Love Golf so Much You’re Thinking of Moving to Florida to Play All Year Round?
Here’s what you should know before moving to Florida because you love golf:
- Florida’s weather is usually amazing during the winter, perfect for playing golf. However, what is the price you pay for that great 3 months of glorious warm winter golf weather, if you move to Florida to live there full-time? Up to 9 months of hot humid weather the rest of the year. Be prepared to sweat profusely even if you’re just sitting in a cart in the shade.
- Florida is the most traveled to vacation destination in the world, especially during the winter. Because of supply and demand, the greens fees are of course the highest when the weather is nice. Expect to pay top dollar to play golf anywhere in Florida during the winter.
- Because many of those 100 million annual visitors to Florida flock to the state during the winter, expect the golf courses to be packed. The parking lots will be packed, the clubhouse crowded, standing in long lines is the norm. You’ll wait to tee off, and to make every shot after that, from the 1rst hole to the 18th. Plan on being there all day with most of your time spent waiting. Paying top buck to to be frustrated waiting makes you thankful for alcohol.
- There’s a growing trend in Florida toward banning all alcohol on the course due to liability.
- Because the courses get so crowed during the winter, there’s a also a trend toward previously public courses going private or semi private. Many semi-private courses only let members play when the weather is nice, like during the winter, to lessen the overcrowding. But they will allow the public to play when the weather is so hot and humid it makes playing almost unbearable. They do chop the rates for the mad dogs and Englishmen willing to play during the rest of the year, to help pay to keep the grass from dying out until next winter.
Of course you can become a member somewhere and avoid the worst crowding during the winter. Just as golfers descend on Florida for the winter, Floridians who can afford it leave for cooler golf courses in northern states when the weather gets too hot for them in the sunshine state. Now that I’ve read you the Florida golf reality riot act, lets move onto the best places to live in Florida for golfers.
Here’s the Top 5 Golf Towns to Live in Florida + Videos!
#1 Naples, Florida
Not only does Naples have more golf courses than anywhere else in Florida, it also rates high in any quality of life factor that’s measured. One problem many areas with lots of golf opportunities in Florida have, is they suffer from overall high crime rates. Sure, the links and your neighborhood may be safe but what happens when you leave that bubble? You don’t have to worry about that in Naples. It’s one of the safest towns in all of Florida. Its a small town but there’s no lack of amenities. The schools are better and job opportunities more plentiful than most of Florida. Naples has nice beaches right on the warm clear waters of the Gulf of Mexico too.
There is a price to pay to live in a golf paradise by the beach. Naples has a very high cost of living. The real estate here is some of the highest priced in Florida. If you can afford the cost of admission to this town, it should be at the top of the list of places to consider in Florida if you’re a golf enthusiast.
Learn more in this video about Naples Florida
#2 Boca Raton
Boca Raton has almost as many golf courses as Naples and it’s crime rate is almost as low, and it’s location on the Atlantic means you have access to beaches as well. Where Boca excels is in it’s proximity to big city amenities, it’s not that far to Miami by way of I-95. Boca has excellent schools compared to most of Florida. Employment possibilities are very good and get better with commuting.
Boca Raton has everything people move to Florida for, and less of what you don’t want like crime. While not quite as costly as Naples, it would be a struggle for most people to live in this golfers paradise by the shore. If you want access to all that the amenities that southeast Florida offers, Boca may be your best place to live for golf in Florida.
Please Note: We do not recommend Boca Raton Florida any longer because it’s property crime rate is now higher than the national average according to FBI public reporting. We often see property rates increase and then violent crime rates follow increase as well.
Yes, we have a Boca Raton Video for you too.
#3 Bonita Springs
Located just north of Naples our #1 choice, Bonita Springs has 21 Golf courses and is located right on the Gulf Coast. In fact, Bonita made our best Florida beach town list for 2015. The area is safer and ranks higher than average for Florida overall in all quality of life factors. Most people will find Bonita Springs affordable compared with most of Florida, but it offers the golfer more courses to explore.
Considering all this area has to offer in addition to golf, this may be the most affordable chunk of golfer paradise in Florida because of the high quality of life enjoyed here.
A Bonita Springs area video.
Update: Sarasota is no longer recommended because the city’s property and violent crime rate are both far higher than the national average. Crime rates lower than the national average are required to remain a “best” place on this website.
Sarasota ranks #5 in number of courses in Florida but Sarasota is much more affordable than the first 2 picks, although it’s still not among the most affordable places to live in Florida. Sarasota is known as Florida’s center of art and culture, and Siesta Key Beach has been named as one of the most beautiful in the world.
Sarasota’s schools overall are better than average and it’s job prospects are about average for the state. Sarasota’s overall crime rate is high, but I choose it anyway because I feel most of the crime occurs in well defined areas that can easily be avoided. I’ve also personally spent lots of time in Sarasota and never felt concerned or threatened. Sarasota has a lot to offer the golfer, on and off the course. If you are looking anywhere along Florida’s Gulf coast, you must take a look at Sarasota.
See Sarasota in this video.
#5 Punta Gorda
Punta Gorda is about an hour south of Sarasota and almost an hour north of Naples, but is far different than either. Punta Gorda is very affordable compared to the above towns. Just about anyone can find a way to live here. Punta Gorda has a small town feel to it. Its not right on the coast, but it’s right on a river near the coast and Gulf beaches. There is a large riverfront park and enclosed pier with shops and restaurants and the site of many annual festivals. There are lots of golf courses to choose from for the area’s size.
Punta Gorda has a good education system and decent job prospects. Together with Rotonda, about a half hour away, the area offers homes on golf courses that are more affordable than in most of Florida. If you’re an avid golfer looking for more affordable Florida options, this would be the area to look at.
Explore Punta Gorda Florida from the comfort of your chair with this video.
Ron Stack “That Best Places Guy”
- Want to be certain if moving to Florida is right for you or your family? You’ll know after reading the Florida Move Guide.