Most popular communities at Golf Community Reviews
The following are the most popular communities ranked by how many times readers to our blog site, GolfCommunityReviews.com, have accessed the real estate listings for each. Please note: Although we began posting links to our real estate partners’ listings in April, some of the following communities were posted up to two months later and may be slightly more popular than their rankings suggest. You can access listings for 65 communities across the Southeast in the Golf Homes for Sale section of our web site.
1. Greenville Country Club, Greenville, SC
2. Pebble Creek, Greenville, SC
3. Champion Hills, Hendersonville, NC
4. Cliffs Communities, upstate SC*
5. Daniel Island, SC
6. Mountain Air, Burnsville, NC
7. Thornblade Club, Greer, SC
8. Savannah Lakes Village, McCormick, SC
9. Green Valley, Greenville, SC
10. The Landings, Savannah, GA Wintergreen Resort, Nellyford, VA
12. Pawleys Plantation, Pawleys Island, SC
13. St. James Plantation, Southport, NC
14. Prince Creek, Murrells Inlet, SC
15. Haig Point, Daufuskie Island, SC
16. Reynolds Plantation, Greensboro, GA
17. River Club, Litchfield Beach, SC
18. Governors Club, Chapel Hill, NC
19. Seabrook Island, SC
20. Currahee Club, Toccoa, GA
21. Ford Plantation, Richmond Hill, GA Keowee Key, Seneca, SC
Greenville, SC, top of mind for our audience; two communities stand out
Sniffing for bargains, and finding them in the Carolinas and Georgia
Since April, we have been offering those who visit our blog site, GolfCommunityReviews.com, connections to select real estate brokers working in some of the most popular and best golf community areas in the Southeast. In that time, we have put a counter on the number of times readers of our blog site click through to the listings of properties in the 65 top golf communities we feature.
To date, there have been 3,000 visits to our Realtors’ listings, or an average of about 46 for each of the 65 communities. But there is nothing average about the results. By a considerable margin, two golf communities in Greenville, SC –- Greenville Country Club and Pebble Creek –- have garnered the most attention from our audience, with 97 and 96 click-throughs, respectively, to the real estate professional we work with in the area, Wanda Reed. The other golf communities in the Greenville area -- Thornblade (61), Green Valley (59) and the Cliffs Communities of Glassy, Mountain Park and Valley combined (69) -– all beat the average.
Greenville most popular by wide measure
We have long been fans of Greenville for its strong economic foundation, ever since BMW decided to locate its North American headquarters and manufacturing in nearby Spartanburg, attracting other new businesses to the area to supply the factory with components and to provide the thousands of additional employees with services. We also admire the thriving arts and culture scene in Greenville, as well as a group of excellent restaurants. All this provides the city with a sophisticated air that not even the ever-popular Asheville, NC, just an hour away, matches. (We expect some pushback on that from Asheville fans.)
We are not surprised at the popularity of Greenville Country Club, which represents one of the best bargains in private golf club membership in the South. Greenville comprises two golf clubs separated by about three miles and both inside the city limits. The Riverside course is surrounded by an old neighborhood of mostly modest homes and was revised a few years ago by Brian Silva, a devotee of early 20th Century golf architects. Those who have played Riverside since the redesign, including yours truly, see a lot of classic touches in the layout, and some of the cognoscenti have whispered the name of the revered Seth Raynor when describing Riverside. But the most oohs and ahhs locally are reserved for the Robert Trent Jones masterpiece at Greenville Country Club’s Chanticleer course, which runs through an upscale city neighborhood and may be the best course in South Carolina not on or near an ocean. (The SC Golf Panel, of which your editor is a member, ranked Chanticleer #4 in the state in its last comprehensive ranking in 2014, just behind, respectively, the Ocean Course at Kiawah, May River in Bluffton and Sage Valley in Graniteville.) For around $20,000 in initiation fees and dues that are not outrageous, Greenville Country Club delivers a duo of golf courses second to few.
Two golf courses, no initiation fee
Pebble Creek also features two golf courses, one private and one public, designed by the respected Tom Jackson, who lives in the adjacent neighborhood. Both clubs are available under the umbrella of one free initiation fee and annual dues that are a comparable bargain. Prices of the surrounding homes mirror the bargain nature of the golf membership, with the sweet spot in the high $200s to the mid $300s. For those who enjoy the company of others on the golf course, the “Golden Boys” men’s group is well established and easy to join.
In addition to Pebble Creek, our readers have radar for other great buys in golf community real estate and clubs. For example, Savannah Lakes Village (63 click-throughs), the sprawling golf community with two fine courses beside Lake Thurmond in South Carolina, features homes that begin around $200,000 and a golf membership that is included with the $100 amenity fee the homeowner’s association charges. Dues are modest as well, and if you are seeking an environment far from noise, air pollution and traffic, Savannah Lakes is worth a serious look.
Bargain golf, bargain homes in Myrtle Beach
The Myrtle Beach, SC, area would seem to have an unfair marketing advantage over other geographies given that the Grand Strand has been a magnet for vacationing golfers since the 1960s. Today the area boasts more than 100 layouts within a 90-mile stretch, and Pawleys Plantation (55 clicks) and Prince Creek (53) are among the most popular, given their south-of-Myrtle Beach location (less traffic, more than a dozen excellent golf courses in the area, fine restaurants and five supermarkets within 4.5 miles). Pawleys Plantation sports a popular Jack Nicklaus layout that explodes onto the marsh on the back nine (the marsh separates the community from the island and ocean; ocean breezes typically affect shots on the incoming nine). Prince Creek provides bargain homes –- many of them new or of recent vintage –- next door to the respected TPC Myrtle Beach course, designed by Tom Fazio. You have to work hard to find a home in Prince Creek priced above $350,000, and yet the community is within five minutes or so of the beach.
Popularity spans mountains and coast
The other communities we list and that surpass average interest among our readers include Champion Hills, which features a Tom Fazio layout that funnels its way through the mountains near Hendersonville, NC; Daniel Island, a planned community with 36 holes of Rees Jones and Fazio golf separated from the rest of the world, but a mere 20 minutes from Charleston, the favorite southern city of most who visit it; Haig Point on Daufuskie Island, SC, reached only by a ferry that is expensive to maintain but worth it if you want peace and quiet and a terrific 29-hole Rees Jones layout that compares favorably with the more famous Harbour Town links across the Calibogue Sound (the two extra holes can add or reduce the challenge, depending on how the greens superintendent is feeling on any given day); Mountain Air in Burnsville, NC, a half-hour north of Asheville, whose top-of-the-mountain golf course is unique in that it is bisected by a working airstrip (and the views from the course are about the best in the east); Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, GA, making a giant comeback after white knight Met Life swooped in to purchase and manage its six golf courses and multiple lush amenities; and St. James Plantation, big enough to have its own zip code near Southport, SC, and offering plenty to keep its residents on site, including golf on four courses and a beach club just a few minutes out the back gate.
Of course, the search for a golf home that suits your own personal criteria should not be guided by what communities attract others. We have visited virtually all the golf communities we list and can vouch for their quality and maintenance standards. If you have questions about any of them, please contact us and we will get back to you right away with the lowdown.
Larry Gavrich Founder & Editor Home On The Course, LLC