum. For more information about northern Michigan real estate and Boyne Realty, call 800-88-BOYNE or visit boynerealty.com.

Canadian Lakes 800-722-5549

Norm Browning has been beaming since the introduction of the latest course at Canadian Lakes, Tullymore. The course was wonderfully received by the press, but more importantly by golfers. This April, the Inn at St. Ives will open to provide 44 elegant rooms to house those that wish to stay and play at their marvelous complex. But instead of just staying overnight, how about a lifetime?

In 1962, Canadian Lakes, which is located 60 miles north of Grand Rapids, was launched with the mission of being one of the great recreation communities in Michigan. Since then, they have built a total of 1800 homes there and average a hundred new ones each year. The attraction are bountiful, but among them are two private and two very exceptional public courses. The new Tullymore designed by Jim Engh, which opened last year and the Jerry Matthews designed St. Ives, which opened a number of years ago. There are nine tennis courts an airport and a 1000 acres of water on the complex.

They have wooded lots, golf course lots and waterfront lots, and basically lots of lots. The go to person in all of this is Dan Bollman, who is the director of sales at Canadian Lakes. He knows every lot on the property and knows exactly which one will fit you. They have sites available from $11,000 to $45,000. Ownership includes private use of the 36 holes of golf, 4 clubhouses, tennis courts, beaches, boating and outdoor pools.

Dan also wanted folks to know that they are opening up 24 lots on the spectacular Tullymore Golf Course. Lots on Tullymore will run from $35,000 to $135,000, In addition 37 other lots that are lakefront or riverfront, will go on the market $10,000 to $45,000.

Charlevoix http://chxcountryclub.com

Here is stylish living, world-class recreation and gracious hospitality in a classic north woodssetting. Over 600 acres have been dedicated to the tradition of sport and leisure that began innearby Charlevoix almost a century ago. This outstanding facility offers a distinctive enclave of homes, cottages, condominiums and homesites. Private sites tucked in mature northernMichigan hardwoods are available with fairway views and complete municipal utilities starting at $49,900. A new addition to the club is The Enclave, individual homes each with three bedrooms and two baths from $289,000. Equestrian Way features estate-sized lots situated in a pristine forest and rolling meadows just ideal for the nature lover priced from $111,500. The Greens condominiums situated on the ninth fairway offer two- and three-bedroom units featuring fireplaces and scenic vistas starting at $425,000. Stonebridge is a cluster of generously proportioned wooded fairway homesites offering the utmost privacy in a natural setting from $82,000. Cottage Pointe offers the convenience of condominium living with the feeling of a single-family dwelling. Three bedrooms, 2.5 baths and a two-car garage start at $349,500. Fo full details on Charlevoix Country Club Properties call Loren Musilek: (800) 748-0535.

Copper Ridge 734-282-2122

Jeff Parks, Director of Operations for Copper Ridge GC, stopped by the Michigan Golfer TV Show booth at the Michigan Golf Show to tape a segment about the real estate opportunities at their new course, Copper Ridge which is located in Davison.

The course was designed by Doug Treadwell and is managed by the Treadwell Golf Company. The course stretches out to over 7000 yards and is noted for its abundance of tee placements, wide and rolling fairways, a balance of water hazards, bunkers and, of course, places where your ball is supposed to go. The clubhouse is up and the restaurant and bar are now open

They will have a golf community of 87 residential sites, with 70 of them backing up to the golf course. The typical lot size is 90 x 150 sq. ft. with prices ranging from $45,000 to $85,000. Thus far, over 30 have been sold. They also have plans for 117 condominium units, with square footage at 1645,with the price tag at $169,000. (you need to call 810-653-0800 for condo information.) Thus far, they have sold 21 of them. Parks also indicates that they will be a third development on the course in the next two years that will feature homesites from $80,000 to $120,000.

Eagle Beach

Bob Shorter has started with 500 acres and 8000' of waterfront and is putting together a golf and community living complex that will rival his former work at Chestnut Valley. Eagle Beach is located between Crooked and Pickerel Lake in the Indian River area of Northern Michigan. He will open nine hills of his golf course this summer and frame it against the lots they will sell on the course on the water. He calls the Larry Mancour golf course design, "beachlinks", named for the eight lakes they created in building the course. Golf course lots go from $40,000 to $70,000 with the lakefront lots checking in at $170,000. Bob points out that the lakefront is part of the 40-mile Inland Waterway.

Eagle Beach properties have architectural guidelines featuring the Victorian them found in near by Petoskey and Harbor Spring. Other amenities available are lake and beach access, boat dockage, tennis courts and walking/jogging trails. Shorter also pointed out that residents would only be a few minutes from downhill skiing.

Grand Traverse Resort http://grandtraverseresort.com

What is left to be said about Grand Traverse Resort? This property set the tone for the explosion of tourism to northern Michigan. A Governor's Conference, a meeting of the American Travel Writers, Association, a Senior Tour Championship and the emergence of one of the toughest golf courses in the world, The Bear. all let to an increased awareness of our great state. As a result property values skyrocketed during the late 80's and now into the new millennium

Larry Smith, Mr. Real Estate at the Grand Traverse Resort, has seen most of this happen as he has been there for 17 years. He has witnessed the resort exploding with growth during his tenure. The resort features year-round private residences at Wolverine Heights and Arrowhead Estates (Single Family Homes), Cottage Glens and Singletree Condominiums. To that mix, they also have condominium income property opportunities with the Shores, Bayview, Golfview, Hilltop, Valleyview and the Terrace. All told, the property has 480 condominiums sprinkled throughout its 1200 acres.

It has sold out its Singletree and Arrowhead Estates residence areas and is featuring Singletree II and the new Wolverine Heights for those looking for year around living.

Wolverine Heights is a new subdivision on the Gary Player, Wolverine course. The lots have taken some of the high ground on the course and are priced from 59,900 to $89,900. They are currently offering a demo home on the Wolverine that sells for $425,000 and has A Bear Golfing Membership, which will allow the homeowner, free golf (they must pay for the cart) on any of the three golf courses for life.

The Singletree II complex will be nestled in around the 15th hole at The Bear, where there will be a total of 12 duplexes. Smith also wanted to let folks know that the Cottage Glen area still has 4 of its 30 units left.

Obviously, business is brisk at Grand Traverse Resort. They have a quality management team, stable corporate ownership and provide world class amenities. They are constantly mentioned in "The Best of" lists and should continue to do so.

And yes, the golf. Grand Traverse Resort is the home of one of the most famous golf courses in Michigan, The Bear. However, many forget the original Spruce course, designed by William Newcomb. The Michigan Open was played for years on this course and proved to be a worthy opponent. Now with the highly popular and golfer friendly Gary Player course, The Wolverine on hand, it is a homeowners paradise.

Grande GC-Jackson

Theresa Schenk of the Grande GC in Jackson, indicated that they are still about a year away from putting their real estate on the market. Judging from the reviews that the course in getting, the real estate should move rather briskly.

Hawks Eye-Bellaire http://www.hawks-eye.com

Tom Rowe, a principal in the north's newest course, Hawk's Eye, indicates that they will have a gated community at Hawk's Eye with an eye for a diversified base of home owners with lots ranging from $29,000 to $90,000. The site will be designed to have golf cars as the mode of travel inside the community. There will be a substantial clubhouse, with a heated swimming pool, tennis courts and a natural putting course. We understand that 50% of the first phase has been sold. Hawk's Eye, is a sister course to The Chief that opened a couple of years ago. Nine holes will be available for golf this summer with the remainder in July of 2003.

Thunder Bay Resort-Hillman http://thunderbaygolf.com

Joe Libby, Director of Golf for Thunder Bay Resort, indicated that they have a number of golf lots and river frontage lots available. These half acre lots range from $27,900 to $39,900, depending on their location. Each buyer receives a lifetime membership for his or her family.

Lakewood Shores Resort http://lakewoodshores.com

I had lunch with Art Cruse the other day. Art, one of the early employees of SUN Microsystems, now runs his own information technology consulting firm, Crusecom.com, out of Columbus, Ohio. One of his clients is the Oscoda Chamber of Commerce and he has been going up there for the past year. I quickly did a brain dump on why I thought Columbus was such a neat town, but was brought up short by his admission that he really wanted to move his company to Oscoda. He went on about how much he loved Northern Michigan and in particular the Oscoda area. He just felt it was a great place to raise a family.

Just as quickly, I shared my thoughts with him about the area. I particularly pointed out that he should meet with Craig Peters, the Director of Golf at Lakewood Shores Resort, as he shares the same compassion for the Oscoda area.

Lakewood Shores Resort has made ownership in this area even more appealing with an eye popping 2 for 1 sale. That's right, if you buy one lot, you get a second (contiguous lot) for $10.00. The lot prices at Lakewood Shores start at $12,000 and you must build five years after purchase. Interested? If so, you need to go to their website and visit the real estate area.

This is really something to think about. The resort offers a full array of family activities including an outdoor heated pool, a private beach on Cedar Lake perfect for swimming, jet skiing, canoeing and fishing. Just minutes away are the beautiful beaches of Lake Huron. As a golfer, three highly different and memorable golf courses; the Serredella, the award winning Gailes and the new Blackshire surround you. I will need to get back with Art Cruse about this deal.

Pheasant Ridge http://prdhomesites.com

Scott Chapman, co-owner of Pheasant Ridge Development Company, has a variety of properties in northern Indiana and southwest Michigan that he can offer clients. The Crown Jewel of all of these is the golf real estate and lake property that is available at Island Hills Golf Course, located in Centreville.

Island Hills Golf Course, owned by Tom and Lori Templin, is one of the special golf courses in Michigan. Ray Hearn, a fast rising star in the golf course design business, counts this as one of his best. . " As for the golf course itself, well, let's just say that the Templin family gave us a parcel of land that's a designer's dream. With an abundance of great, natural holes present everywhere, our goal was to narrow down the number to the best possible 18. And, we capitalized further on the natural terrain by creating four holes on one island, a feature like no other golf course in the Midwest," said Hearn. This course will only get better and the real estate should only increase in value.

The Lake Templene/Island Hills development has hundreds of homesites on the golf course or on the 1,050-acre Lake Templene. Buyers will find a variety of home models within the community and a choice of builders.

Currently they offer five models, The Amberwood, 1,486 sq.ft at $147,000, The Torrey Pines, 1,513 sq.ft. at $149,700, The Pebble Beach, 1,816 sq.ft. at $152,500, The Standard Rivera, 1,850 at $157,000 and The Riveria, 1,872 sq. ft. and $170,000. (These prices do not include the lot.)

Chapman feels that providing access to a number of builders in the project is another plus to the buyer. "We have received a lot of interest in our properties and are doing very well. Basically, if they come out to see us, the property will pretty much sell itself. There is really nothing like it in the surrounding area. "

The homesites at Island Hills range from $49,000 to $85,000 in the Gales Court and Hidden River and Brookstone Drive areas. The Hidden River and Brookstone areas feature their Villa Home Lots and are located on the golf course. On the Raintree Side or Clubhouse Side, prices start at $49,000 and go to $99,000. For the cost conscious, Ridgewood Circle features lots that run from $29,000 to $39,000. For those who want to live on Lake Templene, prices at Crystal Beach range from $99,000 to $129,000. While a lake that boasts a 22-mile shoreline provides temptation enough for those looking to build, the addition of a championship course is often the determining factor

Pheasant Ridge has a very user-friendly website. We strongly you spend some time on the site to really grasp the magnitude of what is there. Contact Pheasant Ridge Co. at (888) 840-7483.

See Scott Chapman discuss the Island Hills properties on the Michigan Golf Real Estate site http://michigangolfrealestate.

Otsego Club http://otsegoclub.com

If ever there were a perfect place to live or buy a second home in Michigan, this would be way up there on the list. For openers, the Otsego Club is one of the most storied resorts in our state. It was one of the first ski resorts and followed that up with the William Diddle designed Classic golf course. It stayed that sleepy and rustic way for many years, until owner Keith Gornick decided to get heavily involved. He expanded the golf opportunities with his involvement with the Loon and the Lake courses and this May will officially add the newest member of the Otsego Club legacy, The Tribute, to the mix.

When golfers take on The Tribute and its 1200 acres of beauty, they will see what only club members see in the wintertime, ski lifts, valleys, bluffs and some very spectacular terrain. Gornick will need to clear a wall for the awards this course will receive in the coming years.

For golfers that trade off summer fairways for winter slopes, you need look no further to settle down. We had the opportunity to do an Internet television show at the Otsego Club this past winter and caught some of the great skiing, snowboarding and winter pleasures so abundant at the resort. You can catch all of the on The Michigan Skier TV Show. http://michiganskier.tv

Finally, how many other places in Michigan have a resort in town? In Gaylord, you can walk down to Diana's for an early morning breakfast and newspaper or do some shopping and then return to the resort for continued recreation.

Scott Chesley and Lois Skinner are the people to see at the Otsego Club, if you are moved to "Just Own It". This is a relatively easy and pleasant task, as their office lies just to the left of the main entrance to the Club.

For openers, Phase II of the highly successful Otsego Club Village condominiums has sold out. However, not to worry as Phase II is starting to fire up and they will hit the starting line at $255,000. They also have reworked the Blue Spruce into condominium units that start from $59,000.

Want to live on or be near the Classic Golf Course, they have about a dozen home sites left that range from $24,000 to $40,000. Those 40K homesites are on the golf course and come with lifetime memberships on the Classic.

However the much-awaited real estate on the Tribute will not be marketed for at least another year. According to Chesley, "we really want people to get a chance to play the course and see the terrain and the valley before we release or develop any of the property out there. We remain focused on the condos and homesites in and around the resort/main lodge core. New log units will be coming online this year as well as the new Legacy Village condominiums. The Legacy units while not on the Tribute, will have a view of No. 1 and the 18th green. They actually will front the Classic holes #5, 6, 7, 15 and 16."

Skyline Ski and Golf Resort http://www.skylineski.com

If the world were a perfect place, the golf season would end on Halloween and three feet of snow would hit Grayling and stay there until tax day, April 15. But as Jerry Balmes, knows it is not a perfect place. Skyline Ski Resort, like all of our ski resorts, came off a terrific year in 2000-2001. However the current ski season has not been as rewarding.

The softness of the ski season may prove to be a boon for people in the market to buy real estate at golf and ski resort. This coming summer or early fall, Balmes, will take the wraps off the first nine holes of his new golf course, Hawk's Ridge and he is most anxious to move some of the remaining 18 lots he has on or near the course. The lots range from $29,000 to $89,000, with the pricier lots having more golf course frontage. Obviously, skiers who enjoy the Grayling area can snap up these same lots. The lots will have power and phone, but water and septic will have to be supplied by the owner.

Hawk's Ridge is a new John Robinson designed course and you can catch a sneak preview, by exploring the archive section of the Michigan Golfer TV Show at http://michigangolfer.tv.

Out State-Florida

Black Diamond Ranch http://blackdiamondranch.com

In the past three decades, I have probably set foot on over a thousand golf courses, many of them on "The Best of" lists. While many stick out in my mind, the one that I probably remember the most is Black Diamond Ranch in Legato, Florida. Tom Fazio was the designer of this masterpiece and certainly enchanced his already excellent reputation upon its completion. When we golfed the course, we heard that we had just missed Gary Player. Some years later when interviewing Gary Player for our Golfing the Great Lakes television show, I asked him about the course. He immediately went into a very animated talk about how he thought that the quarry holes made Black Diamond one of the finest courses he had played. This from an individual that has played all over the world. It is ranked #1 in the state by Florida Golfer and is ranked in the top 45 nationwide and 65th in the by Golf Magazine.

Black Diamond ranch is owned and developed by Stan Olsen, one of the founders of Digital Equipment Corporation. Stan came to Citrus County in the early 1980's with the vision and financial strength to create a very special place in the history of golf course communities. Aside from the many accolades for his Quarry Course, Golfer magazine in 1995included Black Diamond Ranch in their real estate community "Best in America" category. Obviously, it is a place where many would love to live.

At Black Diamond,, there are single family homes built on home-sites ranging in size from approximately 1/4 to 1/2 acre To date, the village homes built range in size from 1650 to over 3800 air-conditioned square feet of living area. Home-sites in the village home areas range from $90,000 to $300,000, with pricing based on location and view..

Estate Homes are single-family houses on 0.8 to 1-1/2 acre -sites. Larger setbacks are mandated in these areas with minimum air-conditioned square footage at 2300 living area. Property prices range from $140,000 to $250,000, again based on location and vista. Average construction prices to date fall between $100 to $150 per air-conditioned square foot. In the estate areas there are four contractors that were invited to participate in Black

May 2002 Issue Table of Content
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