During the winter, two or three customers per week ask us for help in identifying a golf community that might suit them. (They fill out our free Golf Home Questionnaire.) But like clockwork in April, when sunshine and warmer temperatures assert themselves up North and golf courses there begin to open for play, dreams of warm winter golf fade. Typically only one customer per week contacts us in the spring.
We understand. We are golfers too, and as I write this, I am looking forward to a few rounds in the coming two weeks at excellent golf courses in Connecticut. I expect those golf courses will be almost at midseason form, with evenings still cool enough that if green superintendents want to cut the putting surfaces down, we should have some slick greens to putt on. Springs and summers, of course, are generally a lot cooler in New England than those in the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida, except for the higher elevations of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
In short, there is no good reason to leave the upper regions of the nation for a vacation in the South during the summer –- unless you are considering a home where the weather is warmer in the winter. In that case, there may be no better time to go South to look for your future home than in the heat of the summer.
First, you will want to understand just how hot your potential new area gets in the summer. Florida summers scare a lot of people off, but if you can’t tell the difference between an average high of 92 degrees in Florida and a high of 89 in South Carolina or Georgia -– and you can tolerate that kind of heat -- then your choices open up wide. Second, depending on the community, you might find yourself a tad lonely in the summer if that community comprises many second-home owners who head North during the hot months. Sure, the golf courses in the hot South will be easy to access, and local restaurants will have plenty of open tables; but if you are the sociable kind, you could be put off by the isolation. On the other hand, you may look on it as a reprieve.
The Kids are all right...or not
Some couples, having focused their prior 25-plus years on raising children, may look forward to a community comprising mostly retirees. But we have visited a number of such communities in the summer and found them to resemble summer camps for children; indeed, some of those communities actually organize summer camps for the grandchildren of their residents. If you plan to have visiting grandchildren of your own during summers and don’t mind a couple of months of squeals and splashing in your community’s pools, a visit in the summer will set you straight on what to expect.
The summer heat in the South can play havoc with turf conditions; it is a good idea to check out how courses in your target communities weather the heat. If you are used to sleeping in and playing golf in the late morning, plan to amend your starting time in summer in the South; or make sure to stuff multiple bottles of cold water into your golf cart (you won’t be walking!). There is a reason why green fee rates drop precipitously in summer and why some private golf courses, in Florida especially, drop their restrictions and welcome public play for July and August. During an exploratory visit in the summer, test your mettle by playing during the heat of the day. You likely will do it only once.
We have established excellent working relationships with dozens of top golf communities in the South and would be pleased to help arrange for you to visit on a Discovery Package that typically includes lodging, golf, temporary club membership and, often, a meal or two for deeply discounted prices. I’d also be happy to provide some complimentary advice on which golf communities in the South best suit your lifestyle. Simply fill out our free Golf Home Questionnaire and we will get back to you quickly with some initial recommendations. To date, I have visited nearly 200 golf communities and played their golf courses, a few times in temperatures bumping up against 100 degrees. In more ways than one, I know which golf communities in the South are hot.