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Identifying the perfect community for you to retire takes time and effort. You have to consider the climate, the property prices, monthly or annual HOA fees, proximity to health care, and other factors. These days, you all often consider the state income taxes, cost of living, and sometimes even the political atmosphere.
I’ve spent most of my life living in Florida and working or living in a golf retirement community. Growing up in a family of golf enthusiasts, I’ve done my share of traveling around the country. Additionally, hours of research and surveying retirees helped me curate the following the best golf retirement communities across the United States, and a couple excellent options if you’re looking abroad!
Our list of best places to retire for golfers was chosen primarily based on the following criteria:
- Year-round golf weather or milder winters
- Multiple golf courses in the vicinity
- Ideal location with lots of things to do
- Cost of living / Price
After reading this post, you will know what each golf retirement community has to offer, plus some helpful tips about the area!
I also reveal the starting price of properties in each community and their monthly and annual maintenance fees. It will help you determine which community best suits your wants, needs, and budget.
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Best Golf Retirement Communities
The Fairwoods on 7 – Pinehurst, NC
- Location: Pinehurst, North Carolina
- Amenities: 28 tennis courts, lawn bowls, croquet facilities, pools, and club amenities, and Lake Pinehurst Marina access
- Golf Courses: 9 Championship golf courses
- Starting Prices For Property: $180,000 & up
- Golf Membership Transfer Fee (Home Owners): $13,500
Pinehurst, North Carolina, renowned as the “Home of American Golf,” is an idyllic retreat for retirees with more golf courses than traffic lights. This haven isn’t just for golf enthusiasts; it’s a comprehensive lifestyle hub. Residents enjoy access to over 45 premier golf courses, exclusive recreational activities, and the luxury of top-notch healthcare facilities, including the acclaimed Reid Heart Center and First Health of the Carolinas. Financially savvy, the Pinehurst golf community boasts low real estate taxes, making upscale living here surprisingly affordable compared to states like California.
Adding to Pinehurst’s prestige is the anticipated relocation of the World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum to the area (opens in 2024), after 25 years at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine. This move signifies Pinehurst’s growing stature within the global golf community, in addition to already hosting regular USGA events (i.e., US Amateur Golf, US Senior Women’s Open, US Open).
Retirees in Pinehurst will find themselves at the epicenter of golf history and heritage, enhancing the already vibrant lifestyle they enjoy amidst the serene landscapes and mild climate conducive to year-round outdoor activities. In essence, Pinehurst promises a fulfilling, active, and luxurious retirement experience.
Between Pinehurst and the neighboring city of Southern Pines, you can find numerous gated communities ideal for golfers. We chose The Fairwoods since it’s part of Pinehurst Resorts and offers affordable prices up to luxury homes over $2,000,000. Residents here also love the ability to drive their golf carts to the charming village of Pinehurst.
DC Ranch – Best Retirement Golf Communities In Arizona
- Location: North Scottsdale, Arizona
- Amenities: Golf, Tennis, Basketball, Pickleball, Swimming Pools, Dining, Fitness Center, Library, Walking Trails
- Golf Courses: The Country Club, Silverleaf
- Starting Prices For Property: $250,000
- Monthly Service Fee: Varies
The DC Ranch in North Scottsdale is a premier golf community in Arizona. It features 2 golf courses designed by world-renowned architects. It also houses tennis, basketball, pickleball courts, swimming pools, restaurants, and shops.
Property runs at a premium in DC Ranch with a 1 bedroom condominium starting at $250,000. Houses run into the millions, some creeping above the $8,000,000 mark. The service fees are billed monthly and vary depending on the maintenance work carried out for that month.
The golfing opportunities at DC Ranch are world-class. A Tom Lehman-designed Country Club is ready for action, along with the Tom Weiskopf Silverleaf Club. If you feel like venturing outside the fences of the gated community, TPC Scottsdale is only 6 miles to the southeast.
I have read unconfirmed reports that a golf membership activation at the Country Club will set you back over $285,000. Thereafter, you’ll need to spend $995 per month on membership fees. Silverleaf is even more expensive, with an apparent $400,000 activation fee and $2,500 per month going forward. Not to worry, Scottsdale is full of golf courses for those that can’t afford the premium price tag. Some of my other preferred golf course communities in the Scottsdale area include Desert Mountain, Mirabel, and Whisper Rock.
PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, FL
- Location: Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
- Amenities: PGA National Resort & Spa, Fitness Center, Golf, Tennis, Swimming Pool, Library, Pickleball, Arts Center
- Golf Courses: The Champion, The Palmer, The Fazio, The Estate
- Starting Prices For Property: $286,000 (Non-Refundable)
- Monthly Service Package: Devonshire at PGA National $5,181 – $8,813
PGA National is a haven for sun-seeking retirees located in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. This one I hold dear to my heart since I spent several years living here in the late 1980s and 1990s. This sprawling community offers housing at various price points, from condos to houses to retirement living apartments.
Residents and their guests can enjoy corporate membership privileges at the PGA National Resort & Spa. There are almost enough golf courses on-site for every day of the week, allowing you to mix it up on layouts like the Champion, Palmer, Fazio, and Estate. While the golf course names differ from when I lived there, most amenities are the same.
If your partner is not a golfer, they can enjoy several alternative activities within the gated community. Tennis and pickleball courts await racquet sports fans, while a library, cinema, and performing arts center are open to creative minds.
If you’re looking for senior living, you’ll want to look at Devonshire at PGA National. Erickson Senior Living ensures that 6 on-site restaurants cater to every palate. Have a casual deli lunch at the Piccadeli or celebrate a momentous occasion at the Windsor.
Palm Beach Gardens is in nearby proximity to Jupiter, Florida, where many famous PGA golfers like Tiger Woods call home.
Mount Vintage – Best Golf Retirement Communities In South Carolina
- Location: North Augusta, South Carolina
- Amenities: Golf, Tennis, Bocce Ball, Fitness Center, Library
- Golf Courses: Mount Vintage, Augusta National, The River Club
- Starting Prices For Property: $220,000
- HOA Annual Fees: Approximately $1,500 & up
Mount Vintage topped my list of golf retirement communities in South Carolina, but it sits on the border with Georgia. The establishment sits close to quality hospitals, and starting property prices are reasonable. The complex lies north of the Savannah River and Augusta National Golf Club. Although it is positioned in South Carolina, it is a short trip across into Georgia.
The HOA costs depend on your chosen services, starting at $1,500. However, this golf community offers fewer amenities. It is also not exclusively for retirees, as you may have some younger families as neighbors.
Mount Vintage sits close to 9 renowned hospitals, including the Augusta University Medical Center. This suits older seniors who prefer the comfort of having a wealth of doctors nearby. Outside of medical care and property acquisition, the Mount Vintage community offers a selection of activities to enjoy.
Golf is the predominant sport available, with the 27-hole Tom Jackson layout awaiting your tee booking. Golf membership fees are not included for Mount Vintage residents, but you can pick an affordable monthly membership.
Non-golfers can stay entertained on the tennis or bocce ball courts or in the fitness center. Alternatively, enjoy the tranquility of the library while reading your next novel.
Lakewood Ranch – Lakewood Ranch, FL
- Location: Lakewood Ranch, Florida
- Amenities: Golf, Tennis, Pickleball, Fitness Centers, etc.
- Golf Courses: 3 Championship Courses
- Starting Prices For Property: $270,000 (Average price $609K)
- Annual Service Package or HOA: Varies
Lakewood Ranch, located near Florida’s Gulf Coast, is an ideal spot for retirees, families, and working professionals seeking an affordable and vibrant lifestyle. This well-designed community is a hub for various recreational pursuits, including chic shopping areas and a host of outdoor adventures. With its reasonable property taxes and a wide range of housing options catering to different budgets, Lakewood Ranch is an attractive place to call home.
Golf enthusiasts will appreciate Lakewood Ranch’s top-tier golfing facilities, which include three championship courses, two of which were crafted by golf legend Arnold Palmer. The community takes pride in its advanced golf academy, exceptional amenities, a spacious 400-yard driving range, 20 tennis and pickleball courts, and two inviting clubhouses, enhancing the golfing experience.
Adding to the area’s golfing profile, The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton now hosts the prestigious PGA Tour Champions World Champions Cup. Bradenton & Sarasota have plenty of other excellent golf retirement communities as well. Nearby, River Strand Golf & Country Club has a 27-hole course designed by Arthur Hills, known for challenging yet accessible play and excellent service.
However, the allure of Lakewood Ranch isn’t limited to golf. The community is dedicated to an active lifestyle, with an impressive 33,000 acres to explore. Residents can enjoy about 150 miles of trails for hiking and biking and an array of shopping centers within the community.
Furthermore, Lakewood Ranch’s strategic location means easy access to major Floridian attractions in Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Sarasota, including the renowned Siesta Key Beach, making it a comprehensive destination for leisure and lifestyle in Florida. Plus, living in near these large cities has some of the best hospitals in the US like Tampa General Hospital and Moffitt Cancer Center.
Hot Springs Village – Best Golf Communities For Retirees in Arkansas
- Location: Hot Springs Village, Arkansas
- Amenities: Golf, Tennis, Bocce Ball, Fitness Center, Library
- Golf Courses: Diamante, Balboa, Desoto, Magellan, Ponce De Leon
- Starting Prices For Property: $180,000 & up
- Annual Service Fee: $1,500
Hot Springs Village is a pitching wedge from the boundaries of the Lake Ouachita National Parks. It serves as the ideal community for outdoor enthusiasts on a budget. The retirement village accommodates 9 golf courses, 20 miles of hiking trails, tennis courts, 11 lakes, and over 200 organizations.
Arkansas ranks among the 20 lowest states for annual property tax, which will help you stretch your savings. The starting sales price of a home on the golf course is $180,000, which is almost $100,000 more affordable than homes at PGA National in Palm Beach County.
Golfers will relish the 9 courses at their disposal, built to cater to every skill level. Among them are a private course and a par 62 executive layout, ideal for fun rounds with lesser-skilled friends and family. There are plenty of off-course offerings, including fishing and boating.
The Hot Springs Village spans 40.7 miles and is among the largest gated golf communities in the United States.
The Club at Cobble Creek – Best For Outdoor Lovers
- Location: Montrose, Colorado
- Amenities: Golf, Mountain Biking trails, Snowshoeing, Skiing, Tennis
- Golf Courses: Links at Cobble Creek
- Starting Prices For Property: $500,000
- Annual Service Fee: N/A
Most retirement villages sell the dream of a year-round summer, but the Club at Cobble Creek delivers the opposite. It is nestled in the Rocky Mountain range, offering residents views of the San Juan Mountain Range. This deems it perfect for golf in the summer and snowshoeing or skiing in the winter.
Properties are priced on the premium end, starting at $500,000 and exceeding $1 Million at the top of the spectrum. It works for retirees searching for a modern dwelling with all the luxury finishes and breathtaking views.
The Links at Cobble Creek is an onsite golf course open to the public for a fee. Residents at Cobble Creek need to fork out $2,040 per year for a membership to the golf course. Weekday memberships are more affordable, but it prevents you from playing on Friday through Sunday.
Cobble Creek is set at 5,800 feet of elevation and experiences moderate temperatures throughout the year. Be prepared for the winter because the cold snaps are harsh, and it might make you long for the warm weather in Florida.
Fairfield Glade Resort – Best Golf Retirement Communities In Tennessee
- Location: Crossville, Tennessee
- Amenities: Golf, Tennis, Bocce Ball, Fitness Center, Library
- Golf Courses: Dorchester, Druid Hills, Heatherhurst Brae, Heatherhurst Crag
- Starting Prices For Property: $100,000
- Monthly Service Fee: $114
Tennessee is a worthy retirement state for its low taxes, tranquil living, culture, and exquisite natural beauty. The Fairfield Glade Resort is one of the best places to retire for golfers on a budget, with 5 championship courses waiting to be tackled.
The community lies west of Knoxville in an area colloquially known as the Golf Capital of Tennessee. There is plenty on offer for non-golfing individuals with swimming pools, fishing, water sports, horseback riding, tennis, and pickleball facilities on hand.
Fairfield houses a casual dining restaurant and snack bar on site. The Stonehenge Grille offers bistro-style food throughout the day, while the snack bar is closed in the evenings. Pre-owned homes start at $100,000, which suits retirees looking to stretch their pension without impacting their quality of life.
The weather in Crossville, Tennessee, reaches into the low to mid-80s during summer. However, it does experience some snow during the winter, which rules out golf, but the temperatures are mostly moderate.
Sun City Lincoln Hills – Best Active Adult Community in California
- Location: Lincoln, California
- Amenities: Golf, Arts and Crafts, Spa, Dining, Fitness Center, Swimming Pool, Tennis, Bocce
- Golf Courses: Lincoln Hills Golf Club
- Starting Prices For Property: $707,000 +
- Monthly Service Fee: $146
Sun City Lincoln Hills, California, works for active retirees who cannot sit still. The golf retirement community is rich in activities ranging from two championship golf courses, tennis, pickleball, bocce, fishing, and a fitness center. Houses are on the higher end, but the monthly fees are low because the amenities function on a pay-as-go model.
Nature lovers will relish the 27 miles of hiking trails set around on the grounds and teeming with wildlife for you to enjoy. This golf community also does their best to reduce their carbon footprint, employing solar panels to power lighting in public spaces.
An entry-level house in Sun City is almost 7 times higher than a property at Fairfield Glade Resort in Tennessee. The weather is inviting in the summer, reaching the low 90s, but you will feel the chill in winter when temperatures drop below 40. And, you can day trip to some of the most prestigious golf courses in the world such as Pebble Beach!
Lake Arrowhead – Affordable Golf Retirement in Georgia
- Location: Waleska, Georgia
- Amenities: Golf, Fishing, Boating, Swimming, Hiking, Tennis, Parks, Fitness Classes
- Golf Courses: The Highlands Course
- Starting Prices For Property: $350,000
- Monthly Service Fee: $189
Located on the banks of the lake with its namesake, this development suits outdoor-loving retirees. Golf, fishing, boating, hiking, tennis, and swimming are a handful of the activities available to residents of the Lake Arrowhead retirement community. If you run out of fun things to do, then Atlanta is just an hour and a half drive south.
The property is home to a single championship golf course designed by Atlanta-born DJ DeVictor. Homeowners at Lake Arrowhead are afforded the right to become a member of the club. Based on their affordable green fees, the activation and annual membership should be reasonable.
Lake Arrowhead caters to non-golfers with a healthy selection of alternative outdoor activities. Anglers can try their luck in the lake, or joyriders can take their boats out for the day. You are also treated to 20 miles of coastline around the lake and additional hiking trails allowing you to stretch your legs.
Property prices are higher than in Tennessee for example, but the monthly service fees are reasonable. Keep in mind that they do not include golf membership, which costs extra.
Lake Arrowhead boasts fabulous weather in the spring and summer, with temperatures reaching the mid-80s. Conversely, it can get chilly in the winter months, with the numbers dipping to the low 30s.
Haig Point – Best Views in a Golf Community
- Location: Daufuskie Island, South Carolina
- Amenities: Golf, Tennis, Equestrian, Yacht Club, Dining, Bocce, Fishing, Fitness Center
- Golf Courses: The Signature Course
- Starting Prices For Property: $350,000
- Annual Service Fee: $17,962
Haig Point is an upmarket development that ranks among the best-gated golf communities on the East Coast. Daufuskie Island suits nature lovers looking to swap the noise of big city life for the tranquility, wildlife, and awe-inspiring views of the Carolinas.
A Rees Jones designed golf course is on-site, one which Golf Digest ranks among the top 100 in the United States. The Signature Course offers multiple membership options, but the Signature Golf membership is best for golfers seeking to play more than 12 rounds per year.
The golf course at Haig Point is private, and you best prepare for hefty activation and monthly membership fees. Those not up for a day on the links have the choice of equestrian, fishing, tennis, dining, or exploring the fitness center.
Houses at the bottom end of the market start at $350,000, but you will find numerous dwellings pushing the $1 Million mark. The weather on Daufuskie is relatively tame, reaching the low 40s in winter and the high 80s during the peak of summer.
Macdonald Highlands – Best Golf Communities in Nevada
- Location: Henderson, Nevada
- Amenities: Golf, Tennis, Basketball, Volleyball, Fitness Center,
- Golf Courses: Swimming, Fishing, Hiking, Watersports, Tennis, Fitness Center
- Starting Prices For Property: $800,000
- Monthly Service Fee: $330
Macdonald Highlands is an elegant golf community home to state-of-the-art facilities and a championship golf course. It suits the distinguished retirees searching for a luxurious, private community close to a major center with world-class hospitals, entertainment, and an International airport.
The famed DragonRidge Country Club sits within the confines of the community, giving you access to a world-class championship course. Tiger Woods was so impressed with the venue he hosted two of his charity tournaments on-site.
A day out on the DragonRidge will treat you to unobstructed views of the Las Vegas Valley. A property at Macdonald Highlands does not entitle you to a membership at the DragonRidge. You will need to apply for that separately and pay the relevant activation and monthly fees.
Houses are priced towards the higher end of the market, starting at $800,000 and moving into the millions. Despite the higher property prices, the monthly service fee is reasonable, at just over $300.
Although the temperatures can soar in the summer, prepare for some crisp evenings and mornings in winter. Temperatures are known to dip below 30.
Suncadia – Best Retirement Golf Community in Washington State
- Location: Cle Elum, Washington
- Amenities: Golf, Disc Golf, Watersports, Fishing, Nordic Skiing, Ice Skating, Spa, Dining
- Golf Courses: Prospector Golf Course
- Starting Prices For Property: $385,000
- Monthly Service Fee: $525
Retirees who prefer the backdrop of a mountain and a cooler climate that allows for an array of outdoor activities. Residents can golf, fish, and participate in watersports in the summer before switching to ice skating and Nordic skiing in the winter.
The standout attraction at Suncadia is the Arnold Palmer designed Prospector Course. The 7,100-yard mountain layout offers exquisite views of hilltops and pine trees. My favorite is hole #10, it’s got a hugely elevated tee shot with nothing but trees and mountains surrounding you. Membership to the golf course and fitness center is reserved for Arcadia property owners, but it is not included in your HOA fees.
Suncadia is ideal for retirees willing to keep the flexibility of four seasons in a year. Temperatures are moderately warm during the summer but drop to low 20s in the winter, when you can enjoy skiing and ice skating. So, you won’t find year-round golf here!
Condominiums start at $385,000, over 3 times more than a community like Fairfield Glade Resort in Tennessee. However, the HOA fees are mild compared to other communities, like Haig Point.
Best Retirement Communities Outside USA
Sansara – Thailand
- Location: Hua Hin, Thailand
- Amenities: Golf, Tennis, Spa, Restaurant, Walking Trails, Swimming Pool, Wellness Center, Dining
- Golf Courses: Black Mountain
- Starting Prices For Property: $200,000
- Monthly Service Fee: $2 per square meter
Hua Hin rose to prominence in the 1920s as King Rama VII built a summer refuge. The Thai elite soon followed, and now it affords you the chance to retire in luxury. The community is built around the Black Mountain Golf Club, with luxury apartments and villas on offer.
If you are not ready to purchase a property, Sansara does have the option of long-term rentals. A monthly common area maintenance (CAM) fee is required for the upkeep of the gated community, with rates typically starting at $2 per square meter.
The fees and property prices are marginally higher than in some communities in the United States. However, you enjoy the luxury of affordable living in Thailand without impacting your quality of life. Another positive is the two free rounds of golf included for Sansara residents.
Hua Hin is the ideal golf destination for retirees seeking warm weather year-round. The temperatures range from low 70s to high 80s throughout the year, allowing you to play golf every day if you wish. The estate’s proximity to the nearest beach means you can hit the links in the morning and the ocean after lunch.
Mont Choisy – Grand Baie, Mauritius
- Location: Grand Baie, Mauritius
- Amenities: Golf, Beach, Watersports, Healthcare, Nature Reserve, Horse Riding
- Golf Courses: Mont Choisy Le Golf
- Starting Prices For Property: $608,000
- Annual Service Fee: N/A
If you have dreamed of living in paradise, then Mont Choisy, Mauritius, should pique your interest. The community is located on the northern part of the island, home to a Peter Matkovich designed golf course, a nature reserve, healthcare facilities, and horse riding trails.
You are only a pitch shot away from the sandy beaches with the development’s name. Here, you can enjoy an array of aquatic sports, including kite surfing, sailing, snorkeling, or simply sun tanning on the beach. When you need some shade, enjoy the dining facilities and wellness center.
Property prices are on the premium end, but that is the cost of living in a utopia. A 2 to 3-bedroom place starts at $608,000, but this also gets you permanent residency to the Indian island nation for the duration of your ownership.
A golf membership is compulsory when acquiring a residential property. The fees are charged annually and are not disclosed to the general public. Keep in mind that Mauritius is an island, and the cost of food and basic necessities will likely be higher than in Thailand or most golf retirement communities in the US.
Final Thoughts on the Best Golf Retirement Communities
My best golf retirement communities review highlights the abundance of developments across the United States and beyond.
Although not as glamorous as Arizona or Florida, states like Arkansas and Tennessee offer budget seekers an affordable golfing alternative to the popular retiree havens. Pinehurst is my top recommendation for golf retirement communities based on the wealth of golf courses, low cost of living, and relatively mild winters.
However, I realize that Scottsdale golf communities can cost a premium. Check out the Fairglade Resort in Tennessee if you are looking for one of the cheapest places to retire and play golf.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the best inexpensive place to retire for golf?
The Fairglade Resort in Crossville, Tennessee, is the best inexpensive place to retire for golf. The community features 5 championship golf courses, low property prices, and reduced taxes that appeal to budget seekers.
What is the most affordable golf community in the US?
I found the Fairglade Resort in Crossville, Tennessee, is the most affordable golf community to reside in. It is followed in a close second by Hot Springs Village in Arkansas.
Where is the best place to live to play golf?
I find Scottsdale, Arizona, the overall best place to live and play golf based on the weather and abundance of golf courses. That makes the DC ranch retirement community an attractive option. It houses two onsite golf courses and is minutes from the famed TPC Scottsdale, home to the Waste Management Phoenix Open.