The following is an excerpt from my new book, Glorious Back Nine: How to Find Your Dream Golf Home. The paperback is available at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com for $9.99 and will be published in digital format in early December. Buy it here.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars may be wrapped into the purchase of a golf home, but the search process is deceptively easy. It starts with a simple consideration that many of us of a certain age studied in grade school and junior high school in the 1950s and ‘60s —geography, or more specifically, topography, the “arrangement of the natural and artificial physical features of an area.” Topography in the Sunbelt drives climate, and climate is the top reason that retired persons in the North seek the comfort of southern winters. (Cost of living and lifestyle round out the top three reasons, and not necessarily in that order.)
Once a couple decides whether the mountains, the coast or a lakeside community inland is their preferred choice for climate and topography, the process of finding a home can move quickly, and without controversy, even if one half of the couple plays golf and the other does not. The next step is to decide what issues in your lifestyle and health profiles, if any, demand access to specific services. If one or both of you suffer from some pre-existing health condition, or if you are perfectly healthy and active and require proximity to many entertainment options, such as a large university for continuing education courses, or a big airport to make travel home and to far-flung locations easier, then a golf community near an urban area will match your preferences. If you are looking for a quieter, more contemplative location, you can find plenty of remotely located communities to satisfy that lifestyle. In general, far-flung communities are also considerably less expensive than their near-urban counterparts in terms of real estate and such carrying costs as taxes, homeowner association dues and other costs of living.
Imagination and flexibility are key ingredients of a successful search for the perfect golf home. Therefore, you won’t find much advice in these pages about what not to do. However, I cannot say this strongly enough: Do not start your search by looking for a specific house that suits you. Couples looking for the perfect house on the Internet before they reconcile the issues of geography, lifestyle and health considerations are courting trouble and are doomed to a long and unproductive search.
Everything in its proper order, in life and in the search for a golf home.
You can order the 156-page Glorious Back Nine from Amazon by clicking here.