The late Robin Williams once said about golf in one of his stand-up routines, “It’s such an exciting, athletic sport, too; whack the ball, get in the cart. Whack the ball, get in the cart.” While there are many people who love golf, this view Robin Williams had about the sport seems to be shared by many. Not to mention, 18-holes worth of a golf course takes up a lot of land, land that could otherwise be used for a variety of amenities that would appeal to a larger range of people.
Many master planned communities are beginning to forgo the golf course in favor of things like lazy rivers, recreation centers with different kinds of pools and space for fitness classes, tennis complexes, and sports fields, The Houston Chronicle reports.
Recreation centers especially are getting an updated treatment in new master planned communities as people have come to expect them to feel like a resort. Lazy rivers and lap pools that are separate from the main pools are the new normal, and a simple swimming pool and a bathhouse won’t cut it anymore.
Some communities, such as Meridiana in Texas, are focusing their master planned community’s amenities on education. Learning laboratories will be peppered throughout Meridiana and a 60-foot-tall tower will provide the community with a solar observatory.
Nature is a common theme, as well. Many communities are beginning to focus on things like walking trails, splash pads, fire pits, and outdoor movie nights on the lawn.
In the past, golf courses may have helped sell homes in many master communities, but now they only appeal to a very small percentage of buyers. The ability to squeeze five different amenities into the space that would have traditionally been taken up by one golf course widens the appeal of the community and also has a hand in making the community more diverse.
Regardless of the amenities a master planned community has, developers tend to agree that these communities are designed to withstand economic downturns better than other neighborhoods. They provide buyers with a sense of security about their home purchase, which is a selling point that can’t be overlooked after the housing market crash.