Preview packages at the Rio Verde, Tonto Verde and Trilogy at Verde River let you see which golf community best suits your lifestyle.
By Chris Duthie
To paraphrase Gordon Gekko’s infamous Wall Street adage: Green is good.
For golfers especially, green is truly heady stuff. It’s that splendidly iridescent color of the tees, fairways and putting surfaces. It’s the term that IDs the flagged location of the targeted hole. And when you’re playing well, it’s the relished winnings collected from a well-played five-dollar Nassau.
Green is good. El verde es bueno. And in metro Phoenix, green can be especially so for prospective homeowners who have long dreamed about full or part-time desert living.
We’ve earmarked three second-home/retirement communities that incorporate the color into their names. Each earns high marks for crafting remarkable experiences and, best of all, offers an opportunity to sample the lifestyle firsthand through a “try-before-you-buy” package.
Comprising 735 acres of stunning Sonoran Desert terrain eight miles north of Fountain Hills, Rio Verde epitomizes the grandeur of active-adult living. Its celebrity is rooted in world-class golf—36 holes of parkland-style, Troon Privé-managed recreation that underwent major renovations by Tom Lehman a decade ago—but that’s just a start.
Residents also revel in a 27,000-square-foot clubhouse, six tennis courts, two pickleball courts, bocce pitch and swimming pool, plus a community center that offers a state-of-the-art gym, art studio, library, and a full slate of fitness, tai chi and dance classes. The adjacent Tonto National Forest provides infinite hiking and mountain biking. Another point of pride: During the last two decades, Rio Verde residents have built 20 Habitat For Humanity homes in the Phoenix area without a dime of corporate sponsorship.
Rio Verde prospects can “kick the tires” and appraise all these private club delights through the community’s The Experience opportunity. The test-try membership program offers either full golf or individual golf benefits from three months to 12 months, both of which include complete access to the Troon Privé Privilege and the Troon Advantage Program. For added details, call (480) 471-3410 or go online to rioverdearizona.com.
Another premier Fountain Hills locale, Tonto Verde is just far enough away from the “big city” to fully enjoy the peace, tranquility and privacy of a premier adult-lifestyle community. Further, the gated locale is encircled by the protected Tonto National Forest, Four Peaks Wilderness, McDowell Mountain Regional Park and a 24,000-acre expanse owned by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation.
Amenities are distinctive, including 36 holes of private golf crafted by Gary Panks and David Graham, an 18-hole putting course, fitness center, saltwater swimming, hiking, mountain and road biking, al fresco clubhouse dining, saddle club, plus a variety of educational and entertainment programs like cooking lessons, concerts, special-topic speakers, guided hikes and dancing lessons.
Try-it-first opportunities are available though the Discover Tonto Verde Package. For $795, the program offers a four-day/three-night stay, two rounds of golf, dinner for two, full use of the fitness center and heated pool and more. Available through April 30, 2018. For added details, call (480) 471-3566 or go online to tontoverde.org.
TRILOGY AT VERDE RIVER
Rounding out the trio is Trilogy at Verde River. Located 40 miles northwest of Scottsdale, the private 55-plus Fountain Hills community comprises natural, sanctuary-like features including the free-flowing Verde River, nearby Tonto National Forest, panoramic mountainscapes, and myriad hiking and walking trails.
Headlining Trilogy’s perks: a formidable Ken Kavanaugh-crafted golf course superbly redesigned in 2016 by Tom Lehman, plus a just-unveiled Resort Club that offers sumptuous dining, fitness center, spa, swimming, entertainment venues and a proactive social club that presents countless opportunities to connect with members.
Want to try it firsthand like a VIP? For $599, Trilogy’s “Taste the Good Life” discovery program includes a four-day/three-night stay, dinner or lunch for two, unlimited fitness facility access, complimentary mountain bike use, and a choice of golf, spa treatment or Jeep tour for two. Available through April 30, 2018. For added details, call (800) 658-6494 or go online here.
Chris Duthie is a Durango-based contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer. Colorado AvidGolfer is the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it, publishing eight issues annually and proudly delivering daily content via coloradoavidgolfer.com.