You’ve worked hard for decades and finally decided that it’s time to spend your days doing exactly what you want. Welcome to retirement! Do you dream of teeing off at dawn or putting until the sun dips down past the horizon? Then retiring to one of the many golf communities in Florida could be for you. With plenty of golf course communities in Florida to choose from, this guide is here to help you find the right one for your lifestyle and budget.
Over 55 Golf Communities in Florida
Nearly 150,000 people aged over 60 moved to the Sunshine State for their retirement in 2019, so it’s hardly surprising that many of the golf communities in the area are for 55+ residents only. No matter which community you choose to call home, you can guarantee one thing–quiet and like-minded neighbors. Relocating to a new town, or even a new state, as an empty nester can seem like a daunting experience. But you’ll find that, when you’re living in a golf community, you’ll quickly become friends with the familiar faces that you see out on the greens every day. And the fun goes beyond the golf course too. Many communities have extensive amenities like swimming pools, tennis courts, and clubhouses with spas, fitness centers, restaurants, and bars. Spend time with your active adult neighbors and enjoy doing whatever you choose, with people just like you.
The Best 55+ Retirement Communities in Florida
When you’re looking for the best golf communities in Florida, there’s no better place to start than the On Top of the World community. Located in Ocala, residents can use any of the three golf courses on-site, along with hundreds of other activities. If you’d prefer to be closer to Orlando, The Villages is roughly one hour’s drive away and consistently rated the number one choice for retirees in the nation. There are nearly 700 golf holes spread across 54 courses. It’s an ideal destination for golf lovers over 55. Del Webb Stone Creek is another excellent location, close to the On Top of the World community in Ocala. Built with the outdoors in mind, this community sits on 167 acres of beautiful Floridian landscape. The challenging golf course will keep even the most experienced golfer on their toes! Read more about how to choose the right 55+ community in Florida.
New Construction Golf Communities
You know that Florida is the destination for you, but you’re struggling to find a home that grabs your attention. Consider looking at new constructions, rather than an already-built property. Both On Top of the World and Stone Creek have availability for new houses and there are several great reasons for keeping this option open. While an existing home is ready to move into straight away, it’s unlikely that you’ll find the house of your dreams exactly as-is. Any renovations that you’d like to do can quickly eat into your purchase budget and may not even be possible with the home’s floor plan. By building a new construction, you’re able to fully customize every aspect of your home. From layout to paint color, fixtures to appliances, every piece of your new property can be designed to your specifications and requirements. And with everything in your home being brand new, you’ll be under warranty for years to come. That leaves more of your retirement money for you rather than home repairs.
If safety and security are a primary concern for you, gated golf cart communities in Florida are an excellent choice. Many of these locations, such as On Top of the World, Stone Creek, Oak Run, and Ocala Palms, all feature 24/7 surveillance. Gated communities allow residents to feel safe in the knowledge that only other residents are able to freely enter and exit the community. Guests usually check it at a fixed entry point. These tight-knit hubs allow you to get to know your neighbors and feel fully integrated as soon as you move in. You’ll still have all the privacy that you’re looking for, without having to worry about the outside world. If resale value is on your mind, the perks of gated communities often give properties a boost when it comes time to sell.
Multiple Golf Course Communities
Why stop at one course when you can have many? There are several golf course communities in Ocala that offer more than one course option to their residents. On Top of the World features three separate courses, with two exclusively open to community residents only. Clinics and lessons with PGA and LPGA professionals are available across all of the locations, along with driving ranges, practice facilities, and a pro shop. After a day on the fairways, you can take some time to unwind in the Candler Hills clubhouse, with stunning views overlooking the course. Del Webb Spruce Creek is also another great option, with four 9-hole courses to choose from within this gated community. There’s a large clubhouse with a fitness center, swimming pools, tennis courts, and more for those days when you’re happy to put down the clubs a little earlier.
Resort Living Communities
Who doesn’t want to live like they’re on vacation all year round? It’s all possible with a resort-style golf course community. Homes in many of the best Ocala retirement communities are not only close to the tee, but plenty of other amenities. Ocala Palms gives you everything that you’d expect from a country-club lifestyle. The luxury clubhouse is home to both indoor and outdoor pools, a spa, sun deck, fitness center, tennis and bocce ball courts, walking and biking trails. There’s even an arts and crafts studio, along with a sewing studio for all of your crafting activities. The community at Stone Creek offers similar amenities, with an additional focus on helping you to maintain a bustling social life. There’s a ballroom and meeting room, a billiards room, and a library with an internet cafe to connect you with family and friends around the world. Meanwhile, you can find everything you would expect from a luxury golf community at Oak Run. This resort-style location offers an Olympic-sized swimming pool, spa facilities, a ballroom, and catering kitchen across their four premier clubhouse buildings. On Top of the World gives you the opportunity to explore much-loved and new hobbies, thanks to their state-of-the-art recreational facilities. Beyond their tennis courts, swimming pools, and trails, you can find a beautiful cultural center that regularly hosts performances and events. The education center offers hundreds of courses in interest areas like cooking, arts and crafts, and even dancing. There’s even a weekly farmer’s market for you to pick up locally-grown produce for your next meal!
Cost of Living in a Florida Golf Course Community
It all sounds quite idyllic, doesn’t it? There’s a reason that the Florida real estate market is booming and thousands of retirees are heading south for their golden years in the sun. As a result, there’s a growing strain on the housing market and property can be in short supply. This means that houses get snapped up quickly, and usually for higher than expected prices. But don’t lose hope. There’s still room for folks with all kinds of budgets to relocate and call Florida their new home. You may be able to find properties close to the $100,000 if you’re really on a budget, but expect to pay anywhere from this up to the mid $400,000’s for a property in an Ocala golf community. Both Oak Run and Ocala Palms are more suited for lower budgets, with houses typically in the low $100,000s to mid $300,000s. Both On Top of the World and Stone Creek do have some properties below $100,000, but also run as high as the mid $400,000s. Remember to factor in HOA fees when budgeting for living expenses. In luxury communities like these, fees take care of essential maintenance that keeps your new home looking beautiful. Oak Run and On Top of the World have monthly fees around $160-175, whereas Ocala Palms and Stone Creek are roughly $200-225.
Nearby Equestrian Communities
It isn’t only Ocala’s golf courses that make it a popular destination for resort living–it’s also the horse capital of the world! If you or your partner have a love for all things equestrian, there are several local communities that offer riding and horse boarding facilities. Not sure how to choose between one of the equestrian or golf communities in Florida? Finding a property in an equestrian community with a nearby golf course could be the ideal compromise. Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club features an 18-hole championship golf course, nestled alongside 6-miles of stunning horse trails, an all-weather training arena, and state-of-the-art stables.
Golf Courses Near Ocala
When you fancy a change of scenery and want to explore beyond your community, there are hundreds of other golf courses throughout the area. Golf is deeply embedded in the culture of everyday life in Ocala, and once you visit the picturesque courses, you’ll soon see why. The Country Club of Ocala is a private 18-hole course, with first-class facilities including swimming, tennis, and dining. Both Eagle Ridge Golf Club and Stonecrest Golf are semi-private courses, offering both members and guests access to some of the most stunning fairways in Central Florida. Looking to up your golf game? The Country Club at Silver Spring Shores public course was designed to challenge golfers of all skill levels with severe greens and water across their course.
Start Planning Your Florida Relocation Today
If a big move to Florida to celebrate your newfound freedom is on the horizon, it’s time to begin the search for your dream home. Learn more about the 55+ communities in Ocala and browse current listings to see if your next home is on the market. If you’d like more information about Florida’s golf communities and for help in finding the right one for you, contact a real estate agent today.