Not everyone who lives on a golf course likes to play golf. Some are just in it for the views.
Barbara Elliott has been a Deer Creek resident in Overland Park for 24 years and has rarely picked up a club.
For her, golf course living is about the place, not the play. The greenery and expanse of sky sold her.
“When I walked in this house for the first time, it was love at first sight,” she says.
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Her home backs up to the seventh tee of the 18-hole semiprivate course. Only a dappled view of neighbors’ houses behind a stand of trees is visible; otherwise the eye is treated to all greens and blues.
“I love not having homes right behind me,” Elliott says, “but having golfers go by is a blast.”
Being so close to the cart path, Elliott catches the vibes of the game. “A typical day is when regulars play and everything is mellow and serene. On tournament days, it’s a very festive atmosphere. There are long lines of carts up the path that look like a train.”
Neighbors Judy and Steve Hill have an elevated view of the course, with an expansive upper deck and walkout lower level onto a pool deck. They say their space feels private, even with golfers on the course.
“In the beginning, I had questions about people being in my yard, but it’s turned out to be very unobtrusive,” Judy says. “The only time I talk to them is if they hit a ball in our yard and I go hand it back to them.”
While Steve plays in three golf leagues (and Judy none), their home is their focus. “This is the family gathering point,” Judy says. “We use the backyard a lot.”
Elliott’s home has a screened porch that she sits in most days.
“It’s my favorite place in the world; I waste a lot of time here,” she says.
In the morning, it’s coffee and casual hellos to the golfers playing through. In the evening, it’s watching the sun go down. Even after dusk, Elliott finds appreciation in the watering of the lawn.
“These huge, arching sprinklers start up and rotate,” she explains. “It’s a small thing, but it’s lovely.”
Elliott says it’s quiet there, like living on the edge of a nature reserve. Although, she admits, there isn’t much wildlife.
Judy agrees that the area is peaceful, except when the high school golf team swings through each week.
“But it’s just not a big deal,” she says.
Part of the allure of living alongside a golf course is the manicured landscape. Many residents like to putter in their personal gardens but appreciate the work being done on their behalf beyond their own property lines.
“Someone else maintains all that green space for me,” Judy says.
Homes in Deer Creek are fenced by wrought iron posts throughout the community for safety, privacy and a unified look.
Up north at Staley Farms, there are no fences. Residents are free to walk on the paths.
That was a selling point for Janet and Doug Johnson, who recently moved back to Kansas City from Washington, D.C., to be closer to friends and family.
“We wanted a pretty place to look, either a stream in the woods or a golf course,” Janet says.
The greens won when the couple found their house through a friend of a friend, not even on the market.
While they haven’t even fully settled in, they already have been enjoying dining on the patio or screened porch overlooking the ninth hole and are thinking of installing a fire pit to further enhance the use of their space.
As non-golfers, the Johnsons would rather spend their time in other ways, such as with their grandkids. Janet may get a clubhouse membership for the blue waters of the pool, but she’ll pass on the greens.
“A round of golf just takes so long; it’s a good four or five hours of your day,” she says.