The Cliffs at Glassy in upstate South Carolina maximizes views from and to its Tom Jackson golf course.

If you have plenty of money to spend, the highest quality golf communities have plenty of big, beautiful homes just waiting for you. The samples below are from deluxe golf communities, one remotely located (on the top of a mountain), two others in the popular Bluffton, SC, area, and the last in a combo beach and golf community about an hour north of the charming city of Charleston, SC. Count on initiation fees up to $50,000 and dues commensurate with the many extra added attractions, such as beach club, elaborate clubhouses and amenities with great attention to detail (and their users). Links to these homes for sale will permit you to look at other listings in each community. I have worked with the three real estate agents attached to these listings for the better part of 15 years and can vouch for their professionalism.

Cliffs at Glassy, Landrum, SC
This representative of the vaunted Cliffs communities is up there – in terms of altitude, at 3,353 feet, as well as pricing. For developer Jim Anthony, Glassy was almost a religious experience; he placed the community’s chapel at the highest point, giving it a multi-million-dollar view. When you own at Glassy, you are automatically a member at the six other Cliffs clubs, a few within a half hour or so, the others closer to an hour, all of them beautifully maintained. Tom Jackson designed the Glassy golf course and maximized the dramatic mountain views.  Although this listing -- click here -- is priced at just under $4 million, there are dozens of lots for sale in the community starting at just $20,000. 

DeBordieuBeachThe beach at DeBordieu Colony, one of the rare gated communities on the east coast that include both golf and an ocean beach club.

DeBordieu Colony, Georgetown, SC
One of the rare east coast golf communities with a beach club on the Atlantic Ocean. Pete Dye designed the golf course, and DeBordieu’s French name implies that God designed the landscape and sea views. Located between the charming Charleston, SC and Myrtle Beach, DeBordieu residents have a choice of two fine regional airports and dozens of excellent eating establishments. (Charleston has long been known as a magnet for foodies.) The transportation mode of choice in DeBordieu is the golf cart and from virtually any house in the community, which stretches from Highway 17 to the ocean, it is a five-minute ride to the beach and even shorter to the golf course. This listing at $4.6 million must be special at that price and not located directly on the ocean (a short walk though).

BelfairFaziobunkersIf there are bunkers, and plenty of them at Belfair, then it is very much a Tom Fazio layout.

Belfair, Bluffton, SC
Belfair is among the trinity of top-quality golf communities in the Bluffton area developed by John Reed, a real estate giant in the Hilton Head Island area. The other two are Colleton River and Berkeley Hall, each of them with at least 36 holes of golf. The bunkering and landscaping of Belfair’s 36 holes by Tom Fazio will remind some Floridians of the top classic courses in the Sunshine State. With its million-dollar homes and location just off Hilton Head and near Savannah and its restaurants and other entertainments, Belfair is perfectly positioned at the high end of the market. This home, listed at $2.9 million, is positioned to appreciate some of the best marsh and river views in the Low Country.

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.