Retirement and Great Golf, Great Golfer or Not
Article by Scott Norton
Mark Twain once said (if you can believe the internet…), “Golf is a good walk spoiled.” It’s a sentiment that even the most skilled and avid golfer can identify with on occasion, especially if playing a particularly challenging course. Funny how just before the first tee, the daunting challenge of a really well designed course is something to aspire to – yet somewhere in the back nine it can occasionally become an impediment to our love of the game (even if we never admit it out loud).
Part of this, of course, depends on where you take up the game. An unsuspecting seven year old introduced to golf on a Donald Ross signature course in Upstate NY and has a lifetime of experience with the game will have a different attitude towards a tough round than the true novice golfer who waited until retirement offered them enough free time for golf. The rest of the equation is the usual variables such as general temperament, competitive nature, etc.
The inevitable result is that, on occasion, a weekend foursome is composed of players with wildly divergent skill levels. So if you’re new to the game, or just not that good (yet!), the idea of paying “tournament level green fees” to be essentially abused by your cohort for 18 holes might not be an attractive option. Of course, you don’t want to be “anti-social” so you might end up playing (and paying) anyway.
Fortunately, modern course design seems to be about making the game enjoyable for varied skill sets. Take Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia for example. Course designer Gary Panks included over 70 pronounced and transitional bunkers that feed the course’s fairways and native areas.
According to his web site, Panks entered private practice as a landscape architect in 1971, and in 1978 began designing golf courses exclusively as Gary Panks Associates. Several of his designs have been nationally acclaimed and he’s been honored by the American Society of Landscape Architects for his unique putting course at Desert Highlands Golf Club in Scottsdale, AZ, which was inspired by the Himalayas putting course at St. Andrews, Scotland.
It’s pretty clear Panks knew exactly what he was doing when he designed Vistancia. It’s a course that rewards careful planning and precise execution, but there are five tee boxes to choose from. This allows players of every skill level to actually enjoy being tested by the course.
Even on the “worst” day of golf it’s helpful that Panks drew upon distinctive land features and a backdrop of stunning Arizona scenery to craft an awe-inspiring setting. No matter where the ball goes, you’re on a spectacularly beautiful course that’s one of just 23 US courses to earn a five-star rating from Golf Digest.
If you happen to be considering retirement and looking for a place to take up golf, Vistancia gets even better. Trilogy at Vistancia is a master planned 55+ active adult community that caters to “buyers with refined tastes”. Think upscale active living in a luxurious resort-style setting.
Trilogy homes at Vistancia offer stunning views of the type you see from the golf course; there are towering palm trees and lush landscaping. The place seems more like a resort than a neighborhood, but it is a neighborhood; complete with schools, shopping and recreation for when you’re not playing golf.
The houses are built using the latest in “green” technologies, which can save homeowners about $1500 per year through energy efficiency. Their carbon footprint is estimated to be about 40% less than traditionally built homes, and they are beautiful.
It’s an intimate, friendly, accessible living environment, attached to your 5-star golf course.
Trilogy at Vistancia might just be Golf Heaven. But don’t be afraid of the cost – you might be pleasantly surprised. It’s at least worth checking out, and we’re confident that you’ll be glad you did.