Golf-course communities used to reel in buyers with little more than a manicured layout by a big-name designer and the odd screening of “Caddyshack.” Not anymore. Home buyers today are baby boomers who want more adventure than a porch swing. Some people don’t even golf at all (gasp!). These communities responded by adding unusual perks to their properties, from airstrips to ski mountains.
The Extra Mile: This North Carolina community gives a new meaning to hitting a flier — it has a 2,875-feet private runway, the highest private landing strip east of Denver. No surprise then that more than 60 residents of Mountain Air are licensed pilots. Golfers can disembark from their plane and grab a shuttle to the first tee. Now that’s what we call a bag drop.
• Home sites from $250,000 to $1 million+
North Scottsdale, Ariz.
The Extra Mile: Mirabel residents reach new heights with the Outdoor Pursuits Program, which includes hot air balloon rides, guided hikes and fly-fishing trips. Heck, the community even has someone do your grocery shopping. The perks on the Tom Fazio-designed golf course include masseuses on the driving range and a chef cooking up beef
tenderloin sandwiches on the eighth tee.
• Lots from $440,000 to $1.5 million
Ford’s Colony at Williamsburg
The Extra Mile: The clubhouse dining room is the only country club facility to earn the coveted AAA Five Diamond Award, which the Georgian-style eatery has won eight times. Among the fare is celery root soup with black truffles and a T-bone steak topped with prosciutto, foie gras and parmesan. Residents can wash it all down with one of the 1,600 options in Ford’s Colony’s impressive wine cellar.
• Home sites from $175,000 to $1.5 million
Santa Fe, N.M.
The Extra Mile: Las Campanas University isn’t Harvard. In fact, it’s not even accredited. But it does offer residents an eclectic mix of one- and two-day classes in topics as diverse as art, cooking and culture. It even has its own school motto: “An edifying adventure.” Plus, tuition’s a steal — one-day classes start at $42.50.
• Lots from $275,000 to $1.2 million
Big Sky, Mont.
The Extra Mile: Seasonal golfers who would trade sloping greens for ski slopes in the winter have access to a 2,200-acre private ski mountain at this Big Sky country getaway. And since many homes line the trails, you can ski in and out of your front door. Cookout at the Smiths? I’ll slalom right over!
• The cheapest home site is $1.1 million; prices can go to $8 million