7 affordable golf course homes

Play all year for less than $300K

You can pay an arm and a driver for a gorgeous home on a year-round golf course. Or you could consider one of these seven properties from Florida to California where tee times come with the keys at a more affordable price. Our suggested properties cost between $209,000 and $295,000. All are single-family homes in planned communities built around golf courses and a golfing lifestyle. In fact, most of these properties back right onto a green or fairway. Although they aren't loaded with upscale amenities, you'll find a few luxury touches such as fireplaces, whirlpool tubs, wood floors, granite counter tops and stainless-steel appliances. Mountain vistas add to the ambience of several homes, and most are surprisingly spacious — more than half come with 2,000 square feet of living space. Whether you're looking for a retirement spot, a vacation home or even a place to raise your kids, these properties are within lots of golfers' budgets. Let's take a look at them, traveling east to west across the country…

North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

4909 Tall Grass Dr.
$249,900

The Barefoot Resort & Golf community is a golf lover's dream. It includes four courses designed by Greg Norman, Pete Dye, Tom Fazio and Davis Love III. Whoever buys this two-bedroom, two-bath home can purchase a membership to the Norman, Fazio and Love courses for a one-time transfer fee of $2,000. (You can play the Dye course, too; you just have to pay a daily fee to do so.) And that's just the start of the amenities. All owners are also members in the Barefoot Residence Club, with pool, fitness center and tennis courts, and the Barefoot Beach Cabana on the ocean. This home doesn't back up onto one of the golf courses, and there aren't any luxury features to tout. But it's relatively new and spacious with more than 2,000 square feet on a single floor and an attached garage. There's new paint, tile and carpet throughout. Association fees are $124 a month.

Phil Kennedy: Century 21 Barefoot Realty (843) 450-8061

Waleska, Georgia

130 Wolverine Drive
$209,000

The cheapest home in our slide show is also the biggest at 2,586 square feet, with four bedrooms, two full baths, a half bath and attached garage. You'll find pine floors throughout and those highly prized granite counter tops and stainless-steel appliances in the kitchen. The master suite has a walk-in closet with separate vanities in the bathroom, a Jacuzzi tub and separate shower. Although the backyard has trees for some privacy, it does adjoin the fourth fairway of the Highlands Golf Course. A large deck looks out on both. Located in the Lake Arrowhead gated community, it's surrounded by mountains a little less than 50 miles north of downtown Atlanta. Is that too far to commute in Georgia traffic? You'll have to decide. The homeowners association fee is $1,560 a year and includes discounted greens fees of $39 to $46 for 18 holes, compared with $48 to $55 for non-property owners.

Becky Babcock: ERA Sunrise Realty (678) 879-4032

North Fort Myers, Florida

6450 PGA Drive
$229,900

This four-bedroom, two-bath home is located on the 16th tee of the Riverbend Golf Course. The home comes with a wood-burning fireplace for those chilly winter nights — yeah, even in south Florida — plus a wide deck off the back of the home so you can watch the game go by. The 2,188-square-foot home was built in 1988, and the exterior reflects that era's style. But the roof, upstairs porch balcony, kitchen and master bathroom have all been redone, so it doesn't feel like an '80s home inside. Riverbend's modest association fees of $163 a year don't cover the cost of course membership, but you can join for $80 a month or pay per round — $40 for 18 holes with cart. If you're into boating, the community also has docks for lease on the Caloosahatchee River, about eight miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico.

Teresa Hall-Gordley, RightChoice Realty (239) 204-3390

Alto, New Mexico

107 Crown Ridge Rd.
$285,000

This three-bedroom, three-bath home comes with membership to not one but two 18-hole golf courses. The home is part of the Alto Lakes Golf and Country Club and is off the 16th tee box of the Alto Lakes Course. The annual $2,400 homeowners fee includes entry onto this private course and the Outlaw at Alto Lakes (members golf free; greens fees for guests run from $37 for nine holes up to $82 for 18 holes). The home provides more than 2,300 square feet of living space and features a new roof, flooring and expanded dining area. It's definitely the most remote property in our slide show, about 180 highway miles southeast of Albuquerque. It's also the highest, 7,300 feet up in the Sacramento Mountains. But with temps reaching the low 50s during the winter months, and skiing just 12 miles away, you could conceivably hit the slopes in the morning and the links the same afternoon.

Joseph Zagone, Century 21 Aspen Real Estate (575) 635-4749

Mesa, Arizona

10902 E. Medina Avenue
$285,000

This two-bedroom, two-bath home in Sunland Springs Village is the epitome of Arizona living with its xeriscaping instead of a lawn and a Spanish-style tile roof. There are tile floors throughout, a vaulted ceiling in the living room and honey oak cabinets in the kitchen. The north-facing patio overlooks one of the three 9-hole executive golf courses and the Superstition Mountains. Since Sunland is a 55-and-over community, it's not surprising that this is the smallest home in our slide show, with just under 1,500 square feet. But, as with most retirement developments, residents enjoy a long list of shared amenities, from heated swimming pools and tennis courts to an assisted-living facility. Another bonus: Mesa is only about a 15-minute drive from Phoenix, so this golf course home also offers all the advantages of big-city life. Homeowners fees are $625 a year, and it costs $15 to play nine holes without a cart.

Bill Barker, Farnsworth Realty & Management Company (602) 809-2856

Henderson, Nevada

Tuscany Village
$251,990

If you're looking for golf course living a stone's throw from Sin City, how about one built to your specific needs? That's what you'd be getting in Tuscany Village, which is right next door to Lake Las Vegas, where Celine Dion lives. What you get is a custom residence with 1,838 square feet, three bedrooms, two baths and a two-car garage. Pick your favorite flooring, cabinetry and counter tops. Upgrades such as a three-car garage, third bathroom or fourth bedroom are available. For $251,990, you won't get a lot with a golf course view. That costs an extra $25,000 to $75,000. But keeping your final cost below $300,000 should be doable, even if you splurge a little. Although the Tuscany Village Golf Club is open to the public, homeowners get a deep discount off their greens fees, paying $25 to $60 per round instead of the $40 to $150 nonresidents are charged.

The Tonnesen Team, Prudential Americana Group Realtors (702) 985-7654

Palm Desert, California

76913 California Drive
$292,000

You'll find this three-bedroom ranch home in the Palm Desert Country Club, just a two-hour drive from Los Angeles. It's the oldest and priciest of the homes in our slide show, but what a view. The hub of this 1,696-square-foot home is a great room with fireplace that's flanked by windows looking onto a covered patio. And the covered patio looks out onto the 14th fairway and Santa Rosa Mountains.
The kitchen is large, with a breakfast bar that encourages the great-room feel. The house also comes with an inside laundry room and attached two-car garage. While you won't pay any homeowners association fees, you do need to pay to play the par-72 course, which is open to the public. You can either pay $35 to $99 per round, or become a member of the club for $5,400 a year and enjoy unlimited free golf.

Camille Pfeifer, Windermere Real Estate Coachella Valley (760) 235-4320