Toscana Country Club - homesREAL ESTATE

Toscana Country Club centers one of the hottest second-home golf communities in the Palm Springs region

By Larry Olmsted,
Special Contributor

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- The golf-rich Palm Springs region has long been dominated by designers like Pete Dye, Ted Robinson Sr. and John Fought, making it one of the rare destinations where Jack Nicklaus has never been a main attraction, with the notable exception of his namesake course at PGA West.

Toscana C.C. - South golf course - hole 9But that all changed in 2005, when the first of the two Nicklaus designs anchoring the Toscana Country Club community opened. These 36 holes mark the Golden Bear's return to this corner of the desert after a long hiatus. And with 27 holes open (the final nine are under construction) and lots of homes occupied, Toscana is quickly positioning itself as the hottest second-home golf community in the area.

Developed by the Sunrise Company, Toscana Country Club is a private community in Indian Wells, Palm Desert's most desirable zip code. It's two hours east of Los Angeles and less than 30 minutes from the Palm Springs International Airport.

Its courses are exclusively for owners and members. As the name implies, the development has a Tuscan theme in terms of architecture, interior design, landscaping and style.

Real estate and amenities at Toscana Country Club

Toscana Country Club in Indian WellsBesides the golf, the Toscana-planned development includes 626 home and estate sites and a 90,000-square-foot, multi-purpose clubhouse with spa, dining and extensive fitness and tennis facilities. There are also numerous public-access and resort golf courses in Indian Wells and the surrounding towns. And one of the biggest appeals of the region is a vast array of dining, shopping and entertainment options nearby.

Toscana definitely skews toward the luxury end of the real estate scale, with the least expensive residences running $995,000. There are 18 different floor plans available for designer homes ranging from 2,400 to 5,400 square feet and costing up to $7.7 million. Undeveloped lots begin at $895,000.

Despite the high prices, the relative newness of the community and the current economy, half of the homes and sites have already been sold. To make things easier on would-be buyers, Toscana has nine fully decorated model homes and a sophisticated home design center with interior designer assistance available. This is quite unusual and may be one of the keys to the developer's success to date.

Toscana Country Club - homesIn an era when many higher-end developments are positioning themselves as residential alternatives to resorts, Toscana has adopted more of the classic country club model, with golf firmly as the centerpiece.

The other amenities are mostly sports-related, including a state-of-the-art sports club with a large fitness center and movement studio, and a lavish tennis center featuring a U.S.-Open style stadium court and three additional courts, including one clay surface. The spa is the only non-athletic bell and whistle, and in keeping with the community’s golf-centric theme, the master plan was uniquely routed so that all of the 600-plus homes have a golf course view.

Toscana C.C. - South golf course - hole 8The two Nicklaus courses were designed to be distinct and varied, with the finished South Course offering more of a lush parkland experience, albeit in the desert, while Toscana's North Course is much more rugged and a true desert course.

Neither will feature tee times, allowing for spontaneous walk-on play. There is an extensive practice facility with a double-ended range, short-game area with chipping green and, most notably, a six-hole pitch-and-putt course, which is a wonderful amenity for both practice and family fun.

If you can afford it, and your primary second-home or retirement interest is golf in a fantastic climate, Toscana is certainly worth a look.

Larry Olmsted has written more than 1,000 articles on golf and golf travel, for the likes of Golf Magazine, T&L Golf, LINKS, Golf & Travel, Men's Health, Men's Journal, USA Today, and many others. He broke the Guinness World Record for golf travel and wrote Getting into Guinness, as well as Golf Travel by Design. He was the founding editor of The Golf Insider, and the golf columnist for both USA Today.com and US Airways Magazine.

November 18, 2011

Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management. The information in this story was accurate at the time of publication. All contact information, directions and prices should be confirmed directly with the golf course or resort before making reservations and/or travel plans.

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