Northeast Valley Home to Luxurious Golf Course Communities

By Shane Sharp, Contributor

PHOENIX, Ariz. - Pinnacle Peak-based real estate agent Carol Tower talks about the various northeast valley golf course developments like they are beloved grandchildren. Her eldest, the Paradise Valley Country Club and the Camelback Country Club, are mature, responsible, and -- if you consider half a million bucks for a new crib reasonable - practical.

Her youngest, the Estancia Club in north Pinnacle Peak, is cocksure, outlandish, a little eccentric and outlandishly expensive. In between, the personalities are all over the map; Grayhawk is both practical and lavish, D.C. Ranch is self contained and technologically savvy, and the Boulders is outgoing and self-confident.

"What do you mean affordable?" Tower, who works for Russ Lyons, deadpans when asked if the northeast valley is home to any bargain rate golf course housing. "We have some homes that start around $250,000 and it goes all the way up into the multi-millions. I guess that is affordable to someone!"

In fact, Tower says the most expensive home in the Phoenix area is for sale just down the road from her office for around $35 million.

"Its not even on a golf course," Tower confides. "But it has 20 acres of land and some stables."

If you'd rather play through 18 holes of lavish desert golf than ride around in some field with the ponies, here's a rundown of some of the northeast valley's most exclusive golf course developments.

The Estancia Club

When asked to name a price range for the Estancia Club, the most upscale of the upscale developments in north Scottsdale, Tower chuckles.

"You just can't put a market value on some of these homes because they bought the land and custom built them," she adds. "If I had to guess, some of them might around 10 or 12 million. They have fabulous views, a fabulous golf course, and they are highly sought after."

The Estancia Club is an exclusive, private golf club community located at the base of Pinnacle Peak in Scottsdale, Arizona. The posh gated community encompasses 640 acres of Sonoran high desert terrain, and features 223 custom home sites and 39 beautifully designed villas.

Tower says that Estancia does have a smattering of courtyard developments that are set up like European villages, which are slightly more affordable than some of the detached housing. Courtyard home prices start at $1 million, and are not located on the Tom Fazio designed golf course.

"Most of these homes are here are one of a kind dream homes," Tower says.

Troon, Troon North and Glenmore

Across the street from the Estancia Club are two of the northeast valley's more recognizable golf addresses, Troon and Troon North. The original Troon has a three-year waiting list for membership and offers nothing below $450,000, according to Tower.

Troon North, the upstart of the two developments, still has memberships available, and the Tom Weiskopf/Jay Moorish designed Monument and Pinnacle courses remain open to the public until all memberships are solid out. North does have town homes available that start in the $300,000 range, but one million dollar custom golf course homes are available as well.

Within Troon is yet another gated community, Glenmore. Unlike Troon North, Glenmore's championship golf course is off limits to the public, and only residents of the community are eligible to join. Homes in Glenmore range from $850,000 to $4 million.

Grayhawk and D.C. Ranch, and the Boulders

Grayhawk is good enough for Professional golfer Phil Mickelson, so don't turn your nose up at this quasi-affordable golf community on the south side of Pinnacle Peak.

Grayhawk has single-family detached housing available for $250,000, with an emphasis on family. Although not officially deeded that way, a de facto segregation of "family" and "adult" homes exists within this popular Scottsdale burg.

The Pima Road side is all about the adults, with its layouts that cater to empty nesters and dual income no kid couples. The other side of Grayhawk sits across from the local schools, and the many of the homes offer five and six bedrooms.

Grayhawk's golf facilities are top of the line, including the David Graham and Gary Panks designed Talon Course and the new Tom Fazio designed Raptor Course. Both courses, along with Troon North's tracks, are recognized as two of the top semi private courses in the valley.

For those who prefer a self contained experience with on-site grocery stories, fire protection and medical facilities provided, D.C. Ranch is on the cutting edge of northeast valley golf real estate.

The majority of D.C. Ranch residences are hot wired with high-speed Internet connections, and the development sports its own cable channel so residents can stay informed of current and upcoming events.

"It is hard to get in for anything under $500,000 in D.C. Ranch," Tower says. "And the newest development there will be multi-million dollar homes. It's a very family friendly place in that children can get to school through passageways so they don't have to cross the street. They work hard to make the community active with itself."

Up the road in Carefree is a resort that many golf enthusiasts may be familiar with - the award winning Boulders. But Tower points out that the Boulders is also a highly regarded golf course community.

"The primary thing is that you have access to the resort and all its amenities," Tower says. "It is very desired and a great place to live."

Homes at the Boulders range from $600,000 to $1.5 million. Lots sizes are limited by the terrain, as is home size.

Shane SharpShane Sharp, Contributor

Shane Sharp is vice president of Buffalo Communications, a golf and lifestyle media agency. He was a writer, senior writer and managing editor of from 1997 to 2003.

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