Retired couples with a golfing lifestyle in mind have two broad geographical choices: Move to a remote location with the peace and quiet they might not have had during their earning and child-rearing years; or replicate the excitement and many service options from their decades in a suburban location. Two choices in retirement – rural or near-urban. “Near-urban” can be as close as inside the boundary lines of a city or just outside. This week we travel to three uber-popular cities in the Southeast, each with a different personality but with all kinds of options for the adventure-, culture-, sports- and restaurant-minded.

Salisbury Adirondack Chairs
The beautiful views are maximized at Salisbury Country Club.

Salisbury Country Club, Midlothian, VA

 A dear friend, a former professor at the nearby University of Richmond, is a member of Salisbury. He invited me to play there this past summer and I was mighty impressed with the conditions on the course, the services from the pro shop to the dining facilities and the general feel of the quintessential but unstuffy private club. Homes surrounding the course are well tended and of the luxury variety with prices that start in the mid six figures, not outlandish these days. This regal home, priced at $565,000, looks out on the fairway of one the three nines at Salisbury.  Distance to downtown Richmond is less than six miles. Whitney Pace is my go-to agent in Richmond and one of the best female golfers in the city.       

PebbleCreekteesignandhouseOne home that is fashionably close to the Pebble Creek golf course.

Pebble Creek, Taylors (Greenville), SC
The heading on the listing below says it all – “Location! Location! Location! Just 15 minutes to downtown Greenville.” Greenville, SC, one of the hottest spots in the Southeast the last 10 years, is known for its lively entertainment district along the Reedy River, the gorgeous campus of Furman University, more golf communities per capita than most other urban areas, and a solid economic foundation. (BMW of America is headquartered nearby.)  Although the deluxe Cliffs communities are sprinkled in the mountains and valleys that surround the city, lesser known communities like Pebble Creek are terrific bargains in terms of golf membership and real estate, like the $410,000 listing below. Wanda Reed, a lifelong resident of Greenville, is one of the premier agents in town.  Click here for Pebble Creek home for sale.  
 TPCMBBunkersThe bunkers at TPC Myrtle Beach are unmistakably Tom Fazio.
Prince Creek, Murrells Inlet (Myrtle Beach), SC
The Myrtle Beach area’s “high season” depends on whether you are a beach goer or a golfer. Golfers tend to flood the area from February through May and then again from September through November, when the weather is balmy and the fairways and greens are lush. But, come summer, it is beach time, and the area’s population swells from about 30,000 to 350,000 (try getting a hotel room or reservation at the better restaurants). Murrells Inlet is south of the heavy action but not by much, yet its location beside the TPC of Myrtle Beach makes it one of the top golf communities for year-round living in the area. Just minutes to seafood restaurants, Atlantic beaches and the area’s main hospital, you can’t ask for a better location. And you can’t ask for a more reasonably priced new home than the one below. Lifelong South Carolinian and ace local agent Denise Talbert will be happy to show it to you.

The view from the landing at River Landing.
Eighteen years ago, when I first started assisting clients in finding their dream golf home, the sweet spot for prices was about $125 per square foot. Ten years ago, it had risen to $150 per square foot. Thanks to the pandemic, the current low inventory of homes for sale in many high-quality golf communities, and the continuing high costs of lumber and labor, you can count on $200 or more in most cases. But not in all cases.  I went bargain hunting the other day and found a few choice homes for sale at under $175 per square foot. Here they are.
River Landing, Wallace, NC
Golf communities within minutes of a Walmart store provide some security to those looking for a home in an otherwise remote area. At least you know that when many of the necessities of life are on your list, relief will not be far away. At Wallace, NC’s River Landing, less than two miles from the local Walmart -- a "Supercenter" no less -- you won’t be far away from one medium-sized historic city, Wilmington, and less than 75 miles from one of the largest airport hubs in the nation, in Raleigh. Interstate 40, about a drive and seven iron away from the community’s front gate, will get you to both cities quickly. River Landing features two Clyde Johnston golf courses that always rank highly in the golf rich state of North Carolina. Real estate is almost exclusively of the single-family variety and, given the perception of Wallace’s remote location, more reasonably priced than other two-golf-course communities.  This home for sale in River Landing is priced at $139 per square foot.  Click here.

Pebble CreekPebble Creek par 4

Pebble Creek, Taylor, SC
Pebble Creek's 27 holes of golf can be played as a member or as a walk-in.  Given the bargain prices for membership, the break-even point is about two rounds per week. The club’s owner, a veteran who learned how to manage golf clubs in the golf crazy Myrtle Beach, tends to his golf course and members with enthusiasm and care. Homes adjacent to the course are mature, some in need of a bit of updating, which is why prices tend to be more modest than other golf communities just 10 minutes from a popular city, in this case Greenville.  This listing is priced at just $146 per square foot.  Click here.

Carolina Colours clubhouseCarolina Colours clubhouse

Carolina Colours, New Bern, NC
If there was an award for “Friendliest Golf Community,” Carolina Colours would make the list. Residents act as if they have known each other forever. They volunteer together for local charities and get together for regular Friday buffet night dinners in the clubhouse. Club costs are “friendly” as well, reasonably priced both for those who wish to become members and those who want to pay as they go (green fees). New Bern is an historic town, the original capital city of North Carolina, and the former governor’s mansion, Tryon Palace, is a favorite tourist attraction. Homes and tall pine trees ring the Bill Love designed golf course.  Here is an expensive home but a bargain on a square foot basis.  Click here.