Live on the Links

No matter if you hit the ball like the pros or can’t tell a pitching wedge from a pie wedge, there are plenty of reasons to consider a home in a golf community: the stunning views, spacious residences or top-notch amenities. Maybe you’re seeking luxurious spas and restaurants. Or perhaps you just want a community of people who enjoy your favorite activities.

Then again, maybe it really is the great golf.

Whatever buyers’ motivations, many golf communities promise a lifestyle filled with comfort, luxury and plenty of opportunities to take advantage of Colorado’s sunny days. Beyond providing excellent recreation, golf courses raise property values; great golf courses can send property values soaring. Here are a few communities we consider among the best of the best in Colorado. If you’re thinking of investing in life along the links, their doors are open.

The Golf Club at Ravenna, Littleton
(877) 339-1600,

Just a 30-minute drive southwest of Denver, scenic Waterton Canyon is home to the new Golf Club at Ravenna, which offers beautiful homes, luxurious amenities—and an entire way of living.

“Our mantra is ‘getting more out of life,’” says Glenn Jacks, Ravenna’s developer. “We created not only a unique product but also a very different place in terms of lifestyle. We’re looking for active people. We’re not a retirement community.”

As you might expect, Ravenna delivers on its mantra through a mountain of activities. On the docket: fitness clubs, pheasant-hunting excursions, fly-fishing trips, wine-tasting parties and gift-wrapping classes, among many others.

The club has also partnered with several hundred local vendors, which can provide deep discounts to homeowners. “When you want to buy jewelry for your wife, we already know the vendors; we can get you better deals,” Jacks says. Ravenna’s vast network of vendors ranges from “tires to diamond rings to Lear jets,” he adds.

A sommelier is on staff to assist with food and wine pairings, and a database keeps track of every bottle stored in the clubhouse cellar. If your vino is about to spoil, you’ll not only be notified but also receive suggestions for a meal to prepare with it. Several area vintners conduct tastings at Ravenna, and the resulting relationships often lead to V.I.P. treatment for members during trips to Northern California’s wine country.

Ravenna’s custom homes are built within the natural contours of the landscape, rather than perched on top of cliffs. The community’s list of approved architects includes many who specialize in designing eco-friendly homes.

Interested buyers can choose from four options: an empty homesite, where a pre-approved architect is selected to design the home; a ready-for-move-in custom home; a Corda Bella “semi-custom” lot, found near the clubhouse; and villa-style Terracina homes, located near a stream and ranging from 2,200 to 3,100 square feet.

In addition to the list of amenities, members enjoy the 18-hole Jay Morrish-designed championship course. The holes are set within the rugged terrain and also provide sweeping views of downtown Denver. Don’t take that to mean the course is just a stroll in the hills: at 7,263 yards from the tips for a meaty slope rating of 149, this course can play tough.

Of Ravenna’s 243 available homesites, little more than half still remain for sale. Prices on the plots range from $350,000 to $900,000, and homes start at $1.27 million.

Adam’s Rib Ranch, Eagle
(888) 760-2326,

Most everywhere you find the brand name Adam’s Rib Ranch, it’s accompanied by the tagline “Wildly Luxurious.” It almost sounds like an oxymoron. Can something appear rustic, possibly even untamed, yet still be posh? Adam’s Rib Ranch proves it can.

“It’s a great statement for this piece of property,” says John Helmering, ARR sales manager. “There’s something unique and special about this piece of land.”

The property sprawls across more than 1,600 acres of temperate terrain. The 18-hole golf course, designed by Tom Weiskopf, uses a mere 300 acres.

Plans call for the springtime completion of a 40,000-foot clubhouse that sidles up to the 10th tee. Within its walls will be more than just a pro shop: a full-service spa, bar, high-end restaurant and members-only “party lounge” are slated for the space.

“It’s not the largest clubhouse, but it’s one of them,” Helmering says. “It’s the high-end, five-star service that will really make this place special.”

That service apparently extends to beyond mere human beings. Just when the place starts to feel a little more “luxury” and a little less “wild,” there’s this: plans for a 500-acre equestrian center. This horse haven will include a stable for boarding and a corral for riding; the relatively flat property also leads to several miles of trails suitable for both English and Western riding styles.

Finally, for members with guests, ARR has five  four-bed, four-bath cottages near the clubhouse for daily, weekly or monthly rental (prices still to be determined). With a quick call to the on-site concierge, the fridge can be filled with the guests’ preferred cuisine before they even arrive.

Adam’s Rib Ranch offers 99 homesites across more than 600 acres. Plots range from four to ten acres and start at $900,000. Three custom homes that will set the bar for the community are already under construction and for sale. Starting price: $3.7 million. 

Colorado Golf Club, Parker
(303) 840-0090,

Folks with a desire for great golf, beautiful scenery and access to high-tech connections might find Colorado Golf Club to be their cup of Starbucks.

About a half-hour jaunt south of Denver, the club’s 170 homesites are ringed by an underground fiber-optic line that connects to in-home touch panels, allowing each homeowner to enjoy the latest business, communications and entertainment technology. With the touch of a fingertip, members can book tee times, dial up music and invite the neighbors over for drinks.

“We expect to have business people living here, so we’ve created a business environment as well as a resort environment,” says David Hutchinson, a CGC managing partner. “Although it’s a very private club, a lot of our members will need to have meetings and stay connected.”

On the links, members enjoy a 7,604-yard, par-72 championship course designed by the renowned team of Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw. The course passes by streams, meadows and hillsides, and because it’s surrounded by more than 1,000 acres of open space, golfers experience the natural setting without ever hitting a tee shot onto someone else’s patio.

A round of golf is not without more of CGC’s cutting-edge technology. Two biometric concession stands (one on each nine) are available for members—touch a screen, scan your finger, help yourself, then record your snack.

For family fun, there’s also a 9-hole “short course.” With holes that range from 80 to 200 yards, it’s great for kids and for busy executives who don’t have time for four hours of golf. (Here a round takes about an hour.) The course has also helped spur CGC’s burgeoning junior golf program.

 A total of 377 memberships have been released, and 207 can be bought without real estate purchase. (Eleven cottages are available for use by these “national” members.) Considering the course has already earned acclaim—Golf Magazine named CGC the best new private golf course in the U.S.—it’s no surprise members are flocking from around the country. At least three PGA Tour pros have also signed on, including Davis Love III.

Plenty of activities are available off the course. CGC offers 11 miles of hard and soft trails for hiking and biking, and an outdoor pool. A massive modern clubhouse is slated for completion in 2009, and in addition to state-of-the-art conference rooms, plans call for a full-service spa and fitness center and a series of private outdoor terraces with fire pits for dining. Those terraces will afford some of the best views on the property—Pikes Peak to the south, and Longs Peak to the north.

Of the club’s 170 homesites, fewer than 40 remain unsold. Prices start at approximately $600,000. 

Cordillera, Edwards
(970) 569-6480,

For those who enjoy an abundance of everything, there’s Cordillera, which features just about every activity and amenity imaginable within its 8,000 acres that extend across 13 miles and four unique communities, dubbed Summit, Ranch, Divide and Valley.

Each community also boasts its own golf course. Three are acclaimed championship courses: Hale Irwin designed the Mountain Course, located in the Ranch community; Tom Fazio designed the 18 holes nestled within the Valley; and Jack Nicklaus built the Summit’s championship course. The fourth track is the Divide’s short course, designed by legendary short game teacher Dave Pelz, who also runs one of his prestigious golf academies on-site.

Add it all up, and you’ve got Cordillera’s biggest attraction.

“Our main amenity is definitely the four golf courses,” says Marty Suarez, Cordillera’s marketing director. “But the second most popular amenity is the land itself. It’s like a gigantic playland for adults.”

That playland features Eagle River fishing, Nordic ski trails, three indoor and outdoor pools, four fitness centers and three tennis facilities. For the kids, there’s a summer camp and Trailhead clubhouse.

Interested buyers will note that the most recently developed community, the Summit, has the most property and homes currently for sale—not to mention the most scenic views, thanks to the community’s lofty location at 9,000 feet above sea level.

Buyers may customize their homes, but the theme in this community is “Colorado style” architecture, meaning exteriors should feature large timbers and stonework. Those seeking a more European look should look to the Divide, which is the only community in Cordillera that strays from traditional high-country style.

As for the members themselves, they hail from all over the nation, and many choose to spend only part of their time on Cordillera’s vast property.

“Owners tend to be very, very active. They tend to be interested in year-round amenities,” Suarez says, noting that many come from Dallas, New York and Chicago. “Most of our owners split their time between their home here and somewhere else.”

Custom homes range from $1.5 to $6 million; homesites cost from $600,000 to $1.2 million.

Cherry Creek Country Club, DenverAlso Check Out:

Cherry Creek Country Club, Denver
(303) 618-9900
Features a Nicklaus-designed championship golf course; choose from three types of homes: estate, villa or village.

Redlands Mesa, Grand Junction
(877) 501-6372
Championship course boasts 11 elevated tees; community designed by Downing, Thorpe and James, Colorado’s 1998 Architect of the Year.

Categories: Architects, Entertaining, Recipes, Stylemakers