Governors Club is a private, residential community with a 27-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course wrapped around Edwards Mountain in Chatham County. The gated community is so close to the University of North Carolinas flagship school that Governors Club has a Chapel Hill address.
Residents enjoy the best of both worlds a quiet, natural setting in proximity to the bustling city and business life of Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Research Triangle Park. Raleigh-Durham International Airport is less than a half-hour away.
Yet Governors Club residents pay low Chatham County taxes. They can send their children to North Chathams elementary, middle and high schools. Or they can drive their children to one of the many private schools in Chapel Hill, Durham or Raleigh. Cardinal Gibbons High in Raleigh is just 45 minutes away; Durham Academy is 30; and St. Thomas More K-8 School in Chapel Hill is a 20-minute drive.
Governors Club is home to the North Carolina Botanical Gardens smallest private nature preserve Highland Pond a three-acre area at the summit of Edwards Mountain with a large vernal pool where native amphibians breed in late winter and spring.
Its 1,600 acres are also home to 820 families with room for more. When built out, there will be 1,200 home sites tucked into the hills and vales of Edwards Mountain. Governors Club still has tracts from one-quarter acre to two acres available, and there are no time requirements for building once a lot is purchased. There are, however, Property Owners Association construction guidelines to help preserve the integrity of the community.
There are also 81 existing homes for sale with prices starting in the $400,000s and rising to more than $1 million. Once in awhile there are even townhomes, known as Village Homes, available for those desiring a maintenance-free lifestyle. In addition to the Village Homes, Governors Club has five other distinct neighborhoods each with its own architectural style, play areas, walking trails and views. For more information, go to www.governorsclubpoa.com
or call (919) 942-0500.
Two gated entrances to Governors Club, staffed 24/7 on Mount Carmel Church Road and Lystra Road, have information packets that also contain a list of the homes for sale. The staffed gates afford residents privacy and security and the freedom of movement within its gates that allows neighbors to feel safe and act neighborly. FEELING
Sally Schornstheimer can attest to the neighborliness of Governors Club residents. When she and her husband moved there from out-of-state, they hadnt been in their home more than three months when ill health caused her husband to be hospitalized.
It is the most supportive group of people, Schornstheimer said of her Governors Club neighbors. Whenever somebody is sick, there are people there for you. People stopped in and took care of my dog, and left food, and I was just amazed.
I never wanted to live in a gated community. I liked the safety factor, but I didnt like the perception people often have of a gated community. But people (at Governors Club) are just themselves and really nice. I have more close friends from my 10 years there than I could ever have hoped to have over a lifetime.
Schornstheimer is now living in Hawaii where her mother and brother live. She has established a new life for herself while providing a caregiving role for her mother. Although she has decided to remain in Hawaii with her family, she is coming back to the mainland in October to visit her grandchildren in Virginia and her friends at Governors Club.
I always tell people, Come for the beauty, stay for the friendship, Schornstheimer said. The best kept secret is how supportive and friendly the people are.
While visiting, Schornstheimer will check on the Zen-like home she still owns at 77003 Reid on a cove of Lake Morehead in Governors Club. The very open floor plan of this 4,026-square-foot home allows views of the lake from almost every room many through floor-to-ceiling windows. The house is for sale at $719,000 through Governors Club Realty (919-968-8500). LIVING
Joan Bullard lives in Governors Club and agrees with Schornstheimer.
I think one of the best places to take a look at why we live here and why we say, Life at its Best in Chapel Hill, is to look at our newsletters, Bullard said. If people would click on the newsletter heading of our Web site www.governorsclubpoa.com
and scroll through the October newsletter to sell all that is happening here, theyd see why Governors Club is such a wonderful place to live.
Bullard is amazed at all of the charitable and childrens activities available, as well as the informal groups of people that meet to get to know each other. For example, there is a California in North Carolina group.
There are also the various neighborhood get-togethers and use of recreational facilities, such as the Bark Park where Howl-O-Ween is one of the many reasons to party. An annual Beer Festival, wine tastings, bird watching, fishing and gardening groups are other examples of the wide variety of events covered in Governors Club newsletters.
Dennis Horstman and his wife, Nancy, bought a lot at Governors Club in 1995 in the Stone Brook neighborhood on the back side of Edwards Mountain away from the golf course. The Westport, Connecticut transplants have now lived here for 10 years. Horstman continued working in the marketing field while Nancy began doing a lot of charity work for cancer and tutoring children in English. Both volunteered with First Tee, a U.S. Golf Association program that teaches children life lessons around seven core values.
After Horstman retired last year, the Governors Club volunteer Marketing Committee asked him to help devise a plan to get people outside the community to learn about the six different neighborhoods within Governors Club.
The Marketing Committee had held open house tours in conjunction with the HBAs Parade of Homes and as stand-alone Open House Tours of Governors Club. Horstman realized that a lot of real estate agents were unfamiliar with the neighborhoods of Governors Club, so he staged a Neighborhood Tour in Stone Brook in September 2010 when his neighborhood had three new houses and nine resale homes for sale. Afterward, two of those homes sold one resale and one new.
In April 2011, Horstman helped the Marketing Committee hold another Neighborhood Tour in the Governors Square neighborhood. This time they sent invitations to one real estate agency to showcase the lifestyle of Governors Square when there were 12 homes on the market. Forty real estate agents took the tour. Afterward, another two homes sold.
It has taken a long time to get across that we want outside real estate agents to bring their clients to Governors Club, Horstman said. Our Neighborhood Tours market the Governors Club brand we dont sell anything.
In late October, the Marketing Committee will have another Neighborhood Tour in Morehead Forest, where eight homes are on the market through various real estate agencies. As at previous tours, there will be food, drawings for prizes and house tours.
Two of the homes available at Morehead forest are the 3,566-square-foot home at 85405 Dudley offered at $649,800 by Domicile Realty (919-975-4551) and the house at 81613 Alexander with three bedrooms and 3.5 baths being offered at $455,000 by Re/Max United (919-469-4700).
Before driving to one of the staffed gates to get an information packet and list of homes for sale in Governors Club, call 919-932-8500 (Mount Carmel Church Road gate) or 919-932-7486 (Lystra Road gate) to make sure packets are available.
For more information about membership options at Governors Club Golf Club, Tennis Facility or Wellness and Recreation Center, call the Membership Office at 919.918.7276 or visit www.governorsclub.cc
Sally Keeney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-932-0879.