Calling all golfers (and non-golfers, too).

Wherever you land on the golf spectrum—expert, novice, totally uninterested—Meridian Ranch welcomes you, say residents Jeff and Nancy Joy. And they speak from experience. When they moved from Minnesota to Meridian Ranch in 2014, Nancy had never golfed and Jeff was only a couple of years into the game. Now you’ll find Nancy playing three times a week at Antler Creek, the neighborhood’s public golf course, and Jeff “all the time,” he laughs.

Golf wasn’t even on their radar.

At one point during the Joys’ last winter in Minnesota, the wind chill was a nippy -50 degrees. Between that, Nancy’s retirement from teaching, Jeff’s ability to telecommute as a cybersecurity analyst, and grandchildren living in Castle Rock, the couple decided to finally pull up roots. But never did the keywords “golf community” figure into their online research.

What mattered more was affordability, and the Joys quickly realized that in Falcon they’d get more house for their money than in Castle Rock or the Denver suburbs. “Falcon had prices that were probably 30% less, with less traffic and congestion,” Jeff explains. “And we really liked the small-town feel of Meridian Ranch.” Which brings us to their other criterion.

“An old-fashioned small town”

That’s how the Joys describe Meridian Ranch. “With the rec center, golf course and grill, and the way it’s laid out, it really feels like an old-fashioned, small town,” says Jeff. “It’s a safe place to walk and meet people.” In fact, the Joys recall that one of the first couples they met was on a walk. Neighbors were grilling dinner out on their driveway, said hello, and invited them over for a beer. Because the Joys came from a small suburb outside Minneapolis, that friendly vibe was important to them. Nancy notes that Meridian Ranch is a great community for young families, too. “There’s an elementary school in the neighborhood, and you constantly see kids riding bikes and playing together,” she says. Jeff grew up in a small town and appreciates the “slow pace” and very little traffic. They feel it really is the best of both worlds, because Meridian Ranch is still just 20 minutes from downtown Colorado Springs and an hour from Denver.

But back to the golf

It wasn’t until after the Joys had settled on Meridian Ranch that all the advantages of a neighborhood course dawned on them—beyond the beauty, of course, since their home backs up to Antler Creek’s long, green fairways. “The golf turned into a big bonus,” says Jeff. “It’s so easy to walk a few blocks to the golf course and the grill, where we always run into people we know. It’s become the center of our social life.” Nancy started lessons, and after they had made friends separately on the course, they decided to form a Thursday night couples group to create mutual friends. It’s an informal, open group, and anyone in Meridian Ranch (and beyond) is welcome to join them for nine holes and dinner at the CreekView Grill or at one of their homes. “It’s really expanded our circle of friends,” says Jeff.

As the longest course in Colorado, Antler Creek Golf Course is considered challenging. However, it works just fine for the Joys, even though Nancy is a novice and Jeff a relative newcomer. Six sets of tees offer flexibility that accommodates all levels of players. With creeks and ravines, the links-style course keeps things interesting for established golfers, but it’s also a good course to learn on. In fact, a two-day youth program at the course inspired the Joys’ six-year-old grandson to start lessons, and now he loves to go putting with the grandparents.

The Joys aren’t going anywhere.

Interestingly, despite Meridian Ranch being a golf course community, only 10-20% of residents are active golfers. Probably because there are so many other reasons people choose to live there. Good Falcon District 49 schools. A safe, friendly neighborhood. Fun community events. Trails, parks and a 42,000-square-foot rec center. A nice variety of well-built, well-priced homes. And of course, the mountain views, which immediately hooked Nancy and Jeff, who plan to enjoy them for a long, long time. “It was one of those bluebird-sky days,” Jeff recalls about the day they walked into their home and looked out the two-story wall of windows facing Pikes Peak. “We knew in 10 seconds that we were going to buy it. The realtor said, ‘Wow,’ Nancy said, ‘Oh my’ and I said, ‘This is going to be good.’” And so it has.

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