If you’re an avid golfer, the number of other good courses nearby should figure in, too; playing at your own club week after week may get dull.
“Ideally, you’d want at least a few public courses less than an hour’s drive from you, so you have the option for some variety when you play,” Ms. Rowlinson said.
FIND AN EXPERIENCED BROKER
More often than not, buyers interested in golf communities usually don’t work with brokers who are well informed about the areas they’re looking in, said Blake Plumley, the chief executive of Capital Pursuits, a development consulting firm specializing in resort residential communities. When interviewing potential brokers, ask them how many properties they have sold in the communities. Ideally, it should be several.
Also, inquire about three positive aspects and three drawbacks of living in those communities. “Your broker should be able to easily answer this,” Mr. Plumley said.
The broker should personally know the golf club’s membership director, the general manager, the head golf pro and a few other key figures in the communities. “You want a broker who can directly introduce you to these people,” Mr. Plumley said.
LOOK FOR KEY AMENITIES
Successful golf communities offer much more than golf — so much that they most likely attract plenty of nongolfing residents, Ms. Rowlinson said.
Desirable amenities include a clubhouse with more than one social gathering space, tennis courts, an outdoor pool with a grill area, a high-quality restaurant, a casual dining option and a bar. A family-friendly club is also important. The best communities have a robust lineup of activities for children and families, such as summer camps, boating and hiking excursions, pool days, fun food-themed dinners such as taco night and more.