Love Where We Live!

By Lexi Reich, Mark Samuelson and Heather Shoning

MANY FACTORS determine quality of life, and they all stack up in the south metro suburbs

The Ridge at Castle Pines | Photo by Premier Aerials  

So many things contribute to quality of life—living conditions, safety, leisure activities and natural environment, just to name a few. I’m not sure if you picked up on it or not, but these are all things that south suburbs offer in spades. We are a blessed, lucky, fortunate—however you choose to describe it—bunch with so many wonderful opportunities in our communities.

We have beautiful, safe neighborhoods with easy access to activities, dining, shopping and more. This is your get-to-know guide for communities with reasonably priced homes and easy access to local golf courses, expansive outdoor activity spaces right in our backyards, sumptuous and top-notch dining, plus specialty experiences that celebrate the fusion of recreation
and leisure.

In the south suburbs, a distinct tapestry of community living awaits to be discovered.

Photo courtesy of The Ridge at Castle Pines

Anybody who plays the game with the little white ball knows that Denver’s south suburbs offer 30 golf courses—many of them renowned private clubs that resonate with Colorado’s scenic surroundings and challenging terrain. Those venues are paired to home prices that can climb into eight figures; but you can also find semi-private and public courses designed for similarly alluring settings, where home prices are as good a value as their green fees.

Kentwood Company Broker Jennifer Markus, who works both kinds of golf neighborhoods from her office in Greenwood Village, says that 2024 home prices look surprisingly appealing compared to two years ago when homebuyers were purchasing further from the city center.

“Now the market has returned to normal,” Markus says. “More buyers want to be close
to urban attractions.”

While prices metro-wide are down from recent highs by small percentages, Markus sees neighborhoods further out off by as much as 20 to 30 percent, despite lots of new construction happening.

“That’s creating an opportunity particularly for buyers I meet who are coming from California, Texas and Florida,” Markus notes. 

“Those are areas where golf is even more prized than here, and where the privacy and security of private clubs has more value than
it does around Denver.”


While agents see discounts in private clubs where home prices start above $2 million, the reductions are also notable in public and semi-private golf communities where prices were already much lower.

That’s true at The Golf Club at Bear Dance, a par-72 public course a few miles south of Castle Rock in Larkspur. “This is an area where the Black Forest reaches the foothills and where home sites have that added seclusion and privacy that attracts buyers,” Markus says. “The feel is of a mountain course, where picky golfers head for a scenic outing, but not necessarily as a first choice to live.”

Photo courtesy of Red Hawk Golf Course 

Bear Dance is 15 miles south of Castle Pines Village, where three very exclusive clubs have lured custom homes from $1.5 million to $6 million and more. But at Bear Dance, Markus sees pricing averaging $1.1 million with a top range closer to $1.5 million—despite views of scenic promontories and forested sites that are coveted around Denver, where urban areas often remind more of the Great Plains than the Rocky Mountains.

This is also an area, Markus notes, where buyers wanting maximum privacy can find sites from five acres to 35 acres—still from well under a million, with a workable commute of 35 minutes into the south I-25 corridor.

Those famous Castle Pines clubs, including the PGA course at Castle Pines Golf Club, are flanked by two scenic public courses that are wrapped in popular neighborhoods where prices are much lower. That includes Red Hawk Ridge Golf Course in Castle Rock, where the fairways get high marks for their par-5 experience wrapping craggy buttes near the town’s Ridgeline open space and by value-priced green fees.

Markus says that value at Red Hawk Ridge extends to residential prices. Homes there average $700,000, and the very best situations overlooking fairways don’t exceed $1.2 million.


That’s similar to another public course north beyond the premium clubs, where The Ridge at Castle Pines North, a Tom Weiskopf course repeatedly mentioned as a top Colorado course, has a clubhouse with a view every bit as good as from the private courses nearby.

“People flock to The Ridge because it has the same allure as Castle Pines, with a true Colorado feel,” says Markus. The surrounding community, with offerings of coveted ranch plans and low-maintenance home styles, is incorporated now as the City of Castle Pines, where prices can be drastically lower than around the premium courses. At The Ridge, they average $1 million, with homes overlooking the course 10 to 15 percent higher.

Both of those public course areas also benefit from good schools and from a growing shopping and restaurant scene emerging in Castle Rock. Some popular bistros are in new shopping areas with a Whole Foods market, while others in the town’s historic downtown retain a Main Street feel. 

What those two courses don’t have are many gated neighborhoods with 24-hour security—a feature Markus says some buyers from Texas and Florida particularly value. But a few miles north around Lone Tree Country Club, you can find areas like that.  

The course, by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay, opened 38 years ago as a private club at a moment when real estate prices in Colorado were headed into the tank. It rapidly converted to a public course, now operated by South Suburban Parks and Recreation—but during the interim it lured some unusually creative new-urban architecture.


With its private club roots, Lone Tree sprouted gated communities, including Heritage Hills and Heritage Estates, and enclaves of luxury, low-maintenance homes, such as NorthSky and ParkSide, by creative builder John Keith. These were among the earliest neighborhoods around Denver to sprout rooftop solar panels.

Prices in the City of Lone Tree average $1 million, with the most exclusive in the gated areas topping $2.5 million. “They would be $4 million in Cherry Hills Village, close to Cherry Hills Country Club,” Markus says. She adds that although Lone Tree lacks the panache of the swankier area, it has matchless shopping at Park Meadows, a great restaurant scene, and direct light rail service to downtown—the farthest-out community to offer that.

South Suburban Parks and Rec also operates South Suburban Golf Course in Centennial designed by Dick Phelps, where the surrounding neighborhood has been a model for recreational amenities—not just the course and its added 9-hole, par-3 course, but Heritage Green Swim and Tennis Club and good access to other racquet facilities. With tree-lined streets and a suburban feel, the surrounding area sees average prices of $1 million, with a sole recent sale of $2.5 million.

Markus points out one final semi-private course offering unusual value.
The University of Denver Golf Club in the West Ridge area of Highlands Ranch shares what is arguably the master-planned community’s prettiest setting, looking west toward craggy foothills that channel the South Platte River. The play is open to non-members, but Highlands Ranch residents and University of Denver alumni, faculty, staff and students play for a discount.

This is an area with some of Highlands Ranch’s newest shopping and restaurants, very popular schools, and a growing high-tech and medical science community that emerged on Lucent Boulevard. Markus, who with her husband Todd did around $35 million in sales in 2023, says prices in the area at the time were averaging $1.2 million and $2 million backing to the course.

The values offered by those neighborhoods, she adds, work whether or not you play golf. “Serious golfers often tell me they pick the course, then the house,” she says. “But I always ask buyers whether they actually golf. Many don’t play but prefer the golf ambiance regardless.”

For a detailed list of local course information, visit

The Ridge at Castle Pines
The Golf Club at Bear Dance

Red Hawk Golf Course