Costa Palmas - Los Cabos, Mexico
Home Par Excellence
Officially they may be called golf communities, but these days, many of the most alluring private residential developments offer a slew of amenities that are on par with the properties’ world-class golf facilities.
by Shivani Vora
From holistic wellness programs and exceptional farm-to-table cuisine to private beach clubs and creative kids’ programs, many luxury residential golf developments are offering as much for non-golfers as they do for those who play the game. And these additional amenities are attracting a new demographic of homebuyers, according to Jason Becker, CEO of Golf Life Navigators, a company that helps match buyers with their ideal communities. “Five or 10 years ago, retirees would move into golf communities for the sport,” says Becker, “but today, buyers in their 30s, 40s, and 50s, who often have families with school-aged children, are moving in or buying vacation homes.” In a survey of 28,000 homebuyers, the company found that half wanted to own in a development that offers amenities beyond golf. “This trend has no signs of slowing down and may even overtake the golf course in terms of why people buy,” Becker explains. Here, five developments to consider if you’re in the market for golf and much more.
Timbers Kauai
Hokuala, Kauai, Hawaii
The Residences: Two-, three-, and four-bedroom turnkey homes starting at $3.99 million.

Set among 450 acres of verdant greenery and lagoons along the Pacific, the development offers ocean views from nearly every vantage point, including a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course where Nawiliwili Bay takes center stage on the back nine. “Our golf course has the longest stretch of continuous ocean holes in all of Hawaii,” said Fran Roach, the course’s former general manager. “Finishing up on the back nine, the views are just spectacular.” Options for diversions are endless.

The beach club has a concierge that sets up towels and chairs and offers equipment for snorkeling, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. Fitness fans can borrow bikes to ride the 16 miles of on-site trails, book off-property excursions with the in-house adventure guides for private waterfall hikes, and take surfing lessons in the island’s prime wave-catching spots. On-site programming changes weekly and includes chocolate tastings, lei-making classes, hula lessons, bird-watching tours, and retail pop-ups showcasing the works of local artisans. On the culinary front, Timbers has a 16.5-acre organic farm that grows the produce used at the on-site restaurants. Homeowners are invited to visit the farm and pick ingredients for their own kitchens. Cooking classes on topics such as kid-friendly recipes and making poke with locally caught fish are offered regularly.
Silo Ridge Field Club
Amenia, New York
The Residences: Two-bedroom condominiums to six-bedroom homes starting at $2 million.

Located in the heart of the Hudson Valley in the hilly and scenic town of Amenia, this Discovery Land Company property spreads out over 850 sprawling acres. At its core is a Tom Fazio–designed golf course set on the community’s highest plot of land. Challenging terrain keeps advanced players engaged, while still exciting average golfers with unpredictable—and sometimes lucky—bounces. All players, regardless of their skill sets, will appreciate the dramatic views of the Taconic Mountains that enhance every hole. And the championship-caliber golf course is just the start. Homeowners can also enjoy the 40,000-square-foot clubhouse with a restaurant, locker rooms, and high-tech fitness center. Hit the tennis and pickleball courts or head to the field house to try the challenge course and rock wall. Silo is especially welcoming to families: a pool complex features a 100-foot-long waterslide and kiddie pool; the family barn is built out with an art studio, bowling alley, arcade, and movie theater.

Winter outdoor pursuits include ice skating and cross-country skiing. Come warmer weather, options include fly fishing in the surrounding lakes, kayaking, canoeing, sport clay shooting, paintball, hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. And residents don’t just get to visit the organic farm; they also have the option to claim a patch on the field and grow their own produce with the help of Silo’s garden manager.
Punta Mita
Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
The Residences: Two-bedroom condominiums to six-bedroom villas in 18 real estate communities, including a Four Seasons and St. Regis, starting at $1.35 million.

North of Puerto Vallarta in the heart of Riviera Nayarit, the 1,500-acre Punta Mita feels more like a small, sophisticated city than a master-planned development—there’s even an on-site hospital. Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and Banderas Bay, it has two golf courses, both with ocean views and designed by Jack Nicklaus, though that only partially tells the story. The property’s Pacifico Course is distinctive for offering an alternative, par-3 third hole, called “Tail of the Whale,” which requires players to hit to an island green set about 200 yards from the shoreline. What’s more, the hole can only be played at certain times of the day, since the rocky spit of terrain that serves as a walking and cart path to the green is submerged by the Sea of Cortez when the tide comes in.

Residents can partake in any kind of water sport imaginable: stand-up paddleboarding, surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming with dolphins, spear and deep-sea fishing, windsurfing, jet-skiing, yachting, and sailing. Beyond the surf center and four beach clubs—each with multiple pools—are more than 20 restaurants, three scenic miles of running trails, a tennis club, and activities that cater to every age range and interest. Often on the agenda are family movie nights under the stars, beach barbecues, volunteer work at the local villages, and a chance to watch sea turtles hatch eggs at sunset. Off-property excursions include the charming and artsy town of Sayulita, the underwater caves and marine preserves on the Marieta Islands, and the hiking trails of the Sierra Madre Mountains.
Costa Palmas
Los Cabos, Mexico
The Residences: A mix of Four Seasons and Aman (debuting in 2022) properties ranging from two-bedroom condominiums to 13-bedroom villas starting at $2.25 million.

Forget the Cabo you think you know: The 1,000-acre Costa Palmas is set on the secluded and rugged East Cape about an hour’s drive from the touristy area dubbed “the Corridor.” Renowned architect Robert Trent Jones II designed the oceanfront golf course, which he describes as “a golf symphony composed of three movements and two transitions.” Those movements bring golfers up and alongside windswept dunes, then through “upland” holes defined by dramatic views of the Sierra de la Laguna mountains, and finally along the edges of coves, harbors, and channels that make this area one of the world’s best sport-fishing destinations. Even with such a memorable golf course, the more than two miles of swimmable beach (a rarity in Cabo because of its location on the rough Pacific Ocean) may be the community’s main attraction. The long list of other amenities includes several cafés and restaurants—most notably an outpost of Estiatorio Milos, the upscale Greek seafood eatery with locations in New York and London.

Costa Palmas also has six swimming pools, a marina that can accommodate 250-foot yachts, a yacht and beach club, polo fields, scenic walking paths, a kids’ club, an organic farm, and an equestrian center. The fitness center is particularly impressive: Spread over two levels, it has dedicated studios for yoga, Pilates, spinning, and cross training, as well as an outdoor area and juice bar. Spa fans can easily pass their days at the 16,000-square-foot spa with 10 freestanding treatment rooms and hot and cold plunge pools, while active types can book excursions with the on-site adventure guides to hike and bike the Sierra de la Laguna mountain range or dive the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cabo Pulmo.
Palmetto Bluff
Bluffton, South Carolina
The Residences: Two- to six-bedroom homes, including a community of properties from Montage Hotels & Resorts, starting from the $800,000s.

Located on 20,000 acres in the heart of South Carolina’s Lowcountry, Palmetto Bluff is the largest waterfront development on the East Coast. Jack Nicklaus was the mastermind behind the 18-hole championship golf course that stretches out more than 7,100 yards from the back tees and meanders through the May River Forest, bringing several holes right along the banks of the slow-moving waterway as it snakes its way east toward the Atlantic. But you don’t need to be a golfer to take advantage of the community’s natural resources.

There are extensive walking, biking, and horseback-riding paths, plus numerous water-based activities, such as kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, boating, and fishing. The shooting club features 13 sporting clay stations while the tennis center has eight tennis courts, six pickleball courts, two croquet lawns, and two bocce courts. Multiple fitness centers, dog parks, swimming pools, and restaurants are situated around the development, and the spa by Montage offers treatments using locally grown plants and herbs. Palmetto’s programming is a strong suit: More than 300 options a year range from cooking classes and visits from local artists to lectures on the local sea turtles and wildlife viewing tours. Particularly appealing is the residential community’s secluded-village feel, which spotlights Southern town charm and accentuates the area’s Southern hospitality.