Golf Gold

Seeking a Second Home with Golf in Your Backyard? Here Are 3 Great Options on 3 Budgets

Golfers' Choice Awards: Resorts, Destinations and More

We asked and you answered. What are your favorite golf destinations, both in the U.S. and abroad? Your favorite hotels? Your favorite courses? Find out who reigns supreme at the first annual Golfers' Choice Awards.

Seeking a second place to hang your visor—with golf in your backyard? Here are three great communities on three budgets.

Trilogy at Ocala Preserve
trilogygolfclub.com

Location: Ocala, Florida, 80 miles northwest of Orlando in Florida horse country, is known for its rolling terrain and semi-rural character.

Golf: The semi-private Trilogy Golf Club at Ocala Preserve ($20-$35) is a brand-new (2016), walking-only Tom Lehman/Tripp Davis collaboration on a cozy 50 acres.

Real Estate: Trilogy is an all-ages Shea Homes community. The Escape Collection starts at $191,990, while the Reflect Collection offers homes beginning at $253,990.

Takeaway: There's superb value, as well as a revolutionary course in terms of variety, sustainability (no carts, reduced water use) and time-commitment flexibility.

Grandfather Golf & Country Club
grandfatherclubnc.com

Location: Linville, North Carolina, is a bucolic Blue Ridge Mountain town set at 3,665 feet. The private Grandfather club and community dates to 1968.

Golf: Ellis Maples routed the gorgeous 7,010-yard Championship course through pine forest, laurel and rhododendron, all backdropped by mountains.

Real Estate: This second-home destination offers condos from 900 to 2,800 sq. ft. ($159,000-$799,000) and single-family houses from 2,000 to 7,100 sq. ft. ($375,000-1,775,000).

Takeaway: Course improvements, a new high-end fitness center and refinements to its cool Art Loft (an artist's retreat) keep this community vibrant.

Photo:

No. 17 at Grandfather Golf & Country Club, in North Carolina.

Carlton Woods (Creekside)
carltonwoods.com

Location: This very prestigious development is 28 miles north of Houston. As the name suggests, the terrain is heavily forested and slashed by creeks.

Golf: Two A-list options: an "01 Jack Nicklaus Signature design and an "05 Tom Fazio layout. The Nicklaus is a bit tougher and the Fazio prettier, with deep, sculpted bunkers.

Real Estate: Homes here range from 4,359 sq. ft. ($1,098,000) to 10,321 sq. ft. ($3,850,000), as well as homesites from 0.24 acres ($310,000) to 2.13 acres ($1,800,000).

Takeaway: Call them "McMansions" if you will, but the Fazio fairway homes are modern and magnificent. And the Fazio course conditioning is the best I've laid eyes on in "16.

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