Wednesday, December 9

The House That Rick Built: Golf Lodging Reimagined

WHILE THE GOLF ITSELF WAS USUALLY great, the lodging for golf trips often left something to be desired. This was the observation of Rick Oster, a TV advertising executive living in Southern California in the mid ‘00s. (If you go on golf trips, there’s a good chance you’ve had similar experiences.)

Rick Oster and family.
“The reason I go on trips with friends is to be together,” Rick says. “I became increasingly frustrated by the lodging choices at golf resorts.”

Rick noticed that those choices typically fell into a few categories. For example, hotels separated Rick from others in his group. There wasn’t any private, built-in space to socialize. Vacation rental homes were good in theory, but finding one that comfortably accommodated a group of eight golfers was difficult at best. And, while certainly nice or even luxurious, hotel suites or cottages were often ridiculously expensive.

Rick came to a conclusion. “I realized the type of experience I was searching for didn’t exist. So I decided to create it myself.” It was a personal turning point, although he didn’t know it at the time.

In 2005, in his house in Los Angeles, Rick pulled up a chair and got out a blank sheet of paper. “I asked myself one question,” he says. “If I were to design a home specifically for golfers on a buddies trip, what would I include in that home?”

Here’s what Rick jotted down that day:

Living area – large, open concept, plenty of room to hang out, pool table, big plasma TV, table for eight to play cards, fully equipped modern kitchen.

Bedrooms – four big master suites, two queen-sized beds in each, plush mattresses, plasma TV, attached bathrooms with walk-in showers, granite vanity for two.

Outside – large patio with seating for eight, fire pit, stainless steel grill, putting green.

Services – offer services like an upscale hotel: private chef, grocery shopping, massage therapists, more.

Rick’s “dream” became a set of blueprints two years later. Not long after, his first golf house was built near Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, the famous destination on the southern Oregon Coast. “It was a huge success,” he says. “I didn’t realize it but a business was born.”

A few more years went by with Rick feeling unfulfilled in the corporate world until he “found the courage” to pursue his dream on a fulltime basis. That dream now had a name: Oster Golf Houses. Rick began a nationwide search for an ideal location to build his unique golf houses. That search took him to Alabama and the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, where he says, “everyone was a pleasure to work with.”

Today, there are three Oster Golf Houses on the Trail – one house at Oxmoor Valley in Birmingham, and two houses sitting side-by-side with a putting green in between at Capitol Hill in Prattville.

“We’ve made continuous improvements to our homes and strive to provide the best lodging experience at a reasonable price,” Rick says.

Preview the Prattville Houses

One of two Prattville houses.
Comfortably accommodating eight people each, the two Prattville houses are side-by-side and located just 200 yards from the entrance gate of The Legislator course at Capitol Hill. This pair of Oster Golf Houses overlook the golf course and share a putting green. The houses can be reserved together or individually. Explore the floor plans, amenities, rates and reviews, plus view images and take a video tour (click here).

Sponsored by Oster Golf Houses.

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