In the excitement of an exploratory visit to a golf community, those of us searching for a golf home may ask all the right questions about financial stability, membership dues, homeowner association activities, and pace of play on the golf course; and we may kick the tires on the golf course, the fitness center, the walking and bike trails –- and forget to check one necessity for most of us, whether our cell phone will work in the community.
Cell phone coverage maps mislead. There may actually be coverage by my cell phone company, for example, in Pawleys Island, where I own a vacation home, but the signal is so weak at times that I have to leave the condo and find a good spot in the driveway in order to be able to talk and be heard. At the best of times, I have to almost press myself against the sliding glass doors in the back of the condo in order to pick up any signal. Forget the pub at Pawleys Plantation, where checking emails over a beer after a round of golf is impossible (unless the wait staff recalls the wi-fi password).
I have visited golf communities, especially those that are at high elevations in rural locations, where the dreaded "No Service" notification pops up on my phone once I am through the gate. I remember one salesperson many years ago pointing out the cell tower on a mountain top at The Cliffs at Glassy and proudly declaring that developer at the time, Jim Anthony, had dedicated a prime patch of real estate in the community to make cell phone service available to his residents. Sales offices know cell coverage is an important issue for most of us, but they won't typically bring it up unless you do, or unless they can say that coverage is strong for all the major carriers.
When you visit a golf community, make sure you check your phone at different locations within the community. If you cannot raise a signal, make sure to ask the salesperson what plans there are for better service and what carriers generate the best signal. Some golf communities advertise how you can "disconnect" from the world when you live there. But that should be up to you, not up to lousy cell phone coverage.