Archive for the ‘Featured Golfing Communties’ Category

Golf Fanatic? 2014 will be a great year for Triangle Golfers!

March 24, 2014
The pose of a Champion! Who will pose at the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst?

The pose of a Champion! Who will pose at the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst?

The Triangle will be the focus of golf this year as we welcome both the 2014 U.S. Men’s and Women’s Open to Pinehurst in June. It will be a unique opportunity to watch some of the greatest golfers in the world compete. Nothing is more impressive than witnessing amazing golf shots with millions of dollars in prize money on the line. We all remember the great shot by Payne Stewart to win the U.S. Open in Pinehurst or the more recent Bubba Watson shot to win The Masters in 2012. However, if you are like me, you would much rather play golf then watch it. Here are some of the great opportunities to gather your friends and business associates to play tournament golf in the Triangle this year.

The tournament was named after past president Jack Andrews who supported this tournament. We lost Jack in 2013, but he will never be forgotten!

The tournament was named after past president Jack Andrews who supported this tournament. We lost Jack in 2013, but he will never be forgotten!

I would be remiss if I didn’t place the greatest emphasis on my Rotary’s club golf tournament which will be held at Wildwood Green Golf Club on May 6th. It is a 1 pm shotgun start with pizza lunch provided by Little Caesars. The 5th Annual Jack Andrews Memorial Golf Tournament will benefit the many organizations that the Rotary Club of North Raleigh supports throughout the year. More details can be found here or you can contact me directly as I have the inside information on this event. This is an important fundraiser for this organization and without your support, we cannot help the many people we do every year.

 

The Inaugural Holly Hill Hospital Charity Golf Tournament will be held on May 12th at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course on the NCST Campus. Registration opens at 11 am with a noon shotgun start. Cost is $130 per player and more details can be found here. The Lonnie Poole Golf Course is always a challenging and interesting course so you will want to make your plans to participate in this event.

The Wake Tech’s Sixth Annual Athletic Golf Tournament will be held on April 25th at the Eagle Ridge Golf Club. It sounds like a wonderful event with a silent auction, 50/50 raffle and a $5,000 putt for Cash. More details for this event can be found here.

The Northern Wake Optimist Club’s Golf Tournament will be held on April 4th at the Reedy Creek Golf Course. Proceeds benefit kids in our community. There will be a monetary prize for the top 3 teams. The cost is minimal at $65/player or $260/team and it includes both a bag lunch and dinner after the round. For more information, please visit here.

The Camp Royall Classic Golf Tournament will be held on May 5th at the Preserve at Jordan Lake Golf Club. The tournament will help provide life-changing experiences to children with autism at Camp Royall, the largest and oldest camp exclusively for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the United States. The cost is $500/foursome. You can learn more about this effort and register here.

On June 16th at Bentwinds Country Club, the Eighth Annual Raleigh Area NFFF Golf Tournament will be held. It will support the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation which supports the families of fallen firefighters. The cost is $100/individuals or $400/team with many sponsorship opportunities. For more information on this wonderful event, please click here.

The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Golf Tournament will be held on May 15th at River Ridge Golf Club. It will be a 9 am shotgun start and sponsorships are still available. Please visit here for more information.

The Raleigh Claims Association (RCA) Golf Tournament will be held on May 16th at Wilmar Golf Club. It will be a 1 pm shotgun start and cost is minimal at $50/player to include golf and the picnic. For more information, please click here.

The Ed Shook Golf Classic raises money for the education of developmentally challenged children in Wake County!

The Ed Shook Golf Classic raises money for the education of developmentally challenged children in Wake County!

The Ed Shook Golf Classic will be held on September 8th at the famed Raleigh Country Club. Celebrating its 49th anniversary, this event is one to remember and participate. Sponsored by the Frankie Lemmon School and the Rotary Club of North Raleigh, this event directly assist students with developmental challenges. The school was named after the founder’s son shortly after his death. For more information about this event, please visit here or contact me directly.

This is just a sampling of the golf tournaments throughout the Triangle region. As you can see, there are many opportunities to play golf for a good cause. If you have a tournament that I didn’t mention, please let me know and I will promote it as well. You can email me at Steven@BackNineHomes.com. We always try to show as many tournaments as we can, but it is impossible to know all of them.

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What is Customer Service? What should consumers expect?

April 17, 2013
Have you ever waited 30 minutes for service only to be disappointed?

Have you ever waited 30 minutes for service only to be disappointed?

Customer service is an issue that has been prominent in society for many years and no less than in today’s market. Many professional fields require a level of service that can benefit from this debate. As I prepared a presentation last week to a networking group, I thought this would be a great subject for this blog. You see, customer service is important in the real estate business just as it is important for restaurants or retail stores. For professional, customer service is more important since it is more important to remain in business. If I had the marketing budget of a Home Depot or Wal-Mart, I could afford not to focus as much attention to each individual customer/client. But alas, I have a very modest marketing budget, so most of my new business is generated via personal referrals from past clients who have experienced quality service from me.

In this article, I plan to cover a few areas of customer service that many businesses fail to attend to properly. When it comes to service, you must consider why it is important, the communication aspects of customer service, time and details of customer service. In my many years of service both in the retail industry, territory sales and now real estate, I have developed a specific sense of customer service. I had a professor who once told me that one poor customer service experience is like having ten since most people have at least that many friends they will tell. In today’s social media, you can multiply that number by the hundreds. I personally have well over 700 Facebook friends and many people have many more than I do. So, if you are in business, it is important to understand customer service.

Why is it important? As mentioned earlier, unless you have a large marketing budget, word of mouth can be very imperative to your business. It works both with positive and negative. As Shakespeare mentions in his play Julius Caesar, ‘the good a man does dies with him, but the bad lives on forever’. That is not a perfect quote, but you get the gist of his words. If you do not get positive word of mouth, you will never get quality referrals to enhance your business.

Communication is important when it comes to customer service. For one thing, you must speak their language and understand their body language. If your customer is Joe Friday and only wants the facts, you need to simply give them the facts and nothing else. For this type of customer, you do not need to run completely through all of the details as they are not interested in it and you will lose them quickly. Determine their language and speak it. Additionally, you need to understand the basic body languages of your customer. For instance, if your client walks into an office supply store with a focus and the body language that they know where they are going, then you will lose the customer if you stop them to ask them if you can help them. This is me and it upsets me every time an associate stops me when I did not ask for help. It is a “self-service” retail store, so let me self-serve myself. It would be better service if they made themselves available should I have a question. I don’t have any issues with greeting customers, but pay attention to the customer and speak their language.

Time is the most valuable asset any of us will ever own. We can make more money, but we cannot make more time. If this is the case, why do you see retail store associates wasting their customer’s time by not properly stocking the shelves. If you go into a home improvement store and the shelf is out, it can take as much as thirty minutes or more for an associate to get the lift machine with a spotter, block off two aisles and get the product down for you. This is saying that their time is not important to that store and its management. Furthermore, if I walk into a store and the store doesn’t have the item I am looking to purchase, they are virtually out-of-business as far as I am concerned.

When it comes to my business, I always conduct a thorough buyer’s interview to determine what the client wants to purchase to ensure I am not showing them homes that will not meet their needs. When I am working with sellers, I take the time to understand the client, their needs and determine the reason for their selling of the home. Of course, I try to understand and speak their language to ensure I am not wasting their time.

Paying attention to detail is one of the most important aspects of good customer service. A long time ago when I was in the meat business, I improved the sales from $35,000/week to over $55,000/week by paying attention to details. I took the time to understand my customer base and from that, made the decision that we would never be out of pork products, especially on the weekends. The result, we improved sales and thus, had better customer service. It did not result in letters being written to praise the fact that the product they wanted to purchase was on the shelf, but the best reward for customer service is repeat business. By giving my customers what they needed and wanted, sales went up and my department was no longer ‘out-of-business’.

In my current business, the details that are most important for them is the contract and negotiations. It is both my fiduciary responsibility and my customer service credo to give my best in all situations. The ‘devil’s in the details’ as they say, and many contracts that go awry do so because of a lack of attention to details. Every business has details that need to be attended to ensure the best customer experience for your clients. Pay attention to the details.

In closing, one of my favorite professors in college once told me that it is not enough to satisfy your clients, but you need to make them ‘raving fans’ of your business. This is the challenge of any business entity and one that I extend to you today. Make them ‘raving fans’ of your business. In our society, too many patrons are wiling to take less than great customer service. Don’t let your customers take less than ultimate service.

Just this evening, I went to the drive thru at PDQ on Falls of the Neuse. I don’t usually do this for dinner, but as I had an appointment in less than an hour, I needed to get a quick meal since the meeting was apt to go long into the evening. When I pulled up, I was tempted to either leave or go inside as there were five vehicles in front of me. They noticed this and to ensure a speedy service experience, the management sent out two associates to take orders from the waiting vehicles. A situation that at a normal fast food restaurant would have taken 20-30 minutes to get my food, it took less than 10 minutes. They paid attention to the customer’s needs and went above the call of duty to make me a ‘raving fan’ of their enterprise.

Downtown Links Golf Calendar

January 18, 2013
Lochmere...A Golf Experience!

Lochmere…A Golf Experience!

As a member of the committee for the Downtown Links, I am pleased to announce the calendar that we have do date. The Downtown Links is a group of professional who are also members of the Downtown Clubs of Raleigh, The Downtown Clubs of Raleigh is a combination of the Capital City Club and the Cardinal Club. Each of these clubs are business and social clubs that include many opportunities for networking, each with wonderful dining rooms.

This calendar is for informational purposes and may change at the committee’s direction. If you are not a member of the Downtown Clubs of Raleigh and would like to play one of the beautiful courses we have scheduled, please contact me and you can play as my guest.

March 13th, Devil’s Ridge Country Club in Holly Springs

April, Prestonwood Country Club in Cary. Date and time TBD

May 14th, Raleigh Country Club in Raleigh

June 6th, North Ridge (Lakes Course) Country Club in North Raleigh

July 22, Brier Creek Country Club in North Raleigh

August, Hasentree Country Club in Wake Forest. Date and time TBD

September 23, Treyburn Country Club in Durham

October, The Neuse Country Club in Clayton. Date and time TBD

November 7th, Lochmere Golf Club in Cary

 

Upcoming golf tournament

April 22nd, North Raleigh Rotary Golf Tournament, Wildwood Green Golf Club, 1pm shotgun start

We are excited about this group of courses and it should be another great season. Most of our outings this year are shotgun starts, but not all of the final details have been negotiated. If you are interested in playing any of these courses, please contact me at Steven@BackNineHomes.com to get on the list of players.

What Golf Community would you buy a home and join the club?

September 18, 2012

Payne Stewart’s Glorious Moment!

 

Last week, I had a meeting with a gentleman who asked me a question that made me think. His question: If money was not an issue, what Wake County golf community and course would you recommend to a client? This question was also predicated upon location not being an issue for the client. With these open options, it made me think. I must admit, no one has asked me that question in the past.

It made me think of all of the great courses and communities here in Wake County. Most people do not realize, but there are nearly 20 golf course communities in Wake County alone, not to mention the Triangle. My answer to this gentleman was simple, “it depends!” This is the number one answer to all real estate questions as the answer depends on different factors. For instance, what types of courses do you like to play and do you want multiple golfing options with your purchase?

For me, I would want to join a club that gives me multiple course options as I get bored with the same course, day in and day out. Variety is so important to me that I rarely travel the same route home. I have always been like that, but others may be happy to have access to simply one course where they can learn all of the nuances of that course and “master” it. Others still may have specific ideas of what type of community. Some may be more interested in older homes with larger lots as opposed to many of our newer communities that have smaller lots and the rooms tend to be smaller. All of these and many more factors can play into your decision.

For me, I would have to recommend a community like North Ridge that has two courses or Wakefield that would give you access to all of McConnell golf courses. Some may prefer single courses like McGregor Downs, which has an amazing course, but only one course. In this blog post, I hope to address some of the great golf course communities in Wake county and give you an idea of which are the better ones.

To start, I need to cover some of the less expensive communities with public or semi-private courses. Among these would be Hedingham, Eagle Ridge, and Crooked Creek. The benefit of each of these communities is purchasing in these communities, you have the option of joining all three as the Fred Smith Company now owns all of these courses and have a membership level for these communities. These courses are very nice and are typically in good shape. Last year, Hedingham was closed for major repairs and regeneration of its greens, fairways and tee boxes. I played it shortly after it re-opened and it played very well. It has many challenging holes to keep your interest, but not so much that you are over challenged and cannot score well. Eagle Ridge and Crooked Creek are very nice courses. I cannot speak too much about these courses as I rarely play them due to driving distance, but as memory serves, they are both challenging and fair at the same time. If housing price is a factor, these communities offer affordable housing, many with great golf course views. Hedingham is the most affordable as it offers town homes for less than $100,000 up to single family homes in the $200-low $300s. Eagle Ridge and Crooked Creek consist of single family homes that tend to be priced in the $200s.

If money is not an issue, then the choices increase dramatically. I will start with the Southwestern Wake communities. There are several and one that I really enjoy is Devil’s Ridge, located in the Sunset Ridge community in Holly Springs. The community is well done and well maintained and the course is always in great condition. Membership in Devil’s Ridge will give you the option to join the Triangle Society with ClubCorp and give you access to several courses in the Triangle. A great way to be introduced to several courses. The community is primarily single family with housing from the mid $200s up to half a million. Membership in Devil’s Ridge is affordable and the course is semi-private.

More high-end in this area would include both McGregor Downs and Prestonwood. McGregor Downs is an exclusive community that is laid out very nicely with larger lots and is a highly established community. Many of the homes were built in the 1980s, so if you want an older community in this area, I would highly suggest this course. Membership in McGregor Downs will give you access to this amazing course and all of the additional community features such as tennis courts and lakes. This club was formed in 1967, so it is one of the oldest in the Triangle. Prestonwood, home of the SAS Championship, is more modern with additional benefits such as 3 courses to choose. All three courses are amazing courses with some very challenging, but fair holes. I have only played the Meadows course and I thoroughly enjoyed my experience (though I didn’t score well). Prestonwood has housing that consist of condos around the $200s to town homes for a little more and tops off with single family homes from mid $200s up to well over a couple million. Most of the lots are smaller than you would see in McGregor Downs, but most are more modern and updated as it is a newer community.

Moving north, you have several options in the Northern Wake area to include Brier Creek, Wildwood Green, North Ridge, Hasentree and many more. I will try to talk about each of these in some detail, but there are too many to cover in much detail.

Brier Creek and Hasentree are very nice courses and are both Toll Brother properties, so membership in one will get you membership in the other. Plus, you can add to your membership access to all Toll Brother golf communities in the U.S. Both communities are fairly new, but Brier Creek tends to have smaller lots than Hasentree, primarily due to the fact that there is more room with this community. Brier Creek course is very nice, but is currently being repaired as many of the greens were infected with a disease, which has caused them to close down the course to rid the greens of this infestation. If they have not yet re-opened, it will be soon. The course is challenging with one of their signature holes being the 18th, which is an awesome finishing hole. This hole offers a blind tee shot and a green that is surrounded by water on three sides. Brier Creek offers housing from condos priced in the low $100s to single family homes over a million. It is convenient to all the amenities that you could ask and very close to RTP and I-540. Hasentree is not as convenient as it is located off Hwy. 98, close to Wake Forest, but the benefits are larger lots and more nature areas. Housing starts in the mid $300s and goes up from there. The golf course is always pristine and the 88 bunkers on this course may make you curse Tom Fazio as they tend to be well placed for danger at every turn. For shopping, you would have to head towards Wake Forest. If you work in downtown Raleigh, the commute can be difficult.

A little closer to Raleigh, you will find both Heritage and TPC Wakefield Plantation. Both are fairly new communities with varying pricing range for homes and smaller lots than can be seen in some of the older communities. To get a larger lot, you will need to purchase one of the larger homes. I have never played Heritage, but had the opportunity to play Wakefield for the first time last week. It was an amazing golfing experience with some very challenging holes. The signature 18th hole is a Par 5 where you aim for the clubhouse from the tee box. The approach shot is over a stream, but do not go long as it elevates quickly towards the clubhouse with two bunkers. My approach shot sailed over the green and I thought it landed in the bunker, but it was not there. With the tall, thick grass, I couldn’t find the ball.

Heritage is a semi-private course located in the heart of downtown Wake Forest. Membership is affordable as it pertains to golf clubs. You only have access to that course along with the swim and tennis. Being closer to Hwy 1-Capital Blvd. the commute to Raleigh is much more efficient than the other courses around it. Wakefield membership offers the 18-hole course, the 9-hole walking course, access to all TPC Network courses and reciprocal golf privileges at all McConnell Golf Properties. McConnell Golf has eight golf clubs in North and South Carolina to include three in the Triangle, Raleigh Country Club and Treyburn being the other two. Membership is affordable based considering what you get for your membership. Even though I don’t live anywhere near Wakefield, I would probably be more inclined to this membership or at least it’s sister club, Raleigh Country Club due to the variety of clubs you can access.

North Ridge is another wonderful course with two courses available. It is located in North Raleigh and offers tennis and pools. I have only played one of the two courses and it was an intriguing experience. Many of the holes have water with a couple of Par 3s that go directly over water on the Oaks course. It plays very nicely with many challenges, but fair. Membership is not the most affordable, and to get the most value for your membership, you need to play multiple times a week. My wife and I almost purchased a home in this community and would have joined this course had we purchased that home. Housing is diverse with town homes in the low $100s-mid $200s and single family homes range from the mid $300s to well over a million. If you have not played this course, I would highly recommend it. I hope to be able to play the Lakes course at some point in the future as I have heard that this course is better than the Oaks.

Finally (but not lastly), Wildwood Greens Golf Club is also located in North Raleigh and is a course all about golf. The John Budwine Golf Academy operates out of this course and offers teaching professionals for any player. The course is very challenging, but fair with several water hazards throughout the course. I am a member of this course as it is very affordable, especially for someone who likes to play other courses. Membership dues are less than $200 a month and the initiation  is extremely reasonable. This course was in place before the community was developed around the course. The community offers homes priced from the low $200s to over $400s. The community is well laid out well with the golf course so you are not crossing several streets throughout your round of golf. If you are on a budget, this is a great course.

I hope you have enjoyed this and please let me know what your preference is. I haven’t covered all of the golf communities in Wake county as there are more than I can cover in this blog. Keep following this blog as I am always talking about individual courses in Wake county and usually focus on one course per blog post.

In answering the question, what community would you join if money was not an issue? I want to hear from you!

Hasentree Golf Course

August 16, 2012

Last week, I had the distinct privilege of playing golf on one of the Triangle’s greatest golf courses. If you have not played Hasentree, you are missing an amazing experience. This course offers 88 bunkers, which make it a bit challenging, but it is laid out in a fair method. There were many times during the round that I felt like cursing Tom Fazio, professional golfer and course designer, but in the end, I had a wonderful time and a decent round of golf.

Tom Fazio challenges his golfers with a 466 yard Par 4 to start the round that dog-legs left. This hole is challenging for the short hitters. When I played this hole, I did not get a good tee shot and was short left in the tall grass. This forced me to make a bad second shot. Finally, my third shot, still from over 200 yards out, landed on the fringe of the elevated green.

Hole #2 is a 400 yard Par 4 that starts out with a tee shot that must carry a natural area to reach the fairway. It then follows with a second to an elevated green that is severely slopped in the front and both sides. I had a decent tee shot on this hole, but a more amazing second shot that landed a foot from the hole for a birdie. This green is so challenging that one of the players with me landed behind the green on his approach shot. He then chipped back to the green, but the ball rolled off the front of the green. His next shot landed on the green, just left of the front pin, but did not hold and rolled off the side of the green. I think I had a similar experience on this hole the last time I played this hole.

The course consists of 5 Par 3s with one being 238 yards from pin to tip. I was fortunate to win the closest to the pin on the sixth hole. From the tee box we were using, it was just over 200 yards to the flag and I came up short of the flag, about 10 feet from the flag. With the birdie, a couple of pars and a closest to the pin, this was one of the best individual outings I had with the Downtown Links Club, which is the golf club arm of the Downtown Clubs of Raleigh. Next month, we will be visiting Wakefield Plantation. This will be my first opportunity to play this course.

Hasentree; the community

Hasentree is an amazing community and has thrived under the direction of Toll Brothers. Housing prices start from the low $300s for the Villa collection and head up to well over a million for some of the executive homes. It is ideally located between Wake Forest, Durham and North Raleigh, off Highway 98.

The community offers golf, tennis, swimming, fitness center, family activities and outdoor living. The outdoor living offers hiking, biking and walking trails throughout that both surround the golf course and go beyond it. While enjoying these trails, you may encounter wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, bald eagles and hawks. This community, set on approximately 800 acres, nearly half dedicated to green space, has the distinction of being a Certified Gold Audubon International Signature Sanctuary. One of only six in North Carolina and fewer than 21 in the nation. With the Falls Lake State Recreation Area adjoining this property, it opens up to endless water activities such as kayaking and boating on the more than 12,000 acre lake.

For seniors or young families, this community is an oasis in the midst of a growing area of the Triangle and North Carolina. Whether you play golf or not, there are plenty of activities to enjoy at this community. The swimming complex offers three pools. One has a six lane 25-yard competition pool while another has a 90 foot, double loop water slide. The community fields a swimming team for under 18.

The tennis complex offers six lighted courts, four hydro-clay and two hard courts. They offer lessons, competition and has fielded teams for state competitions. The fitness center offers state of the art equipment to get you into the best shape of your life and keep you there. They also offers classes for yoga, Pilates, spinning and body sculpting. Move here and do away with your gym membership.

Hasentree Housing

Toll Brothers offers three select groupings of homes for purchase with a separate custom builder’s section. These collections are well priced and more competitive than the previous developer of this property.

The Hasentree Signature Collection offers homes over 4000 sq ft with custom options located on an acre plus lots. These are priced from the low $600s. The Golf Villas Collection offers six different single, detached plans and lawn maintenance is included in the HOA dues. These are low maintenance ranch homes with just over 2000 sq ft. and priced in the low $300s. Finally, the Executive Collection offers award-winning home designs on large wooded or golf course lots. They are just over 3000 sq ft. and priced in the mid $400s.

As you can see, Hasentree offers a distinct lifestyle that will be appealing to many people. Toll Brothers have done an amazing job revitalizing this project and giving it new life. When Hassentree first opened, it was isolated to only the high-end purchaser, now, it is well priced for more than just the wealthiest of North Carolinians.

Membership, for both residents and non-residents, offer membership into the Toll Golf Member Advantage Program where you will have access to 14 clubs throughout the nation, with the closet being Brier Creek. You would have to check with the club to find out about the rates. They have categories to fit every lifestyle.

To purchase in this community, please contact me as I will be happy to assist you with your purchase. To learn more about this amazing community, please visit http://www.hasentreecountryclub.com. You will not be disappointed to live in such a wonderful and inviting community.

North Ridge Country Club and Community

March 24, 2012

A couple weeks ago, I had the privilege and honor to play one of the most prestigious golf courses in the Triangle. North Ridge is a private course and one that I have been wanting to play for several years. Thanks to a neighbor who recently joined the club, I had the opportunity to play this wonderful course. We played the Oaks course which was challenging, but fair for all golfers. I actually had a pretty good round, shooting 95, but I must preface my performance a bit. I did play from the Seniors’ tees since I was playing with three seniors so it reduced the yardage considerably. Nonetheless, I shot 95 on a course I had never played.

The two courses include the Lakes and the Oaks, both designed by Gene Hamm and George Cobb. Each course was later re-designed by John LaFoy. This re-designed was to ensure that both courses played fair for all levels of competition. The courses, spread out over 400 acres in North Raleigh, offers very picturesque views and several amazing water holes.

I am always drawn to Par 3s with water and the Oaks had two such holes. Both holes required you to carry the water with very limited area for error without being wet. I personally carried both water holes, landing on each green. One, I had a little too much juice which left me a long putt with most of it downhill. Unfortunately, I was too concerned with going beyond the hole that I came up short and ended up with a very rare 4-putt double bogey. The other one, I was pin high with a fairly level putt. I finished that hole with a par.

In addition to thèse Par 3s on the front nine, the ninth hole offered a deceiving Par 4 with the green protected by a pond. It was deceptive in that the distance to the water appeared much less than it actually was. Thus, I used a iron to get into the fairway, which I was not successful and pulled it left, leaving nearly 200 yards over the water to the green. I got over the water, but again was left and missed the green with a chip shot to the green. The next time, I will use a fairway wood off the tee and aim right where there is plenty of grass for landing without having to worry about the water. It would also give a straight shot over the water onto the green. It may result is a bit longer shot, but a safer shot.

I enjoyed this course and am looking forward to playing it again this year as the Downtown Links have arranged to have an outing at this course. With more knowledge of this course, I should be able to play a better round and take full advantage of this experience. Of course, there is the possibility that we will be playing the Lakes course, which would be fine with me as I would love to experience this course as well.

North Ridge Country Club


North Ridge Country Club is a private club that offers many benefits for its members. Coupled with the golf, it offers a pool, tennis and a fitness center. The fitness center offers personal training tailored to the member’s needs. They offer specialized training for golf or tennis fitness as well as group fitness programs such as water aerobics, Pilates and yoga. The tennis offers junior programs, private lessons, clinics, mixers and tournaments. As a tennis player, I can appreciate good instruction in this area.

The Olympic size pool offers a great way to spend warm summer days. With large decks, pool houses, kiddie pool and covered patio, this is a great place to relax. Just steps from the clubhouse, tennis complex and the 1st tee for the Lakes course, it is a great meeting place for members. Additionally, they have several activities for the youth to enhance their experience with the club. The clubhouse offers a wonderful dining facility that offers breakfast/Sunday Brunch, lunch and dinner.

Membership is modest for what you get. There is an initiation fee and monthly dues with a food minimum. They offer several levels of memberships to suit your needs from Class A to Junior Memberships to Sports memberships and even a trial membership to get to know the club and see if it will be a good fit for you and your family. Prices vary depending on the level of membership and you can contact them through their website for additional information.

North Ridge Community

The community is the gem in North Raleigh and is centered around the North Ridge Country Club. The club was founded in 1967 and homes began appearing soon thereafter. The community is a virtual who’s who of Raleigh business and community leaders. It has become the place to live in North Raleigh with homes ranging from the low $400,000 to well over a million and more. The community offers tons of sidewalks for leisure strolls in the evenings. Conveniently located, it is just a short drive to downtown, I-540 and RTP. Situated off Falls of Neuse Road, it is prime real estate.

Buying in North Ridge, you typically have your choice from traditional to contemporary style homes, many with golf course lots. The community offers townhouses as well as single family homes. With this variety, you will be certain to find what you are looking to purchase in this community.

When my wife and I first started looking for a home, we were very interested in this community and looked at everything available at the time. One of the homes we viewed was the home of the producers of the “Golden Girls”. After looking at all of these homes, we decided to purchase a town home not in North Ridge, but hope to one day call this community home.

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Brier Creek Countyr Club-Discover a New Lifestyle

October 13, 2011

18th Hole at Brier Creek Country Club

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to play for the first time at the Brier Creek Country Club and it was an amazing experience. Brier Creek is located in Northwest Raleigh, near the border of Durham County. This Arnold Palmer designed course offers challenging, but fair holes that are breathtaking with spectacular views on every hole. Your handicap will not inhibit your ability to enjoy this well-designed course. As a high handicap player, I had several opportunities for pars and even an opportunity for a birdie on this course. The more challenging holes offered the better golfers an opportunity to make difficult shots while leaving the lesser golfer spots to lay-up for a better approach shot to the greens. This course, unlike some I have played in the Triangle, is truly a fair and challenging course.

Brier Creek has been ranked at a Top 40 course in North Carolina as the conditions were near perfect. The fairways were well maintained and drained well despite heavy rain the prior day and drizzle on the day I played it. Of course, there were some saturated spots on the course, but very few. Most of the fairways offered safe landing areas for your tee shots despite your length off the tee, but with enough hazards for the very poor tee shots. Several fairways had water hazards and natural growth areas that had to be negotiated throughout the round, but very forgiving for the occasional poor shot.

The greens were well maintained with some speed, but not to the extent that makes it difficult for the amateur golfer to make putts. Many of the greens offered challenging putts, but not like a Donald Ross green where it is nearly impossible to make a simple put. The most challenging and breathtaking green is the 18th. It is an amazing finishing hole with the green being protected on three sides by a lake. The solid tee shot will give you the opportunity to reach this Par 4 in regulation, but a poor tee shot is not a deal breaker on this hole as there are ample areas to lay-up to give you a better shot of getting over the water.

My favorite hole on this course is the Par 3 16th. This hole is difficult, yet very fair. From the back tees, you will have 195 yards, but the blue tees will give you a 178  yard shot to this green. It is all water carry as the green is just off the lake’s edge with some tall grass between the water and the green. The green is elongated and not very deep. Go to long and you may end up in a sand bunker, giving you a delicate shot to hold the green without running off the front of the green. I was fortunate to land on the green from the tee, but with the elongated green, I had a forty-foot put to birdie. Unfortunately, I three putted this hole, but a boggie for me is a good score.

Brier Creek Membership

Brier Creek is a private club with membership opportunities for both residents and non-resident members. Initiation is not as high as you may imagine and Signature membership will also give you access to The Hassentree Club. Club amenities include the golf course, a 40,000 sq ft luxurious clubhouse, driving range, locker rooms, steam rooms, fitness center, banquet facilities, swim and tennis pavilion and much more. For the money, it is a good value, especially if you live in or near Brier Creek. I am not a member, but if we lived closer to this area, my wife and I would have to consider this as an option.

Living in Brier Creek

Living in Brier Creek has its benefits that few areas in Raleigh can compare. With easy access to I-540 and I-40 the conveniences is unmistakable. The conveniences do not end with this as all of the shopping you would need is near by with nearly all of the national retailers within minutes from your front door to include (but not limited to) Target, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and Dicks. There are also several restaurants nearby with choices such as Wild Wings, Carolina Ale House, Red Robin and many more.

The community has all of the benefits you would imagine to include the golf course, clubhouse, pools and tennis courts and social events throughout the year. It is truly an environment that your family can live and thrive with resort style amenities that will make for a pleasant home life. This community has everything you could ever want in a community.

Raleigh, North Carolina

Raleigh is a 2nd largest Metropolitan city in North Carolina. The economy is diverse with several technology and drug companies located in the Research Triangle Park (RTP). It is one of the fastest growing cities in the Southeast due to the lifestyle this area offers its residents. Real estate in the Triangle has always been a solid purchase as this area has benefited from stable growth over the past several years. Currently, the real estate market in the Triangle has declined due to national trends, but this area remains a mecca for families looking for quality of life along with strong schools and outdoor living. There are nearly 20 golf courses in Wake County alone with several more within the Triangle region and North Carolina. Raleigh and the Triangle has consistently been ranked among the Best Places to Live in the U.S.

Hasentree-An Amazing Golfing Experience

August 17, 2011

Welcome Home to Hasentree

Last week, I have the opportunity to play one of the area’s most prestigious golf courses when the Downtown Clubs of Raleigh organized an outing to Hasentree. I have to admit, Hasentree, a Tom Fazio designed course, is an experience that all avid golfers in the Triangle should have. The course was immaculate and the greens in top-notch condition. The greens were a little quick, but not too quick.

Despite having a very poor outing, I could not help but appreciate the course. The challenges start on the first hole with a dogleg left and fairway bunkers along the left side of the fairways. It made for an exact shot to get up in regulation, of which I did not accomplish.

Another memorable hole was the Par 4, #10 that actually has two greens. On this day, they were utilizing the right green  which was below the fairway. It made for a challenging hole. The finishing hole is one of the more challenging holes where there were few areas to land your tee shot without danger of hitting a fairway bunker.

Speaking with the pro shop after my round, I gathered that they have openings for members and it appears to be affordable. Hasentree is offering membership with the initiation of $10,000 and monthly dues of $385. Click on the link to learn more about membership at this inspiring course.

Several great shots were made by my group, but not enough to score well compared to some of the other teams. Paul Pratto, one of the organizers of the Downtown Links group, was the big winner as his 2 person team had the lowest score while also earning the cigars that my company, Back Nine Homes, offered for the closest to the pin on one of the par 3s on the front nine.

Hasentree Community

Recently, Toll Brothers purchased this project from the bank and have made strides to make this a successful project. They have lowered the prices that the original developers had placed on the homes and you have several options to get into this community. The Golf Villas Collection prices start in the low $300s with most of the floor plans having first floor master bedrooms. Of course, the prices go up to the $2+ Million dollar with many of the Executive homes starting in around $700,000. In the past, it was difficult to find a home in this community for less than $700,000. It would appear that the new price point has been successful as they have started to sell homes despite the economic times.

Some of the community features in addition to the golf course include resort-style pools, tennis courts, hiking and biking trails and planned activities. For more information or a guided tour of this great community, please contact me as I would be happy to show it to you.

Newly Renovated Hedingham Golf Course

July 13, 2011

Notice the plush grass on the #1 Fairway

I spent last Friday afternoon on the newly opened Hedingham Golf Course to see the difference after a nearly 2 month renovation. The results were very promising in some respects and not so much in others.

As far as the renovations, they did not re-design any of the holes as it basically plays the same as it always has. Of course, I don’t think I was expecting too much difference in this regard as you are looking at a major expense to re-design a course…money that I don’t think they wanted to spend. However, they did accomplish some wonderful things in the 2 months it was closed.

The tee boxes were in pristine condition, especially considering the playing rates for this course. The grass was plush and very green. Additionally, the fairways and roughs were in very good condition. They played very well and you did not have the issue of taking your shot off dirt while being in the middle of the fairway as you possibly could have done last year.

One aspect that made it very difficult, but in a good way is the rough off the greens. The grass was very thick and it made it difficult to get it out of the rough at times…especially until you realized this issue and made adjustments in your swing. On the first hole, my approach shot landed just shy of the green and rolled down the hill into the tall grass. If you do not know this course, you realize that there is a creek-type area that protects the green on the front side. It took me three shots to get the ball out of the tall grass and onto the putting surface. Of course, on future holes, I made the adjustments and did not face the same issue when chipping from the rough.

The Par 5 #9 Fairway

The one area that was somewhat disappointing are the greens. The greens were not fully grown and you had some splotches throughout many of the putting surfaces. I know they are trying to correct this issue and it is probably due to the simple fact that they need to grow more grass on the greens, which in a common issue with our courses as the summer heat often makes it difficult for the shorter grass to survive.

Overall, I was impressed with the conditions of this course considering the green fees and the typical conditions of this course when I have played it in the past. I am concerned whether or not they will keep the course in the same condition going forward. In fact, a resident of the community was saying the same thing to me while we played a few holes together. This will be the real test for this course.

On a side note, I had received an email stating that Hedingham would be charging $25 green fees and cart throughout the month of July. So, this would be an excellent time to visit to see the newly renovated course.

Golf Course Community of the Month-The Clubs at 12 Oaks

June 10, 2011

The Triangle area of North Carolina is fortunate to have several golf courses and golf community for the benefit of its residents. Recently, I had the opportunity to play our newest golf course in Holly Springs. 12 oaks is a Jack Nicklaus designed course that offers a challenging, but fair course for players of all levels. The 7132 yard course is very much like the designer, challenging and soon to be, legendary. As more Triangle golfers make their way to this well maintained course, its beauty and picturesque designs will awe and inspire you.

Jack Nicklaus, if you do not already know, was one of the greatest golfers the U.S. has fielded with 20 major titles, electrifying victories and his will to “win”, his course designs have very much followed suit. This course offers several risk vs reward shots that will either help your game, or destroy it. As with most of Nicklaus courses, there are many difficult hazards that should be avoided at all cost, but it is not so challenging that higher handicap players cannot have the shot to keep them coming back for more.

The finishing hole on this course is the longest Par 4 on the course and requires you to shape your shot and while getting some distance in order to shorten your approach to the green. The green is protected in front and down the side by a creek. There are safer options to approach this green for the golfers like me who do not have the game or distance to make some of these shots.

I truly enjoyed my round of golf on this course, especially since it was a Captain’s Choice tournament where I did not have to rely on my shots. However, I will be playing this course again tomorrow with the Downtown Links and hope to do better than I did the last time out.

The Community

The website for the community boasts that the “front porch is back”. I have yet to view some of the homesites in this community, but the ones I saw while on the course were amazing. A gentle Southern lifestyle is the order of the day with this community. The community is the epitome of Southern life with front porches and 20 miles of sidewalks for evening strolls. Community features boast the clubhouse with pool, fitness center and tennis courts.

1508 Green Oaks Parkway $399,900

With builders such as W & W Partner’s Builder Team, Lennar, Robuck Homes, David Weekley Homes, The Oakwood Builder Team, and Homestead Building Co. you will have several options for your future home here. Additionally, WinStar Homes and Mungo Homes offer townhomes for your family.

Holly Springs offers many amenities and is not a sleepy town anymore. With shopping, restaurants and cultural activities nearby, Holly Springs has been ranked as the 22nd best place to live according to Money Magazine. This is a community that is worth a visit and I am sure you will be falling in love with the tree-lined community.

For more information about 12 Oaks, please visit 12 Oaks Community.