by Ray Newton
“Every morning when I drive to work, I’m stunned by the splendor of this valley. And I’ve been lucky enough to do it for 13 years.”
That’s how Jim Jones, sales manager for Talking Rock, describes how his work week starts. Located 15 miles northwest of Prescott on Williamson Valley Road, Talking Rock is a private, master-planned residential golf community. In the summer, it was applauded by Where to Retire magazine as “…one of the top 50 master-planned communities in the United States.”
“Some people tell me the countryside reminds them of that around Santa Fe, while others tell me it’s a lot like Bend, Oregon,” Jones said. “I agree, except we don’t have the snow and cold of those two communities.”
Carefully sculpted into the pinon, juniper and chaparral-covered terrain, the development covers 3,600 acres of a former working cattle ranch. Its name is derived from original owners finding and preserving historic Native American artifacts on the property.
Jointly owned by Symmetry Companies and Harvard Investments, 1,000 acres of the development are dedicated as “open space” — no man-made structures anywhere. Further, more than 30 miles of walking and hiking trails have been mapped, and more are under consideration.
To date, more than 1,500 custom home sites have been planned, with about half of those already identified and in some stage of development. Only 13 years old, Talking Rock has about 280 homes already built. What’s more, 25 more are currently under construction, and 17 are in design review.
About 600 residents call Talking Rock “home,” Jones said. Of those, 60 percent are full time, while 40 percent are part time.
All residents are members of the Talking Rock Club and have full access to all the diverse amenities. Among those are the clubhouse, the full service Ranch House Restaurant, Morgan’s Bar and Grill, Coop’s Coffee Shop, the Barn Fitness Center, a swimming pool and spa, tennis courts, basketball court, shuffle board and horseshoes, bocce ball, a children’s play area, a dog park, a community garden, a fishing deck and pond and biking trails.
In August, 23 new home sites were defined, ranging in size from two-thirds of an acre to two acres. Called Cooper Hawk Ridge, the lots are really premium in the development because of their elevation and the natural landscape, Jones said.
“These are spectacular view lots — any direction. You can look south toward Granite Mountain and Prescott, or west toward Juniper Mesa Wilderness Area, or east toward Paulden and Perkinsville — nothing but pristine terrain, blue skies, cottonball clouds and clean air,” Jones said.
Jones said the newly available lots start at $170,000.
“We’re encouraging buyers to consider contemporary design elements that incorporate steel, glass and natural wood materials,” he added.
Some will allow for RV garages, guest casitas and studios, too. They also give a different perspective of the championship golf course.
Not quite a fourth of the acreage is a rolling link-style 18-hole golf course with wide open spaces. Planned by renowned course designer Jay Moorish, each hole has five tee boxes. That provides a challenging, yet nonintimidating experience for those ranging from beginners to the most experienced golfers, Jones said.
Golf carts are not a requirement, though they are available. When Moorish designed the course, he followed the rhythm of the land, so fairways are generally straight and fairly wide.
Golf Digest recently ranked the course as one of the top 15 private courses in Arizona.
A golf pro at the course commented not long ago, “This is the kind of course a 10-year-old kid could kick the ball around without trouble.”
For additional information: 928-237-4047 or TalkingRockRanch.com