Tiger Woods, just back from knee surgery, and Rory McIlroy, a teenage phenom from Northern Ireland, weren't the only ones making a high-profile return or debut on the PGA Tour this week at the Accenture Match Play Championship. The cactus-studded course on which the tournament is being played, Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Dove Mountain, is brand new. It's the centerpiece of a Ritz-Carlton resort and residential community in the Tucson suburb of Marana, Ariz., that's scheduled to open in the fall. The desert setting -- a saguaro forest shadowed by the Tortolita Mountains -- is picturesque. The pros may be grumbling about the slow putting surfaces on the Jack Nicklaus-designed layout (above) but certainly not the scenery.
The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is to include a 250-room resort and 450 home sites spread across 850 acres (roughly the size of New York's Central Park). It will be the largest Ritz-Carlton project in the country. Guests will have access to 20 miles of hiking trails plus routes for mountain biking and Jeep tours. A limited number of golf vacation packages can be reserved now at www.ritzcarlton.com/dovemountain.
In terms of real estate, charter memberships bestowing special discounts on property and services are being offered to the first 25 buyers. The benefits include, among other things, up to $175,000 off the price of a pre-designed custom home; 20 percent off the cost of a custom estate home site; free membership at the golf club ($125,000 value); and tens of thousands of dollars in credits that can be applied to costs such as home upgrades, hotel and spa charges and the purchase of a "neighborhood electric vehicle." For full details, see www.theresidencesdovemountain.com.