Welcome to the fifth annual edition of the GolfCourseHome Network Dream 18—great residential golf holes representing the best in golf course design. This post features the second six–holes No. 7 thru. 12. Read about the first six holes. And read about holes No. 13-18.
No. 7, Hasentree (10th) Wake Forest, NC par 4 388 / 373 / 353
No amenity or activity is left to chance at this enclave of active, affluent families in the Research Triangle region. Hasentree residents spend their busy days at a private spa, in the club’s multi-million-dollar swim pavilion, working out in the fitness center, playing matches at the tennis complex or walking a six-mile system of trails that connect their parks and neighborhoods.
Golf at this community is tour-caliber, on a Tom Fazio-crafted layout that British Open winner Ben Curtis praised for having greens as good as any he has played in worldwide competition.
Our featured hole from Fazio’s Audubon Sanctuary-certified course is the par-4 10th—not one of the tougher holes on the course so a breather here on the Dream 18 scorecard. Its standout feature is a bona fide double green—two separate putting surfaces to play at, depending on which has the pin cut into it that day. Send me more information about Hasentree!
No. 8, Kiawah Island (2nd, Ocean Course) Kiawah Island, SC par 5 543 / 528 / 501 / 495
Kiawah’s Island status as a globally recognized resort community gets reinforced next summer when the PGA Championship comes to this 90-hole mecca of oceanfront golf and luxury.
Beaches, creeks and tidal marshes frame its vast acreage, home to a resort component that features a 5-star hotel, 5-star spa and culinary excellence throughout. Loyal property owners from far and near enjoy 30-plus miles of biking and hiking trails plus over 100 acres of parks. Water activities include kayaking, canoeing, fishing and crabbing.
There are splendid, sporty golf courses authored by Jack Nicklaus, Tom Fazio and others, but the PGA (like the Ryder Cup before it) unfolds on the sandy, fescue-sprigged Ocean Course by Pete and Alice Dye.
We choose the par-5 second hole for Dream 18 status, citing this 543-yard knee-knocker for its two separate marsh carries, distant views of Atlantic surf and risk-reward decisions that must be confronted before you finally reach a green that is not only slender but elevated, as well. Send me more information about Kiawah Island!
No. 9, Admiral’s Cove (17th, East Course ), Jupiter, FL par 5 648 / 585 / 571 / 487 / 409
Delicately tucked along natural tropical waterways, The Club at Admiral’s Cove is a world-class family golf and country club offering a marina, 45 holes of championship golf, yacht services, tennis, a luxurious spa, salon and a full-service fitness center.
Robert von Hagge, one of the original globetrotting golf architects, designed all 45 holes of golf here, which are organized into a trio of nines called Golf Village North/South/West, plus a separate, 18-hole East Course.
As members play down the back nine of the East Course, they must ingest power bars in anticipation of our featured hole, No. 17. It’s a burly par-5 that can play as long as (gulp) 648 yards, with a good poke needed to get you over a monster-long bunker guarding the fairway’s right flank.
The hole swings to the right, with a cordon of palms down the left dissuading bailout shots. Rumpled throughout, the fairway does smooth a bit in the second landing area, giving players a fair surface to approach the green from. Send me more information about Admiral’s Cove
No. 10, Red Ledges (9th) Heber, UT par 3 203 / 166 / 147 / 113
If a city-slicker friend of yours bought property at Red Ledges and started wearing a cowboy hat, you’d have to forgive him. This private, four-season mountain golf community near Park City surrounds one with a Western landscape that is all red rock, high peaks and dramatic ridgelines.
Within its 2,000 acres is a full suite of recreational amenities, including an award-laden Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, a snappy 9-hole short course, a spa-fitness-pool complex and an on-site equestrian center.
Apparently the members are dedicated to technique, enrolling in lessons at the on-site Jim McLean Golf School and Cliff Drysdale Tennis School. Many a hole on this Nicklaus course could have earned GCH Dream status, given the awesome vistas you get from so many of the tee boxes.
We pin a star on a par-3, however, the 203-yard ninth. To tee up your ball you first climb to a lofty summit, looking down on a partially occluded view of an inviting punchbowl green. Your low-iron or hybrid tee shot clears a stand of tall junipers, then frames itself against the Western sky. Send me more information about Red Ledges!
No. 11, Sun City Vistoso (1st, Views Golf Club) Oro Valley, AZ par 4 373 / 340 / 315 / 240
With a backdrop of the majestic Catalina Mountains, Sun City Vistoso is an attractive, financially solid golf community outside of Tucson designed for residents 45 and up. The community broke ground in 1986 and is built-out with nearly 2,500 homes spread across 1,000 acres of Sonoran desert landscape.
Amenities include two swimming pools, one that’s Olympic-sized, a sports/fitness complex, an artisan complex including a state-of-the-art woodshop, sewing center, silversmith lab, clay and ceramics design studios and a dance studio, plus courts for tennis, racquetball and pickleball.
Every year the Dream 18 crew likes to spotlight an opening hole at one of our honored courses–this year we give you No. 1 at The Views Golf Club, Sun City Vistoso’s on-site links.
Shaped in an appealingly swerving configuration, this honest par-4 gives players their first looks at the great scenic adventure that lies ahead. Send me more information about Sun City Vistoso!
No. 12, Eagle’s Bluff (8th), Bullard, TX par 4 401 / 383 / 343
There’s a hidden-retreat feel throughout the 540 acres of Eagle’s Bluff, adjacent to 26,000-acre Lake Palestine and home to an eye-pleasing championship golf course by unsung architect Carlton Gipson.
Residents have a world-class 27,000-sq.-ft. clubhouse to relax in and resort-level amenities plus fishing and water sports on the massive lake. But they love their golf, and when they get to our Dream 18 selection, the short and sharply doglegging No. 8, their blood pumps a bit quicker.
Gipson has given them that rarity—a par-4 with an approach shot over water that even average players can attack for par or birdie, simply because the yardage demand on the drive is so modest. Mind you, this is also a hole that the big hitters can try to reach in one—you could say it puts the “eagle” in Eagle Bluff. But undoubtedly many who attempt the 300-yard carry find the water hazard. Send me more information about Eagle’s Bluff!