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21 Ultimate Gifts: Above Par for the Course

Sheila Gibson Stoodley

The Gift
A 14,000-square-foot house and a 4,000-square-foot guesthouse on a 6.9-acre lot at the Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina. — A pitch-and-putt course with three par-3 holes on the property.
Starting at $31.4 million

Samuel Furr has not yet broken ground on his next Kiawah Island Golf Resort house, but he already has eaten dinner, watched TV, taken a shower, and slept in it—sort of. "I live in the houses in my head before I put them on paper," says the 43-year-old architect, who has designed more than 40 of the 3,100 residences at Kiawah, a resort on the namesake island off the coast of South Carolina. "I enjoy imagining them and imagining how I’d use them. Every house I design, I sit on the back porch before construction begins. I want to be able to dream it, enjoy it, see it become real, and see my clients enjoy it."

For this gift, Furr will design a home on a 6.9-acre lot overlooking the Kiawah River and the 17th hole of the River Course. (The gift also includes a golf club membership.) His plans call for a five-bedroom, two-story house with half of its 14,000 square feet comprising porches and terraces. One of the porches will feature an outdoor fireplace and will be placed near the swimming pool. "I’ll lay the pool out so that it’s not just a big concrete deck," he says. "It will be like a raised fountain that you can swim in."

Furr also envisions a living/dining room with 12-foot-high ceilings, a home theater, a billiard room, a wine cellar, a library/study, and an indoor putting green and simulated driving range for the days when the weather will not cooperate. A separate, two-bedroom, 4,000-square-foot guesthouse will include a bunk room with several beds to accommodate more golfing buddies.

Furr’s design also includes an observation tower that could stand as tall as 35 feet. The structure will be equipped with a weather station that will enable golfers to check the humidity, the wind’s speed and direction, and other conditions before they hit the links.

On any given day, those links could be the pitch-and-putt course that will consume slightly more than half of the estate’s land. Charlie Arrington, director of design and planning for Kiawah, suggests placing three par-3 holes along the western side of the property to take advantage of the sunset views. "Two of them will require you to hit across the marsh," Arrington says.

After play, the home that Furr created can serve admirably as a clubhouse. "You can sit on the porch with a mint julep and know that you’re not just anywhere," Furr says. "It was built specifically for here, this person, this place."

Kiawah Island Real Estate, 843.768.3400, www.kiawahisland.com

{ The house will require at least 24 months for design and construction. Plans are subject to review and approval by the Kiawah Island Architectural Review Board. }

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