Living On A Golf Course

The perks of golf course living are obvious – great views, higher property values, prestige, and a huge manicured lawn taken care of by someone else.

But there are downsides, depending on exactly where on the golf course you live.

For example:

Some years ago I played a resort course in Tucson, Arizona, where the first hole, a short par 4, goes up over a ridge then makes a sharp dogleg left down to the green. It’s a reasonably short drive to carry the corner. But then someone built a house there. Right in the corner.

I guess he was concerned about getting hit, because he’d put up a thirty-foot tall net on the tee box side of his house.

Yeah, it was ugly.


One Sunday morning in Naples, Florida my dad and I were playing a par three on the front nine with two men we’d met on the first hole.

The tee box for this hole wasn’t more than thirty feet from a screened porch where an elderly couple was enjoying coffee and the morning paper.

One of the men who’d joined us topped his ball off the tee, and let loose – very loudly – with a barrage of expletives, a few of which I’d never heard before.

Embarrassed, I turned toward the screened porch just as the elderly man looked up for a moment, then went back to his paper. The woman never flinched.

Apparently, they’d gotten used to this sort of thing happening in their back yard.


More recently, I was hired to design an addition to a home on a private golf course.  The house looked safe from golf ball damage – 200 yards off the regular tees, and quite a bit back from the left side of the fairway.

And yet when I walked around the side facing the tee, I saw a perfectly round indentation in the siding, 1.62 inches in diameter, and 25 feet off the ground.

That’s one heck of a high draw – I guess you’re never really safe.


Just last summer, I was relaxing on a friend’s patio on the right side of the fairway of a long par four of a well-known championship golf course, when we heard the cracking of tree branches twenty feet above our heads.

A moment later, the ball came through, hit the house, and dropped in the mulch at our feet. This was rare indeed, as we were nearly 300 yards from the tee box.

The offending golfer showed up a few minutes later. He saw us sitting there, but stepped over a low fence anyway and into the yard, looking for his ball.

My friend politely chased him off. Without his ball.


If you want to enjoy the benefits of golf course living without having to build a net, replace damaged siding and windows, chase golfers out of your backyard, or unintentionally learn new curse words, you need to pay attention to the location of your house.

Behind the tee is always a great spot – almost no one makes the ball go backwards. If that’s not possible, the left side of the fairway is generally better than the right since most bad shots are slices.

Around the green can work, especially if you can arrange to have a pond between your house and the green. And golfers are a little quieter when they’re putting, too.

Choosing a good private club course to live on might help. Private clubs are less tolerant of bad behavior on the course, and members are generally better golfers than you’ll find on daily-fee tracks.

I used to recommend buying a lot one street away from the fairway, but that was before I witnessed the longest, highest, slice I’d ever seen fly over a house on a course and nail the roof of the house on the other side of the street.

What I recommend now is carefully checking your homeowner’s insurance.


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