Yesterday, we reported on our round at the quirky Sewanee Golf Club, a nine holer in the town of the same name in Tennessee.  The par 3 4th hole might have the slimmest green in America.  We were fortunate the pin was up front.  University of the South at Sewanee golf coach Carter Cardwell told us that when the pin is back and you miss the green, "Count on a four at the best."  We can't argue.

#4 at Sewanee and purport to help you find the retirement or second-home location that best suits your preferences.  These are good resources as far as they go, which is to say they go about as far as they can without any human involvement.
    Both sites take you through a step-by-step questionnaire that covers all the important categories you will consider when looking for a city or town.  Most of the usual suspects are there:  cost of living, crime, climate, housing values, transportation, religion and schools.  FindYourSpot includes more specific additional questions about recreational and cultural issues.
    Flaws are abundant.  For example, when you plug in the name of the city you are considering  (or its zip code) and then search BestPlaces’ transportation category, you get data for the city compared against the U.S. average, which strikes us as pretty much irrelevant.  And do we care as much about average commute time (included) as we do, say, the distance to the nearest commercial airport?  There is no mention of the latter at BestPlaces.  In the education category, should we care as much about the number of students for each librarian as we do about the number of continuing education courses that are offered in the area?
    Although BestPlaces asks you to indicate your preferences, we prefer FindYourSpot 's more peronal approach (a little humor here and there).  It asks a longer list of questions than does BestPlaces and produces a longer list of towns that FindYourSpot thinks are right for you.
    It makes for some fairly bizarre results, and shows that these services lack a whole lot of nuance.  My wife and I separately filled out the FindYourSpot questionnaire.  We both enjoy our second home on the South Carolina coast, and our responses reflected that (we thought), although my responses indicated I would enjoy living in the mountains as well.  I emphasized golf, continuing education, access to an airport and the desire for culture and entertainment activities nearby.  My wife, besides stressing a coastal location with an emphasis on access to beaches, highlighted an interest in museums and orchestras, as well as access to an airport, continuing ed and many of the things I stressed.  She is not a golfer and ranked it way lower than I did.
    Her top results:  New York City, Boston and San Francisco.  Mine:  Two towns in the Texas Hill Country and one in rural Louisiana.  We’ve had a good chuckle over what might be a compromise location, and who might get the kids.
    You won’t make any decisions on where to live based on these sites, but a few minutes on either one might give you something to talk about.