Southwest Florida is known as one of the top golf destinations on the planet. There are over 150 golf courses just in Lee and Collier counties alone and some of the best golf communities in the country.
Whether you are looking for a world class, private-equity country club or a more economical bundled golf community, Naples, Fort Myers, Bonita Springs and Estero have an extraordinary amount of golf options.
There are few places that exist in the U.S. where the golfing lifestyle is as prominent than it is in SW Florida. Naples has the second most golf courses per capita than any other city. Fort Myers, Estero and Bonita Springs all have an extraordinary variety of golf course neighborhoods at a broad range of price points.
Master-planned Golf Communities
Most of the golf courses in Lee and Collier counties are private, member-only clubs. There are public courses spread out over the area, many very good ones, but these number far less than the private golf clubs.
The private clubs are generally built in master-planned residential developments that vary in luxury and price range but all seem to be amenity-rich, thoughtfully-planned neighborhoods that have become the hallmark of Florida living. Most of these don’t just offer golf. They offer tennis and pickleball and even bocce ball.
Many communities have well-stocked fitness centers and gyms, and elaborate clubhouses and dining options. Resort style community pools and bars.
It is very important to keep in mind that there are two main type of private golf clubs in this part of Florida. These types are private equity country clubs and bundled golf clubs.
Private Equity Country Clubs
Private equity golf memberships is where each member owns a small piece of the country club, or a small piece of equity. The member will pay an upfront initiation fee that can range from $10,000 to $300,000. Each country club will have a maximum number of members and once they fill that membership it will become “closed” to new members and a new member waiting list be created.
Private equity golf is the most exclusive golf membership type and also the most expensive. But generally speaking, private equity provides more amenities and provides lower frequency golf, allowing members to have more flexibility when it comes to golf.
Bundled or Non-Equity Golf Communities
Bundled golf is different from equity golf in that golf membership is included in your real estate purchase. When you buy a house in a bundled golf community, you automatically have membership to the golf club. Keep in mind that there may be an upfront initiation fee for club membership, but there will certainly be mandatory fees that cover the golf, clubhouse and other amenities such as tennis and pool, and they are built into the monthly or quarterly HOA.
A bundled community should not be considered by a non-golfer because they will be paying for the golf regardless.
A negative of a bundled community to be aware of is the fact that often these communities will have a much higher frequency of golf play and it may be more difficult to find a tee-time and the golf rounds will take longer than equity clubs. For example, if a bundled community has 900 homes, there are most likely 900 golf memberships. More when factoring in couples.
Explore the many different golf options and there is certain to be a neighborhood that fits your needs and budget perfectly.