How To Make Your Home Sports-Friendly

By Jordan Fuller
Golf Expert / Editor-in-Chief
E: jordan@golfinfluence.com | www.golfinfluence.com

Whether you’re looking to add a basketball or tennis court, or something more adventurous like a putting green, home golf simulator or bocce ball court, having the ability to play these sports while at home can provide countless hours of enjoyment.

Here are a few ideas that can convert that downtime into a fun time.

Tennis Court

If tennis is your game, and you have the room, a backyard tennis court can be a convenient solution for stepping up your game. Traditionally, tennis court surfaces are made from clay, grass or asphalt, all of which are available for backyard construction.

Opting for synthetic grass makes a better option for an all-weather court, providing a lower-impact playing surface that can be easier on your ankles and knees. Another benefit of opting for artificial turf for your court is that it can be easily converted into something else if your interests shift. 

Keep in mind that tennis courts take up more space than almost any other common backyard sports court, so unless you have an unused space that is at least 130 feet long, a backyard tennis court might not be an option.

Basketball Court

Most homeowners with a driveway, and kids, will have a basketball hoop assembly of some sort. Of course, there are ways to take that to another level. If you went ahead with the tennis court and opted for an asphalt surface, the same area can be utilized as a full-court basketball court as well.

However, if you’re only interested in a half-court setup, you’ll only need about 50 feet of court space in front of the hoop, and about 40 feet of overall width to provide the realistic feel of being on the hardcourt.

There are several options for surfaces available, with court designs and graphics to suit your style.

Baseball/Softball Batting Cage

Depending upon the available size of your project, there are batting cage setups that range from a full-length pitching distance to a shorter, screen protected delivery. 

Pitching machines are now readily available from simple, self-fed models to those with sophisticated automatic feeds. It’s probably a good idea to incorporate some artificial surface for the batters’ boxes to provide a level, sturdy, and most importantly durable spot to take your swings.

Golf Simulators and Putting Greens

Installing an outdoor putting green is a great addition for any golfer’s backyard, particularly if you are wanting to work on your short game and is a great way to get your kids interested in taking up the game. 

Artificial turf is a common choice for most at-home greens and is the best way to ensure a proper putting surface without the maintenance that comes along with using natural grass. If you’re looking for an all-year option, there are many indoor putting greens available as well.

For those seeking a more advanced golfing experience while at home, indoor golf simulators have become increasingly popular. Golf simulators have revolutionized how golfers experience the game, and playing and practicing indoors is now more realistic than ever. Simulators allow for a good game of golf regardless of the weather. There are many options to suit all purposes and budgets.

Interesting read: 5 Trends In Kid Bedroom Decor

Bocce Ball Court

Bocce ball is an easy, low-impact game enjoyed by players of every age, making it a popular choice for many backyards. Courts for bocce ball can be made of clay or by manufactured grass, which provides an easily maintained, level surface that is necessary for a good game of bocce.

An advantage to a bocce ball court is that it can be installed in an underused area of your yard, and without much maintenance can give a lush, green appearance when not in use. The long and narrow dimensions of the playing court allow for some flexibility in locations, and many players opt to install them in little-used side yards.

Golf has always been considered an elitist sport, but when precious metals and exotic leathers are introduced, it’s a whole new game.

With its expensive equipment and country club heritage, golf has always been considered a luxury pursuit, even though aggressive youth programs and some hip touring professionals have begun eroding the sport’s buttoned-down image. Nonetheless, players with unlimited resources or a penchant for fantasy are fueling demand for some over-the-top golf equipment and accessories.

The venerable luxury brand of Tiffany & Co. creates some of golf’s most coveted trophies, including those of the PGA Championship and Arnold Palmer Invitational. It also produces an elegant sterling silver putter ($2,500), which is an ideal gift for any golfing enthusiast who likes to flash some bling on the greens. A more discreet way to glamorously accessorize one’s game is with the company’s sterling silver tee, which at $175 is a relatively inexpensive way to give a loved one a little blue box from Tiffany. Hopefully, it will not be lost on the course!

The Garia “Golf Car”

The most expensive regular-production golf clubs are the platinum-and-24-karat gold-accented Beres 5-Star series from Japanese manufacturer Honma. Veteran golf retailer Bill Stauff er of Las Vegas Golf & Tennis Superstore reports that a 14-club set with bag sells for about $65,000 and is popular with status-conscious Asian tourists who would pay more for these products back home. “There’s no question the quality is there,” states Stauffer, who insists Honma products are not simply for bragging rights. He explains the clubs are all made-to-order by seasoned craftsmen, which results in an eight-week wait for delivery. While the brand has traditionally been more popular with billionaire duff ers than PGA pros, superstar Justin Rose just inked a 10-year endorsement deal with Honma.

Transforming the clunky electric golf cart into a sophisticated driving machine is Garia, a Danish manufacturer whose top-of-the-line vehicle begins at $73,000. The Garia “Golf Car,” inspired by Mercedes-Benz, combines luxury, state-of-the-art technology and the true spirit of the game. For functionality, it features a scoreboard displayed on a touchscreen and handy tray for balls and tees, while comfort is ensured by the inclusion of that essential amenity on the golf course — a built-in refrigerator. And with an attainable speed of 43 miles per hour, albeit not recommended at stuffier country clubs, Garia has not overlooked performance. This aerodynamic Mercedes Benz-styled ride puts an end to the plastic buggy age and allows luxury golf enthusiasts to express themselves on the links.

Anders Lynge, designer and co-founder of Garia, explains the inspiration for the product was to take Mercedes-Benz design values onto the golf course, noting the iconic automotive brand has previously applied its sense of style to yachts and helicopters. All Garia golf cars are more than just your average golf cart,” insists Lynge, citing features like sports car-inspired double-wishbone suspension with disc brakes and an integrated instrument cluster. While it offers the functionality and simplicity of a golf cart, the designer maintains it drives more like an automobile.

“Buyers are wealthy individuals who need the car for golf and street usage inside their communities or on their properties,” says Lynge, who reports the car is street legal in both the EU and U.S. “Some are Mercedes collectors, some avid golfers who want the very best, others are athletes or entrepreneurs who have made it and now live in a golf community and want the best possible vehicle for driving and golfing,” says Lynge of his globally diverse clientele.

Par West Custom Golf Shoes is another brand that has gained traction among discriminating golfers. Paul Raddatz founded the business after making his first pair of shoes for PGA pro Payne Stewart — the game’s most flamboyant dresser in the ’80s and ’90s — from NFL football leather.

Currently, three of the top 10 ranked players on the Tour are wearing Par West shoes. The Wisconsin-based company custom-makes all shoes from a foot mold kit, taking into consideration clients’ sock preferences and habits on the course.

Honma Beres S-06 Driver

Sterling in Tangerine Ostrich

Reporting he has sold shoes with more than 5,000 distinct color and style combinations, Raddatz says many of his customers are simply unable to find shoes that fit in any pro shop. “Others are people who really want to look their best and care about quality,” he explains. Traditional styles are offered for conservative dressers, but for those more daring in their golf fashion, perhaps influenced by the PGA’s Rickie Fowler, Par West has plenty of eye-popping options to choose from.

Raddatz, a leather industry veteran, utilizes sharkskin, ostrich, American bison, crocodile, African elephant, and stingray for golf shoes, among other exotic leathers. He reports bold color choices like fuchsia, canary yellow or tangerine are surprisingly popular, and a pair of royal purple American alligator shoes is priced at $5,200. An avid golfer himself, Raddatz states, “I don’t care how much you spend on clubs or lessons. Stability on the ground is the basis for a good swing.” A large part of Par West’s business is corporate gifts, ideal for the Fortune 500 executive who fancies himself as the best dressed golfer at his club.

Some fashionable duffers may opt for a vintage Louis Vuitton golf bag, but among the most expensive currently available are ostrich, crocodile or carbon fiber bags from Barchi, handcrafted by Italian artisans. Customers should be prepared to spend more than $40,000 for these luxury bags, available in vibrant colors and accented with palladium hardware.

Considerably more modest but with plenty of cachet is Louis Vuitton’s golf kit clad in the design house’s signature Monogram canvas. The $850 item, which can be clipped to one’s golf bag or Garia cart, neatly holds three balls and four tees. Players with fancy accessories should probably consider membership at a country club that is equally selective, and the most expensive in America is Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey, where the initiation fee is reportedly $500,000.

Riviera in Cognac Calf & Chocolate American Alligator

Soccer is now the third most popular sport in the U.S., and real estate developers are beginning to take notice.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup, the most-watched sporting event in the world, just kicked off in Russia, and all over the globe fans and non-fans alike are getting in the soccer spirit. But the soccer frenzy isn’t just growing with the start of the Cup.
Some properties in New York City are being designed to accommodate residents who play soccer and want to do so without leaving their home, with the inclusion of indoor and outdoor fields, simulators, and more. Here is a round-up of the most lux properties with soccer amenities.

180 East 88th Street

Situated in the Upper East Side’s Carnegie Hill neighborhood, 180 East 88th Street is a condominium inspired by New York during the 1920s-1940s. Featuring 48 graciously-appointed private residences designed and developed by DDG, this is an ideal spot in NYC, including a twist: residents have access to a partially indoor soccer pitch. Residents can feel free to practice their penalty kicks at any time, making this space ideal for soccer lovers.

Waterline Square

Waterline Square is a three-tower development in NYC, intentionally designed with expansive indoor soccer fields. Designed by Rafael Viñoly Architects, Richard Meier & Partners Architects, and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, this waterfront development is on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and features 263 luxury condominium residences. The property includes several sports and fitness spaces, specifically an indoor soccer field with lots of turf-playing surface.

Madison Square Park Tower

The 63-story Madison Square Park Tower designed a “Simulator Room,” where residents can play any sport of their choosing virtually, including soccer, without ever leaving the building. Madison Square Park Tower is also the tallest residential building between Midtown and Lower Manhattan at 777 feet.

Missoni Baia

Missoni Baia is certainly suited for soccer super fans who would be ecstatic to share an address with a professional soccer star. This 57-story luxury condominium lies in Miami’s popular Edgewater neighborhood and is home to Miguel Borja, forward for the Brazilian club Sociedade Esportiva Palmeiras, participating in the FIFA World Cup for 2018 in Russia. Notable features include five swimming pools, including an Olympic-sized lap pool.

Photos courtesy of Noe & Associates with The Boundary, March Made for DDG, missonibaia.com

2018 Winners in Six Categories Announced at Private Dinner at Beverly Hills Home

Founded in Europe in 2010 by Jean-Christophe Chopin (architect of E-Trade Europe), the BORN Awards, which celebrate creative achievements across multiple categories of the design-led lifestyle, landed on American shores. The BORNS are the first U.S.-based regional competition recognizing work that strives to enhance people’s lives through aesthetics and functionality. All of the winners, both emerging and established men and women, invented something beautiful and carried their visions to society.
Operating in six countries, the BORN Awards are the premier platform for honoring and empowering artists while providing exposure to some of the world’s most influential retailers, brands and industry professionals. The winners from each region, now including the U.S., are invited to present their creations during an exclusive exhibition at Milan Design Week each year, and to participate in The BORN Conversations, an exclusive series of fireside chats held with renowned thought-leaders about the intersection of creativity and business. Once all of the regional winners are selected, they will go on to compete against one another in the global final held in London each year.
The theme of the 2018 competition is “Peerless,” which aims to elevate singular creations that combine functionality and aesthetics in one of six categories: Architecture, Technology, Home, Leisure, Sport and Mobility. Additionally, The BORN Awards partnered with two industry leaders to bestow special prizes – Tastemade, a global, digital food, home and travel network, will award the best in “Food + Design,” while Machinima, a leading gaming platform, will select the best in “Immersive Storytelling + Narrative Design In Gaming.”
 

The 2018 BORN Award Winners are:
Architecture & Design: Jacques Garcia and Sydell Group, NoMad Hotel, Los Angeles
Technology & Innovation: Scott Painter, CEO & Founder, Fair.com
Home: Noah Kaplan, Lena Sound Sculpture by LEON Speakers
Sports: RabbitsFoot Surfboard, Ryan Lovelace based on an original idea by Dan Malloy
Leisure: Ryan & Adam Goldston, Athletic Propulsion Labs
Mobility: Stuart Parr,, MV AUGUSTA
Tastemade Prize For Food + Design: Jeni Britton Bauer, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Machinima Prize For Immersive Storytelling + Narrative Design In Gaming:  Guerrilla Games, Horizon Zero Dawn

Photos courtesy of  EM50 Communications

Game day is always better with a group of friends. The first choice is often a sports bar, but they tend to get crowded — you can’t see the TV, you can’t find a seat and your wing order is taking forever!
Why not stay home and enjoy the game instead? These luxury developments have the best entertaining spaces for residents to watch football, whether it be solo or hosting a group of friends.
From oversized flat screen TVs and communal seating to barbecue grills and outdoor heaters, these luxury developments are providing the most enjoyable and swanky environments to watch the big game.

Nine on The Hudson

Complete with a green terrace, large screen televisions and barbecue grills, this 278-unit condo building creates the perfect environment to cheer on your favorite football team. Plus, a communal rooftop lounge boasting private cabanas, fire-pits and outdoor heaters is the perfect spot to hangout during half time.

Photo courtesy of VDP

Fifty Third and Eighth

Residents can host game day watch parties in the lounge, which is equipped with a kitchenette, plenty of seating and even a dining table to fit the best part of the game — the food. Residents and guests can also venture outside to the adjacent second-floor terrace during halftime to soak up what’s left of the mild months.

Photo courtesy of Evan Joseph Photography

Oceana Bal Harbour

This property takes Sunday football to the next level with its climate-controlled cabanas and on-demand poolside service. The expansive poolside retreats are outfitted with LCD screens, lounge seating, private kitchenettes and bathrooms, bringing the outdoors in with sea breezes and views of sun-drenched pool deck — the ideal setting for a Sunday football watch party.

Photo courtesy of Barry Grossman

Privé at Island Estates

Boasting water views, lounge seating, billiards pool tables, surround sound and flat screens TVs, this property offers curated media rooms and social rooms that double as man caves for Sunday football hosting.

Photo courtesy of Privé Island

525 West 52nd Street (525W52)

For residents looking to cheer on their favorite team, 525W52 offers a sports lounge with 5 flat-screen televisions. Football fans have access to RedZone as well as the opportunity to catch local games in the screening room while enjoying plush seating.

Photo courtesy of Moso Studios

1000M

This 74-story luxury condominium coming to Chicago can keep up with their team of choice in 1000M’s theater with cinema-style seating or the billiards lounge and game room. To celebrate wins, residents can head up to Club 1000 after the game, 1000M’s full-service bar and lounge on the 72nd floor with views of Chicago and Lake Michigan.

Photo courtesy of Millerhare

1 Flatbush

Casual and avid football fans alike will appreciate watching games in the game room at this Hill West Architects   and Whitehall Interiors-designed apartment building in Downtown Brooklyn. The traditional and cozy-yet-spacious game room is equipped with large TVs, ample seating, a full kitchen and games.

Brickell City Centre

With spacious floor plans, oversized balconies and a barbecue, residents of REACH and RISE can host the perfect football party.Residents are also steps away from CMX’s bar, which has one the biggest screens in South Florida and endless options of drinks, cocktails and appetizers.

Photo courtesy of Mike Kelley

33 Bond Street

Need to calm your nerves after an intense game? Step outdoors to the private elevated park to grab some wings off the grill or take in the sights of New York City’s skyline. Residents can also enjoy the Sunday Night game from this development’s screening room, which is located within the residents’ club lounge.

Photo courtesy of Robbie Noble of TF Cornerstone

This private residential and resort community in Jackson Hole, Wyoming will open a new 63-unit residence situated between the Bridger-Teton National and the Snake River.

Designed for sporting and outdoor enthusiasts, the Snake River Sporting Club seeks to improve its services with the addition of “The Lodges.”
Covered under Teton County’s Resort Zoning, “The Lodges” give owners the luxury to place their property into short-term property management while they are not using their home. Since Resort Zoning is rare in Jackson Hole, Snake River believes this to be an additional attraction of “The Lodges.”
The architect behind “The Lodges,” Walton Architecture and Engineering, was inspired by the mountain modern aesthetic. The three designs currently planned for the initial phase of “The Lodges” include:

Caddis Court

Located in the center of the development, these 5-bedroom, two-story homes offer 3,741 square feet of indoor living space, beautiful views and a 2.5-car garage. Complete with heavy timber lodge-style beam work and rustic plank flooring, these homes are reflective of western style and contemporary design.

Fairway Cabins

With 4 master bedroom suites and 2,626 square feet of indoor space, these cabins are the perfect vacation space. An open floor plan with lock off capability also provides additional flexibility for the rental market.

Astoria Cabins

These modern 3-bedroom homes feature tall glass windows and an ingenious floor plan, which allows owners to lock off a bedroom to create flexible options.

“The announcement of ‘The Lodges’ represents an exciting new phase that significantly expands Jackson Hole’s hospitality offering and allows more visitors to come and enjoy the destination,” says Jeff Heilbrun, executive vice president and director of Sales at Snake River Sporting Club. “We look forward to welcoming new members and guests as Snake River Sporting Club continues to thrive while staying true to our original vision of creating an authentic western experience within a private club setting.”
“The Lodges” have become the newest addition to Snake River Sporting Club’s existing collection of real estate offerings, which already includes a variety of home sites and residences. There are currently 11 Ranch Estate lots available ranging from 7 to 35 acres, 29 home sites for The Residences ranging from 0.5 to 2.2 acres and 3 Tall Timber Cottages.
While “The Lodges” are under construction, a selection of residential-style accommodations are currently available for overnight stays.
Additionally, members and guests of Snake River Sporting Club can experience a range of western activities that include fly-fishing, rafting, horseback trail riding, hiking, golfing and so much more!

Photos courtesy of Snake River Sporting Club

The following article originally appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of ERA Real Estate Distinctive Properties Magazine.

The regal sport of polo is enjoying broader acceptance throughout America, but still thrives on its exclusivity.

Photo courtesy United States Polo Association

By Roger Grody

Distinct from any other sport, the mere mention of the word “polo” evokes images of fashionable parties, luxury automobiles and gilded estates. Only exalted events like The Masters in golf, Wimbledon in tennis and yachting’s America’s Cup rival the prestige of the “Sport of Kings” on any given Sunday.

The game of polo appears to date back to 600 B.C. in Persia, but the modern era began at clubs established by British officers in 19th century colonial India. The game was introduced to the New York City area in 1876, and the exclusive community of Newport, Rhode Island, quickly became a hotbed for the emerging sport in America. Polo earned a following in equestrian communities throughout the nation, but since the 1980s ritzy Palm Beach, Florida, has been most prominently associated with the sport.   

The International Polo Club Palm Beach, located in…

Halstead Property, a top residential real estate brokerage firm in the New York metropolitan area, has announced that it has signed a multi-year, multifaceted agreement to become the Official Luxury Residential Real Estate Firm of the New York Yankees. Unveiled at Halstead’s Annual Meeting to more than 1,000 agents from 33 offices across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, the partnership will feature extensive Halstead branding in Yankee Stadium, a variety of brand cross promotion activities and joint community outreach programs which will begin with the Yankees’ first 2017 season home game on April 10th.
“Halstead is incredibly proud to partner with the Yankees, a brand synonymous with style, power, confidence and success. The synergy between Halstead and the Yankees is clear: both brands have an enduring commitment to aspire and achieve greatness; both are born and bred in New York City; we each feature a talented roster committed to being the best in our respective fields; and we have both earned decades of trust and respect because we run our businesses with integrity,” said Matthew Leone, Chief Marketing Officer of Halstead, who facilitated the deal.
“We are very excited about partnering with Halstead, a prestigious New York brand,” said Bryan Calka, New York Yankees Vice President Partnerships. “We are confident that this partnership will help continue to grow its brand presence and re-affirm Halstead as the industry leader in the luxury real estate market.”

As the Official Luxury Residential Real Estate Firm of the New York Yankees, Halstead now has sponsorship exclusivity in the luxury real estate category. The partnership enables Halstead to connect with a loyal audience made up of the largest fan base of any sports team in the United States as well as an additional 34.6 million fans in over 200 countries around the world who watch the Yankees on television.
Halstead branding in Yankee Stadium includes a permanent, backlit infield porch sign on the facade above the Yankees on-deck circle, sponsorship of the “Starting Lineups” HD Screen feature, and advertising displayed on the televisions placed throughout Yankee Stadium. Halstead will also sponsor the Third Base Champions Lounge – to be re-named the Halstead Lounge – where select Yankees premium seat holders will enjoy all-inclusive food and non-alcoholic beverages, televisions and restrooms, all immersed in a Halstead branded experience.
Additionally, in support of Halstead Helping Hands, the real estate firm’s philanthropic arm, the Yankees will be providing special appearances with former Yankees players, ticket donations and autographed memorabilia, which will continue to support worthy causes and organizations in the communities where Halstead works.
About Halstead Property
As one of the top residential real estate brokerage firms in the New York metropolitan area, Halstead Property has more than 1,300 sales and rental agents located in premier retail storefront offices in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island City, Riverdale, the Hamptons, Hudson Valley, New Jersey and Fairfield County, Connecticut.

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