Why do People Choose to Live in Golf Course Communities?


  • Sarah Nicholls
  • John L. Crompton


real estate development, golf courses, open space


A substantial proportion of golf courses constructed in recent years are associated with real estate projects. An underlying premise of these developments is that the course creates a premium for the lot values and facilitates a more rapid sale of these lots. The study posed three research questions: (i) Did residents believe that they were paying a premium to live in a golf subdivision and, if so, how much did they estimate that premium to be? (ii) What proportion of households included at least one person who was a regular golfer on the subdivision’s course? and (iii) What features of the development persuaded residents to pay the premium to live there if many of them were non-golfers?

All 707 homeowners in the subdivision were surveyed and 466 (66%) responded. In response to the first research question, most of those whose homes abutted the course recognized they paid a proximate premium. The most striking feature of the responses was their range. Nearly 59% of residents estimated the premium they paid to be 20% or less, while there were 15% who believed they paid a premium of 40% or more. However, over 60% of those who did not live adjacent to the golf course believed that they paid no premium whatsoever to reside in the golf community.

Only 29% of respondents reported that a member of their household played golf regularly (once a month or more) at the subdivision course. Responses to an open-ended question revealed that proximity to, or a view of, the golf course was the most common reason for choosing the subdivision, being cited by almost one-quarter (24.3%) of respondents. However, when respondents were asked to rate eighteen factors on an importance scale in terms of their influence on their decision to purchase their home, “View of the golf course” was ranked fifth by those living adjacent to the golf course but eighteenth by those not living on the golf course, while the respective rankings of the two groups for the item “Proximity to golf course/country club” were sixth and fourteenth. The features deemed to be most important were relatively generic in that they could be applied to any residential area.





Regular Papers