If you had to give one piece of advice for someone looking to buy a home in a golf community what would it be?
Make sure that the developer has a track record of success and is going to commit to the vision of what they initially present.
What are the most important features to get right when designing golf community homes?
These days, I think they should have a more contemporary aesthetic as opposed to traditional, which was the norm when I started Discovery. They should have big windows that take advantage of the views, ideally of the golf course, and have spacious indoor and outdoor areas where families and friends can gather and spend time together like a nice-sized patio, a family room with comfortable, oversized couches and a dining room with a table that accommodates large groups. It’s also great to have an open-plan home where the kitchen and family room are one big room, since these are the two areas where everyone tends to spend the most time. And the homes shouldn’t be too close to each other so that everyone has enough privacy.
In your opinion, how have golf communities changed over the last decade?
They’ve gone from golf being the only consideration to being simply one of many drivers. There is now a greater emphasis on cuisine, the nongolf outdoor pursuits and activities, the family-friendliness and the safety concerns addressed by being in a gated community.
In a great golf community, there has to be something that’s appealing to each family member. We have a lot of people living in our communities who don’t golf. They’re attracted to the other things Discovery clubs offer.
Also, the demographic skews much younger. In the past, golf clubs attracted a lot of retirees, but now, there are a lot of people in their mid-30s to mid-40s enjoying them with their families that include young children.
Are golf community residents different than your usual homeowner?
I think that they’re inherently more social. They’re looking to connect with other people on a regular basis and love the idea of a sense of community. I’m not saying other homeowners are antisocial, but they may not care as much about the social offerings and accessibility to the lineup of activities.