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Vacation News » Vacation & Leisure Real Estate Edition | By Scott Kauffman | November 17, 2008 10:46 PM ET

Ritz-Carlton Ready for Tucson Golf Course Opening

(MARANA, AZ) - Arizona's first Ritz-Carlton golf resort community - the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain - is on track to open in two months in this northwestern part of Tucson. Officials for the project recently announced construction and grassing is completed at the Jack Nicklaus Signature course, and it will be ready to host the prestigious 2009 PGA Tour Accenture Match Play Championship in February.  

The $60-million Ritz-Carlton Golf Club will initially feature 27 holes and a 50,000-square-foot clubhouse. A final nine holes is planned for construction in 2010.

"I'm pleased with the course," Nicklaus said. "It has nice movement to it and great vegetation, with beautiful saguaros. I tried to create a challenge for Tour players, with long shots from the tournament tees and lots of strategy to the greens. The fairways are pretty friendly, though, and will lend themselves to an enjoyable round for members."

The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain is a central component within the $500 million, 850-acre Ritz-Carlton managed community in Tucson's high Sonoran Desert. The Golf Club will serve The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, a 250-room resort, as well as 300 luxury single-family homes at The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain.

Club memberships will be reserved for owners of The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, with a limited number of additional memberships available to non-residents on an invitational basis only. To ensure the finest golf experience for both resort guests and club members, play will alternate between the courses each day to provide a private members-only experience.  

The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain is a partnership between Arizona developers Cottonwood Properties and Greenbrier Southwest Corporation and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. as manager. Cottonwood Properties, a Tucson-based development company, previously collaborated with Nicklaus at the 27-hole La Paloma Country Club in Tucson's Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa.

"We are delighted to have Jack Nicklaus' artistic genius behind the design of these golf courses, and it's an honor to work with him again," said David Mehl, president of Cottonwood Properties, the master developer and owner of Dove Mountain. "This project will solidify Dove Mountain's position as one of the Southwest's most exclusive communities and further enhance its reputation as a national golf destination."

Gary Player Estate Home Under Construction at Cliffs

(GREENVILLE, SC) - In actor Kevin Costner's hit movie, "Field of Dreams," a popular line was, "If you build it, they will come." At the Cliffs at Mountain Park, a new Gary Player-designed golf course in the Cliffs Communities near Greenville, S.C., the heavily anticipated Player family residence is well under construction and the extended Player Family is on its way. Actually, members of the Gary Player Group have already set up shop in their new North American headquarters at the nearby Village at Mountain Park. And the Player family themselves, including Gary Player and his wife, Vivienne, and son, Marc Player, and his family, won't be far behind to start enjoying their newest home in the Carolina mountains.

The new Player residence, a 6,000-6,500 square-foot home that mixes modern architecture with touches of African-influenced flavor and strong local vernacular from the Carolina mountains, is the showcase property currently being built in the exclusive Gary Player Estates. It's the first of what is planned to be approximately 100 Player-inspired custom homes at the 300-acre gated enclave inside Mountain Park.

Besides being the future home of the Gary Player Group and the Player family themselves, what also makes Mountain Park and the Gary Player Estates special is it marks the debut of the new Player Real Estate division. This new operating unit also is involved in the development and design of several other upscale master-planned golf communities around the world, including Wildstone in Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada and Tubac de la Montana near Tucson, Ariz.

According to Player Real Estate president Ken Costanzo, Gary Player and his wife are looking forward to their new custom home at the Cliffs, a place Player himself describes as the "Swiss Alps of America." Due to the Players' extensive worldwide travels, the residence also will be used by Marc Player and his family, and "from time to time we expect the Players will graciously make it available for our visiting clients from around the world," Costanzo says.

"The new home encompasses an oversized lot which will allow plenty of room for Gary and Vivienne's many grandchildren when they visit," Costanzo adds with a smile. "In fact, a grand tree-house is planned for the property. Gary is also excited about his access to one of the golf holes across the river from the home where he will be able to stop by the tee box from time to time to hit some balls or just visit with others."

With the Gary Player Estates taking shape, next up for the Player Real Estate team at Mountain Park are the Player Cottages. The estimated 20 Player-branded Cottages will vary in size from 1,700-2,300 square feet with distinctive architectural styles and the option to purchase unique furnishings and finishes picked by Player Real Estate.

Black Mesa Golf Club Taps Tom Doak for New Course

(LA MESILLA, NM) - Top golf course architect Tom Doak and his Renaissance Golf Design firm has been tapped for a new high-end daily fee course planned for Black Mesa Golf Club. The first course at Black Mesa, which sits on the Native American-owned Santa Clara Pueblo property 30 minutes north of Santa Fe, opened in 2003 to rave reviews.

That high-desert links-style course was designed by Baxter Spann of Finger, Dye, Spann. The new Doak course will lie to the south of the current layout and be the first phase in a planned comprehensive development designed to make Black Mesa one of the finest golf resorts in the country.

Black Mesa Golf Club principal Eddie Peck officially introduced Doak to the project on Oct. 29, saying, "I admire his design philosophy and think he'll design a world class layout that will be unique, yet complement the original course."

Doak, who's known for doing acclaimed golf projects such as Pacific Dunes in Bandon, Ore., Cape Kidnappers Resort in Napier, New Zealand, and Ballyneal in Holyoke, Colo., has always admired Black Mesa was quoted as saying, "Black Mesa features the kind of scenery you might find in an old western movie. ... I think it's the best course in New Mexico."

"We decided to take on this project because we liked the piece of land and that the course will be open to the public," said Doak, whose Michigan-based firm has designed 31 courses worldwide. "In contrast with the original layout, the property is open and rolling and the lows and desert washes will come more into play."

Editor's Note:  Scott Kauffman covers the world's leading luxury resort and leisure real estate developments on a weekly basis.  Please send any ideas, news or announcements to or call 352-243-4200.

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