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A view of life on the elegant side

Southern Hills Plantation shows its course and new clubhouse to the community and potential new neighbors.

By LOGAN NEILL
Published October 9, 2006


[Times photo: M. N. Golden]
Norma and Cliff Wing of new Port Richey admire the view from the back of the clubhouse at the Southern Hills Plantation Club during the club's open house. "This is lovely. Very, very nice," said Norma Wing. The couple have been members of country clubs in their native Maine and New Hampshire for many years.

For Ed Peele, it was a savory taste of the good life. Sitting out on the cool veranda of Southern Hills Plantation Club's newly completed clubhouse and dining on a complimentary brunch of eggs, bacon biscuits and tea, the Hudson retiree admired the view and wished he was among the lucky foursome tooling in their golf cart toward the 10th tee.

"It's beautiful here," Peele said. "If I lived here, you can bet I'd be out on that course every day if I could."

Of course, with nonresident associate memberships starting at $10,000, Peele figures the only way he'll be hitting the impeccably maintained links at Southern Hills Plantation anytime soon is if he hits the lottery.

Still, if nothing else, the club's grand opening celebration Sunday offered an opportunity to dream a little. Visitors roamed the posh 20,000-square-foot building replete with antebellum columns and lattice woodwork and admired the panoramic view of the exclusive 18-hole golf course below.

"It was our chance to bring the community a bit closer to what we offer here," said Karen Noffsinger, spokeswoman for the LandMar Group LLC, which is developing Southern Hills Plantation.

It was hoped that the event, which offered free tours of the golf course plus an opportunity for the public to knock around the six-hole par 3 course, would also spark interest in the upscale community where homes are priced from the high $300s to over $1-million.

Spring Hill residents Bob Hood and Joe Gallagher said they were impressed by the scope of the development, which covers about 1,400 acres south of Brooksville.

"It's the most beautiful golf course in Hernando County," offered Hood, an avid golfer. "With all the hills and trees it reminds you of something you'd find up in Georgia or North Carolina. Very different from what you'd expect in Florida."

Although not a golfer herself, Joe Gallagher's wife, Barbara, was eager to see what was behind the beautifully landscaped entrance she had noticed when she drove down U.S. 41. "There's no telling when I'll be able come and see it again," she said. "They've certainly done a wonderful job with it."

Logan Neill can be reached at 848-1435 or lneill@sptimes.com.

[Last modified October 8, 2006, 21:54:58]


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