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Top 10 Retirement Hot Spots for Golfers

By Mary SalatinoMarch 4, 2022
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Active adults looking to settle down in a golfer’s paradise — where they can play golf for eight months of the year or more — have many options for golf retirement communities in the United States.

Whether you’re looking to golf in the dry, desert climate of Arizona, the humid coastal islands of the southeast, or the cooler mountain regions of North Carolina or Oregon, we’ve got you covered. We’ve done the research and came up with the top golfing communities in the U.S. — from the East Coast to the West Coast and a few spots in between.

With this list, you can explore a variety of communities, costs, attractions, and, of course, golf courses that quench your thirst for adventure. Many of these areas have a variety of great senior living options, from independent living for the more active seniors to assisted living for those who might need a little more help.

Take a look at the 10 best golf retirement communities in the U.S. to help you decide where to settle down and hit the links.

1. Naples, Florida

Golf greats such as Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods lived in Naples, Florida, which is home to 90 golf courses and the most golf holes per capita than any other golf community in the U.S.

The quality of life is spectacular in Naples — there are miles of pristine Gulf of Mexico beaches, highly rated restaurants, and world-class shopping to keep residents entertained. A variety of communities offer independent living in Naples, Florida, with proximity to golf courses and other engaging amenities, such as the Naples Botanical Gardens, Naples Pier, beaches, restaurants, food trucks, and more. There are also plenty of senior apartments in Naples, Florida.

Another top retirement community for golfers is Punta Gorda, which is located just an hour south of Naples. Retirement communities in Punta Gorda, Florida, abound in quality senior living with activities, events, wellness programs, and more.

In Florida, the median cost of a one-bedroom apartment in a senior community is $48,000 a year.

2. Scottsdale, Arizona

Searching for retirement golf communities in Arizona? Scottsdale, Arizona, is home to about 200 golf courses and consistently great weather from October to April, which makes it a wonderful place to settle down for retirement. Scottsdale is such a golfer’s city that there’s a saying that the PGA Tour pros who don’t live in Florida, live in Scottsdale.

Independent living in Scottsdale offers many options that will satisfy you in mind, body, and spirit. Scottsdale offers attractions including Camelback Mountain, historical sites, OdySea Aquarium, Vegas-style casinos, and world-class dining, shopping, and spas.

Senior living in Scottsdale is a suburban paradise, sitting right next to the city of Phoenix. Scottsdale’s population of 250,000 makes it larger than some of the other golf retirement communities on this list.

The annual median cost of a senior community in Arizona is $48,000.

3. Hilton Head, South Carolina

Hilton Head, South Carolina, a barrier island12 miles long and five miles wide, is known for its stunning golf retirement communities. It’s home to world-class golf courses, a whopping 350 tennis courts, some of the country’s most spectacular beaches, and more than 250 restaurants.

Although there are 24 golf courses on the island itself, the entire Lowcountry area — including nearby Bluffton and Daufuskie Island — includes a total of 33 courses, some of which were designed by famed course architects Pete Dye, Robert Trent Jones Sr., and Jack Nicklaus. Plus, there are PGA tour events and RBC Heritage tournaments for spectators, which makes these some of the best golf retirement communities in South Carolina.

Hilton Head independent living communities are a great option, with the median cost of senior communities in South Carolina coming in at $43,338 a year.

4. Pinehurst, North Carolina

When searching North Carolina for golf retirement communities, Pinehurst was the top of our list — with its charming, small-town feel, blooming azaleas, and temperate weather. Pinehurst is less expensive than some of the coastal golf course retirement communities listed here. Pinehurst is located in the “Sandhills” of south-central North Carolina, an area that is classified by hilly topography and legendary golf courses.

Golfers have been teeing off in this small town of 16,000 people since the 1890s, helping the city earn the title “Home of American Golf.” There are more than 50 golf courses in the area, including the famous Donald Ross-designed Pinehurst No. 2, which is a resident favorite.

The annual median cost of a senior community in North Carolina is $48,120.

5. Hot Springs Village, Arkansas

Another best golf retirement option is Hot Springs Village, Arkansas.

The Hot Springs Village retirement community is a senior haven, although it’s open to all ages. It has its own zip code, its own fire and police departments, and its own paramedics, creating a safe and efficient community.

There are 12 recreational lakes, 16 tennis courts, a performing arts center, 20 miles of nature trails, and an abundance of golf courses. There are nine “senior-friendly” golf courses that will test even the best players.

Independent living in Hot Springs Village is abundant, with a variety of communities to choose from that are nestled near the courses.

In Arkansas, the median cost of a senior community is $45,120 a year.

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6. Jupiter, Florida

It’s hard to choose just one when looking at the best golf retirement communities in Florida. On the southeast coast of Florida, Jupiter offers beautiful beaches, entertainment, specialty shops, nature trails, and much more, making it an easygoing place to retire. There is also an abundance of 55 and over rental communities in Jupiter, Florida.

Enjoy Jupiter’s vibrant golf scene — experience more than 15 public and private golf courses with unique features and amenities, picturesque views, and weather that will make you never want to leave.

The median cost of a senior community in Florida is $48,000 a year.

7. Bend, Oregon

Bend, Oregon, is consistently ranked as one of the top 50 golf destinations in the world, while also boasting great independent living communities. There’s an abundance of senior living in Bend, Oregon that suits your needs while providing activities and proximity to golf courses.

There are about two dozen area golf courses that range in price and experience level. Pronghorn Golf Club is the most famous for its water features and stunning views of the Cascade Mountains.

Bend is known as a playground for golfers and outdoor enthusiasts. Residents can engage in activities such as cycling, hiking, rafting, and rock climbing. Although Oregon is typically known for its rainy climate, Bend’s location near the center of the state yields more than 300 sunny days per year.

Bend, Oregon, retirement communities offer a variety of options to choose from. The median cost of a senior community in Oregon is $60,540 a year.

8. St. Simons Island, Georgia

St. Simons Island, Georgia, is simply stunning. With laurel, magnolia trees, and majestic live oaks draped in Spanish moss, just like in nearby Savannah, St. Simons Island is a top retirement spot.

And, the golfing doesn’t disappoint, either, with eight public and semi-public courses and several country clubs. There are several 55 and over communities to choose from, with the median cost of senior living in Georgia at $42,420 a year.

9. Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Kiawah Island, located just 25 miles southwest of Charleston, South Carolina, is one of South Carolina’s best-kept secrets. It has earned its spot as one of the best golf retirement communities in the southeast region, and it’s the second golf retirement community from South Carolina on the list. This state knows retirement.

This island has more than 10 miles of pristine Atlantic beaches, 10,000 acres of maritime forest, 30 miles of paved bike trails, and, most importantly, seven golf courses — all for its 1,676 residents. Enjoy live music and a summer breeze at the Porch Bar, a local favorite that offers cocktails and jazz music.

The median cost of senior communities in South Carolina is $43,338 a year.

10. Fairfield Glade, Tennessee

If you’re looking for the best golf retirement communities in Tennessee, you need to visit Fairfield Glade. It’s known as the “Golf Capital of Tennessee” for its five spectacular golf courses that offer a combined total of 90 holes and provide a course to challenge every player. There’s an abundance of Fairfield Glade retirement communities throughout the area, giving you plenty of options for senior living.

In addition to enjoying a game of golf, Fairfield Glade residents can experience nearby attractions such as shopping, dining, and national parks. Take a day trip to St. George Marina, where you can rent a boat, kayak, or canoe on the 109-acre lake.

The median cost of senior communities in Tennessee is $49,260.

It’s important to retire in an environment that provides quality amenities, activities, and, for golfers, golf-course accessibility. Choosing your new home can be difficult — local senior living experts at A Place for Mom are here to assist you in finding senior living that suits your needs, hobbies, and interests.

Sources:

Pinehurst Southern Pines Aberdeen Area: Home of American Golf. (2022). Area golf courses.

Fairfield Glade. (2021). Five spectacular golf courses.

Genworth Financial, Inc. (2022, January 31). Genworth cost of care survey: Median cost data tables.

Visit Bend. Golf.

Town of Kiawah Island. Recreational activities.

Author
Mary Salatino

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