13 Best Places to Retire for Golf Lovers

·12 min read

Many golfers look forward to the moment when they can play any day — or even every day. Luckily, a retirement filled with the friendly game can be achieved. Plenty of private and public courses, country clubs, and resorts offer golf, along with other amenities like top-notch restaurants, fitness centers, pools, tennis, pickleball, and social events.

You can spend your golden years in a country club community or a neighborhood that's within a short distance of a golf course. From Florida and Hawaii to Mexico and Canada, there's a course and neighborhood to suit every retiree.

Here are 13 places to retire with the best golf courses, each one providing something different when it comes to the game, weather, location, and price.

Haig Point, Daufuskie Island, South Carolina

Haig Point is a private, member-owned community sprawled across 1,050 acres on historic Daufuskie Island, off the coast of South Carolina between Hilton Head Island and Savannah, Georgia. It's accessible only by a private ferry, and there are no cars on the island — just golf carts, bicycles, and plenty of picturesque walking paths. There's also an equestrian facility, tennis, a beach club, a fitness center, dining, and boating.

The 29 holes of Rees Jones-designed golf include the unique 20-hole Signature course, which has two distinct routings to accommodate both skilled and recreational players, as well as the nine-hole Osprey course, which is ideal for family play or a quick round. Seven oceanfront views from tees or greens, lush forest-lined fairways, and the thrill of curious deer watching as you pass make playing at Haig Point a memorable experience.

Home options range from townhomes to luxurious residences, set among massive oak trees laden with Spanish moss. Lowcountry style, from cottages to stately homes, reflects the island's history, beauty, and relaxed atmosphere. Available residences start at around $800,000, and homesites from $125,000 offer the opportunity to become part of this unique community that attracts members from around the world. A variety of membership programs offer different levels of amenities. Visitors can experience the island and golf through the Stay and Play or Discovery packages.

Cabot Cape Breton, Inverness, Nova Scotia

View of Cabot Cape Breton, Inverness, Nova Scotia, Canada from the water
View of Cabot Cape Breton, Inverness, Nova Scotia, Canada from the water

Courtesy of Cabot Cape Breton

Golfers here enjoy dramatic views along with a workout when they play the two 18-hole courses, Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs. Both courses are walking only, with carts available only for mobility-impaired players. The Nest — a 10-hole, par-three course — is a great alternative for a quick round or short shot practice. Plus, it offers some of the best views on the property from the highest point of Cabot Cliffs.

The former mining town of Inverness is set among majestic cliffs with a 72-room ocean-view lodge, three restaurants, and residences starting at about $1.3 million CAD. "The recent real estate launches have been very well-received, selling out within a matter of days, if not hours," Cabot's executive vice president of global real estate sales, Andrew Alkenbrack, told Travel + Leisure. "The demand for real estate at Cabot is at an all-time high, and we are thrilled with the momentum we're seeing."

"Going forward, we're looking to launch the second phase of our most successful products, including the Hillside Homes and Cliffs Residences. With a range of $1.3 to $4 million CAD, there are a variety of new build options available. We hope to launch these by the summer of 2022 for delivery next year," said Alkenbrack. "With the amenities at Cabot about to take shape, there's no better time to join our Cabot Cape Breton community."

Suncadia, Cle Elum, Washington

Prospector golf course, created by Palmer Course Design Company, is adjacent to the 18-room Inn at Suncadia. It's set within a pine and fir forest, complete with picturesque lakes and ponds. The Rope Rider course, named after coal miners of the past, is a more family-friendly option. Also a nod to the area's history, the foundations and portals of two mines remain on the golf course. In addition, there's the private Tumble Creek golf course.

Located about 80 miles from Seattle, Suncadia is a year-round resort community with golf, fishing, rafting, hiking and biking trails, the Inn at Suncadia, and the Lodge, offering luxury hotel-style amenities. Three distinct communities — Nelson Ridge, Trailhead Condominiums, and the private Tumble Creek — offer a wide range of ownership opportunities.

At Suncadia, condos start at $385,000, and residences are available from $1,550,000, with homesites from $475,000. In the exclusive Tumble Creek development, homes start at $2,195,000 and homesites begin at $549,000. According to Gary Madonna, vice president of sales and marketing of real estate, "Suncadia's 6,400 acres include a variety of homes and homesite options, with amenities that include golf, restaurants, a dog park, pool, fitness center, spa, and more, all surrounded by the natural beauty of the Cascade Mountains."

Destination Kohler, Wisconsin

For the ultimate in golf options, Destination Kohler, located along the shore of Lake Michigan, is home to four courses created by the renowned Pete Dye: Whistling Straits, where the 2021 Ryder Cup was played; Irish Course; The River; and Meadow Valleys. In June 2021, Destination Kohler opened The Baths of Blackwolf Run, which features a 10-hole, par-three course and two-acre putting course.

Lodging at Destination Kohler includes the five-star American Club Resort Hotel, three-star accommodations, and secluded cabins. Retirees who wish to play these courses can find a variety of homes in the Village of Kohler, conceived by Walter J. Kohler, who worked with prominent landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to develop the planned community with miles of hiking trails, bike paths, gardens, and the meandering Sheboygan River.

"Living in this quaint community has something to offer to everyone, plus it's affordable with existing homes selling between $250,000 and $850,000 during the past year," according to Renee Suscha of Village Realty & Development. "Lots in The Clearings of Kohler range in size from 0.3 to 1.2 acres, and sell for $69,000 to $257,000. Condominiums will also be available soon. This neighborhood is designed for the future, with a nod to the past — a clear understanding of the traditional Midwestern home and lifestyle."

Hokuli'a, Kona, Hawaii

The golf course at Hokuli'a, Kona, Hawai'i
The golf course at Hokuli'a, Kona, Hawai'i

Courtesy of Hokuli'a

Set along the heart of the Kona coast, the private Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course features dramatic ocean views and gently sloping fairways. Its location 400 feet above the shore provides ocean breezes and stunning vistas from every hole.

Hokuli'a is one of Hawaii's most private and spacious residential communities, sloping from sea level to an elevation of 1,250 feet. Generously sized lots, from one to two acres, come with their own agricultural easements for farming and sustainable living. Homes within Phases 1 and 2 average around $2 million, and lots range from $375,000 to $8 million.

DragonRidge Country Club, Henderson, Nevada

The 18-hole, par 72 mountainside course has several water features and views of the Las Vegas Strip from every hole. Golf course architects Jay Morrish and David Druzisky took advantage of the canyons and hillsides of the McCullough Range site, with wide fairways, large greens, and an expansive practice facility. Luxury homesites along the course also feature the stunning location and views.

MacDonald Highlands is home to the DragonRidge Country Club, with luxury homes and homesites. Single-family homes start at around $800,000, and homesites from about $650,000.

Hualālai, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

An aerial view of the Hualalai Golf Club in Ka'upulehu-Kona, Hawaii.
An aerial view of the Hualalai Golf Club in Ka'upulehu-Kona, Hawaii.

Chris Condon/PGA TOUR/Getty Images

The 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature championship course features lush, green fairways contrasting with black lava and ending with stunning oceanfront holes. There's a nine-acre practice area that includes a driving range, chipping and short game area, two sand bunkers, and a putting green.

The Four Seasons Resort Hualālai offers guest rooms, suites, and expansive private villas with pools, spacious balconies, or terraces, including the 5,253-square-foot Presidential Villa. Villas, residences, and homesites are available through Hualālai Realty, with townhome prices starting at around $2.5 million and homes from around $3 million. Amenities include The Hualālai Club, which has golf, a spa, tennis, dining, water sports, and access to the Four Seasons's pools and facilities.

Coachella Valley, Greater Palm Springs, California

This golf capital boasts more than 110 courses, including public and private options, resorts, PGA spots, and more. Eleven cities — nine of which are incorporated — include Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Cathedral City, and Indio.

"From Palm Springs to Indio, there are many courses to choose from if you desire to live in a golf course community. Prices vary by location and home style — attached or detached," said RoseAnne Foxx, CRS, of Bennion Deville Homes. "Currently, 106 golf course properties are available, with the least expensive in Indio at $272,500 and the highest golf course home in a luxury private community being about $11,200,000. Membership prices and homeowner association dues vary."

Mauna Kea Resort, Kohala Coast, Hawaii

Fairway of Mauna Kea hotel golf course on Kohala Coast, Big Island, Hawaii
Fairway of Mauna Kea hotel golf course on Kohala Coast, Big Island, Hawaii

Nik Wheeler/Getty Images

The Mauna Kea Resort is home to two championship 18-hole golf courses: the highly rated Robert Trent Jones-designed Mauna Kea Golf Course and the Arnold Palmer-designed links-style Hapuna Golf Course, both with stunning views and challenging layouts. Two world-class hotels, natural white-sand beaches, and luxury amenities make this a popular area for vacationers and residents alike.

Residential real estate includes a range of options for single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and homesites in a variety of neighborhoods at both the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and Westin Hapuna Beach Resort. The first phase of Hapuna Beach Residences has sold, and the next phase of two- to four-bedroom homes will start at $1.8 million. Owners may join The Club for access to the golf courses, in addition to tennis, water sports, restaurants, pools, and fitness facilities at both hotels.

Costa Palmas, East Cape, Mexico

The world-class championship course, designed by Robert Trent Jones II, features desert and ocean views, dunescapes, and manicured fairways. The walkable links-style course also offers a shorter, six-hole loop for practice, fun, or a casual game. Stop for a bite to eat along the way at Lucha Libre, or drop in to Bouchie's at the putting green for a snack before you tee off.

The 1,000-acre beachfront resort community of Costa Palmas is located 45 minutes from Los Cabos International Airport, along a two-mile stretch of swimmable beach on the Baja Peninsula's East Cape. The Four Seasons Resort Los Cabos at Costa Palmas is an elegant beachfront resort, and Four Seasons residences and villas are available in a variety of locations. Homeowners can join the Beach & Yacht Club and take advantage of the community's adventure concierge, Aventura.

Danzante Bay, Loreto, Mexico

Aerial view of Danzante Bay, Loreto, Baja California, Mexico
Aerial view of Danzante Bay, Loreto, Baja California, Mexico

Courtesy of Danzante Bay Golf Course

The stunning TPC Danzante Bay course was designed by the legendary architect Rees Jones with the goal of providing a challenging and enjoyable golf experience surrounded by the area's natural beauty. To preserve those spectacular vistas, residential development around the course was limited.

The 741-acre resort community, located on the eastern coast of the Baja Peninsula about 200 miles north of Cabo, features dramatic views of the Sierra de la Giganta range and Sea of Cortez. In addition to the golf course, the community is home to four restaurants, five pools, and the award-winning Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa. The "Baja contemporary" real estate offerings include four predesigned plans ranging from three- to six-bedroom residences, between 2,900 and 6,000 square feet. Home prices start at $1.5 million, while lots start at $375,000. Owners enjoy a private beach club, access to the resort's fitness facilities, and special rates at the spa and restaurants.

Cove Club, Cabo del Sol, Mexico

The Cove Club Course, formerly the Ocean Course, was designed by Jack Nicklaus and is ranked among the top 10 courses in Mexico. Recently renovated and enhanced with new amenities, Cove Club is a private course, reserved solely for members and their guests. The new luxurious and fun golf experience includes two chocitas (little shacks) for delicious snacks and beverages, as well as a classic Kombi van roaming the course with tequila cocktails.

The Four Seasons Resort and Residences Cabo San Lucas at Cabo del Sol, set along 50 beachfront acres, will be located within the exclusive Cove Club. It has an anticipated completion date of mid-2023. The project will encompass a 96-room resort, pools, restaurants, and 61 ocean-view residences starting at $4.8 million.

Living options at the Cove Club, eventually to number 375, include residences, homesites, and villas in neighborhoods that take advantage of amenities such as Sea of Cortez views, the Beach Club, Agave Park, and the golf course. Prices range between $4 million and more than $28 million. Owners have the opportunity to join the 500-acre private club, which has it own beach access, dining, and golf, as well as access to the Four Seasons resort amenities.

Punta Mita, Nayarit, Mexico

Looking out at the ocean from the pool at Punta Mita
Looking out at the ocean from the pool at Punta Mita

Courtesy of Punta Mita

Members can choose between two championship courses — Pacifico and Bahia — both with beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean and Banderas Bay. Open exclusively to Club Punta Mita members and guests of the Four Seasons and St. Regis resorts, the Jack Nicklaus Signature designs offer a wide range of tee boxes to accommodate players of all skill levels.

The 1,500-acre resort and residential community is located on a private peninsula surrounded by beaches and tropical landscaping. With 18 different communities, residences include single-family homes, villas, and condominiums. Townhomes and condos start at around $1.6 million, and villas at around $1.3 million. Ocean-view homesites are also available.