Best Golf Communities To Retire In
January 6, 2022General Retirement
If you are nearing your retirement and love playing golf, then the one thing you probably want is a never-ending session on the course - we know how you feel!
The best golf communities for you to retire in are those that have great management, beautiful natural surroundings, and a decent climate such as Pronghorn in Bend, Oregon - Spanish Peaks in Big Sky Montana, and Estancia in Scottsdale, Arizona.
For so many people out there, golf and their retirement plans tend to go hand in hand - with the fantasy of being on the green without work lingering in the back of their minds sounding all too good to be true.
If your retirement is not far off, you are going to be overjoyed to hear that there are plenty of places around the United States that are perfect for retirees who just want to play golf.
There are a lot of different golf communities scattered around the country and so many of them are ideal spots for retirement.
With that being said, each location has its own defining qualities that can either make it or break it as an option for you personally, which is why you are going to want to be equipped with all of the right information to make the best decision on where you want to settle down and play golf. Keep reading to learn more about the best golf communities to retire in.
As a retiree who loves playing golf, I have lived in many different places around the United States that are ideal for people who love this sport. My experience has taught me that the best golf communities to retire in are locations that have a good course but also have additional qualities such as a nice climate, surrounding scenery, and affordable housing.
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Golf Communities To Retire In
If there is one thing that is for certain, it is that Americans love to play golf! The United States has over 15,000 golf courses, which means that you have got plenty of places to consider. Now, while there are plenty of golf courses out there, not all of them are actually suitable for retirement. What you are going to really want to find is a golf ‘community’ that is suitable for you, as this is the ultimate way to retire as a golfer. At a golf community, you can quite literally reside on the golf course - given that it is pretty much walking distance from your front door.
With that being said, golf communities can vary greatly. You want to find a place that has a nice course, good management, and on top of that, it should have all of the right external qualities that you want your retirement location to have. It goes without saying, that if you want to retire in a golf community, you are probably going to want to spend most of your time on the course playing golf and enjoying game after game. While the sport will dominate your day-to-day, you should expect to venture off of the course from time to time.
Golf communities can be found in just about every state in the country, but what you should try to reflect on are the additional features that you want your retirement destination to have. If you like the heat, there are plenty of desert golf communities out there just waiting for your arrival. If you enjoy hitting the beach for some additional fun in the sun after a few games - no problem. However, you may enjoy an area that has more variety to it so that you can escape the course every now and then to go visit a city or even hike in the mountains. Ultimately, choosing the right golf community is about more than just picking a course, it is about choosing a potential destination for the rest of your life.
Now, there are many ways to go about choosing the right golf community. Many retirees are committed to the first community that they visit - they fall in love with it right then and there and confidently choose a spot. Whereas some retirees like having the flexibility of trying out a few different places before they sign any contracts, which is completely fine. At the end of the day, if you are on the fence and can afford to hop around and try a few different communities out for a month or two - more power to ya! To help you understand this further, we are going to take a closer look at the best golf communities to retire in.
Pronghorn (Bend, Oregon)
A golf community in the United States that is at the top of so many retirees’ lists is Pronghorn in Bend, Oregon.
This location is prime in so many ways for retirees that want to have an amazing place to golf but also an area that is gorgeous and immersed in nature. Bend, Oregon is highly regarded as being one of the gems of the state as it is surrounded by Douglas Fir trees and beautiful mountain landscapes.
Pronghorn itself has a world-class golf course that is a calling for pros, enthusiasts, and retirees to make a visit to Bend - or settle down for good. You have got 36 holes to play around with at Pronghorn on a very well-maintained course that is respected by its management and all members of the community.
One of the things that makes Pronghorn such a special golf community is not only the integrity of the course but the pure majestic qualities of its surroundings. The course and housing community are smack dab in the middle of 20,000 acres of protected land that is undeveloped. You have got complete solitude in the midst of a stunning natural landscape, which is nice just for viewing - let alone playing golf in.
What we love about Pronghorn is that you have got all of the amazing qualities of Bend at your disposal. If you feel like you need a break from the course, you can go out to Bend and enjoy this lovely Oregonian town. Bend was initially developed as a logging town but it has changed its direction and become a hot spot for people who love the outdoors, which is why it gets so many seasonal visitors from within the state, as well as the rest of the country.
Bend is known for its amazing rock climbing, hiking, camping, and mountain biking. It is considered to be the outdoor capital of Oregon and outdoor enthusiasts regard it as being a natural gem of the United States. However, if you prefer to take it easy during your retirement and keep your outdoor activity moderate, it is also an amazing place to go fishing. In addition, if you want to get back into real civilization every now and then, Oregon’s amazing city, Portland is just a few hours away by car.
Pronghorn offers some great housing options but they can be a little bit pricey for some retirees. You can currency get a homesite for just $350,000 and the cost of a home itself is going to set you back as much as $1.5 million. While this is a considerable amount to pay for a golf community, you really get your money’s worth at Pronghorn. However, if this is outside of your current budget or if you simply are not ready to commit to a single golf community just yet, you can always opt for renting a place at Pronghorn for a couple of months out of the year.
Spanish Peaks (Big Sky, Montana)
When it comes to amazing places to retire, Montana should be a spot to consider for just about anyone - regardless of whether they play golf or not.
However, this incredible state also has one of the best golf communities in the entire country - Spanish Peaks. It is located in Big Sky, Montana, and it has got so much to offer its members. Spanish Peaks has 18 holes, which is smaller than some of the other options out there but this is actually a positive feature for many retirees. The course at Spanish Peaks provides a more intimate experience for its members. This results in a lot of friendly chats on the course with many of the community’s welcoming members.
While the course and the community at Spanish Peaks are absolutely amazing, what I truly love about living in this location is that Big Sky and Montana in general have so many amazing qualities. Montana is home to some of our nation’s most beautiful natural landscapes and it is regarded as being one of the most beautiful and unique places on the planet.
Within just a few hours’ drive, you can easily access Yellowstone National Park, which is considered to be the pride and joy of national parks in the United States. Once you are in the park, you can explore its 3,500 square miles at your own pace. There are geysers, mountains, and waterfalls scattered throughout the park that are stunning, to say the least. In addition, Yellowstone offers some of the best wildlife sightings that you can find around the nation - with bison, grizzly bears, and wolves being commonly seen around the park.
Hopping back and forth for the Spanish Peaks golf community and Yellowstone National Park is one of the main reasons that so many retirees decide to settle down here. However, the weather does get a bit harsh in Montana during parts of the year, which can complicate playing golf at times. During the wintertime, you should expect there to be plenty of snow around, so playing golf will likely be possible as of the middle of spring to the near end of autumn. This can be problematic for some retirees that want to play golf all year long, but if you are okay to put the clubs away for a few months out of the year, then it is a small price to pay.
The good news is that the wintertime in Spanish Peaks is not all that bad. Big Sky has got some amazing skiing that is easily accessible to members of the community. Furthermore, if Yellowstone National Park was not enough to satisfy your outdoor cravings, you can always take a drive up to the northern part of the state near the Canadian border where you can visit the gorgeous Glacier National Park. However, if you are the type of person that likes to keep the outdoors to a minimum, you can always partake in hobbies such as fishing, which is very popular in the State of Montana.
Retiring in Spanish Peaks is moderately pricey. You can expect to pay roughly $350,000 to $400,000 for a home site and upwards of $1.1 million for a developed home. This may be outside of the budget for some retirees but if you have got the finances to do it, Spanish Peaks is really a retirement dream for a golfer.
Estancia (Scottsdale, Arizona)
Ask any golfer and they will tell you that one of the golf capitals of the sport around the world is Scottsdale in Arizona. This city is known for its world-class golf courses, which host some of the biggest championships that the sport has to offer.
For this reason, Scottsdale naturally has one of the nation’s best golf communities - Estancia. There are many great things that I love about Estancia but one thing that is at the top of my list is how passionate people are here about the sport. Scottsdale’s reputation as one of the golf capitals of the country is a calling for many enthusiasts and fanatics to visit this Arizona city and retire in.
Wherever you go in Scottsdale, it will be hard to find someone that does not love golf as much as you do, which makes it a fantastic community for people who live and breathe the sport. Estancia is a go-to option for many retirees that want to be immersed in golf day and night.
This gated community offers its members 18 holes of world-class green, which are complemented by the majestic scenery of the Arizona desert. Golfers from all over the country visit Estancia to get a taste of what it is like to be a part of this golf community but usually have to settle for weekend trips that are all too short. This does not have to be the case if you decide to set up shop in Estancia as you can consider this golf course to be part of your home from the day that you move in.
Many retirees that settle in Estancia just love the pace of life in this community. Members fall into a nice groove of playing golf day in and day out and then hit Estancia’s amazing restaurant for its delicious cuisine and great cocktails. This is the way to retire and Estancia has set itself up to give its retirees everything that they could ask for in a golf community.
With that being said, living in Estancia is about golf but that is by no means all that this community has to offer. Arizona is a beautiful state that is full of activities and natural wonders. One of the most iconic views in the entire country is just a few hours away by car at Grand Canyon National Park. You can make casual trips to this amazing place on a regular basis. In addition, you have got other natural hot spots at your disposal such as Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon located in the state as well.
If you happen to be feeling very adventurous, you can drive a bit further and cross the state lines into Utah where you can easily get to more outdoor hotspots such as Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon. The bottom line is that if you love the outdoors as much as you love golf, Estancia as a hub has got you covered.
One great thing about living in Estancia as a retired golfer is that the sport is available to you throughout the entire year. The communities we touched on before are phenomenal locations but you are going to have to settle for seasonal playing, which can be a letdown for many retirees that just can’t put down their clubs. While you can expect some occasional frost delays in the peak of winter in Scottsdale, you will be delighted to hear that you can play golf even during the wintertime, which can actually be one of the best times of the year to play.
Now, while you can play golf all year long, you should know that the summertime can be scorchingly hot - maybe even too hot for some to handle. You should expect the temperature to get well past the hundreds at the peak of summer, which can make playing golf unbearable for many players. This can become problematic for some members, as many often have to cut games short because of heatstroke, which is why you should always have plenty of water handy when out during this time of the year.
What many retired members find themselves doing in Estancia during the summertime is taking a month or two off to enjoy playing elsewhere in the country. While the summer in Estancia is in many ways the low season for golf, this time of year is actually the best time to play in other areas. So, if you are free to do so, take the time to visit golf courses in other hotspots around the country that are perfect for summer games. This way you can have prime golf weather all year long.
The price for a home in Estancia can be quite pricey, as residents find themselves paying over $1.3 million on average. If you are not fully committed to Estancia right off of the bat and do not want to put down the cash, you can always opt for renting a place in this community, which runs at about $1,600 per month.
About THE AUTHOR
With multiple family members currently in senior living facilities, David is in the trenches every week, learning the ins and outs of nursing homes, assisted living, memory care, and general senior living.Read more about David Bolton
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We love planning for retirement. It's somewhat of a hobby, and we want to share what we've learned with you. Over the years we've found the best ways to live, how to travel, take on new hobbies and give back. Happiness in retirement is the main goal, and having the right information allows us (and you) to achieve that.