Design and amenities are significant when it comes to golf homes according to the interior designer Lauren Robbins, founder of the Augusta, Ga.-based firm Lauren Robbins Interiors, which has experience in designing golf properties.
Ms. Robbins said design figured heavily with respect to daily living, the desire for a vacationlike lifestyle, and rental and resale potential at a profit.
“Golf homeowners want more out of their properties,” she said. “It’s a change that’s been happening for a few years and accelerated with the popularity of remote working and shift in priorities since the pandemic.”
Living a city that is home to Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters tournament, Ms. Robbins is also speaking from a firsthand perspective. The following conversation has been edited and condensed.
Can you talk about how the design of golf homes has evolved over the last decade?
They used to be very basic and had minimal frills because they were places that owners stayed in only when they wanted to golf. Today, with the rise of nongolfers and families moving into golf communities to take advantage of all the other amenities and activities, they’re properties where they spend a lot more of their time. As a result, golf homes have developed into spaces that are geared toward entertainment. This means amenities such as living room bars, pool houses, gazebos and outdoor large-screen televisions.
The layout of your typical golf home has also changed. Rather than having clearly separated rooms, homes have an open layout to feel like one large space where you can easily flow between areas. Easy accessibility to the outdoors from the family room and kitchen is another design shift.
What are some amenities that golf home buyers are prioritizing?
Properties in proximity to the golf course are key, especially if they have landscaped or natural backyard views and offer convenient access to the course. In many of these communities, commuting from home to the course via a golf cart is a luxury for getting on and off the course and for socializing around the neighborhood.
Amenities such as backyard putting greens and golf simulators are a trending investment and a major selling point for the target audience. Outdoor kitchens, some with pizza ovens, multiple grills and alfresco bars are another priority. Other popular amenities include fire pits, swimming pools and hot tubs.
How does sustainability figure into these homes?
Being able to commute from your home to the course or to social events via a golf cart or a short walk is a big one because it’s an automatic way to lower your carbon footprint. Owners want properties with electric car charging stations and even sustainable building materials such as recycled or locally sourced wood.
You mentioned golf simulators as a growing trend in golf homes. What’s your advice for incorporating one into the overall design of a home?
I love transforming an on-site golf simulator from functional into a space that owners want to spend time in, with or without guests in tow. To do that, I install a wet bar nearby and source comfortable seating like a pair of low-slung armchairs, so some can sit and watch while others practice their swing. It’s important to space-plan not just for the simulator itself, but to consider the space needed for this to feel like a fully integrated element of the home.
Can you share your advice on how to resell your golf property for maximum value?
As with any home, maintenance is key. Keeping up with minor repairs regularly will ensure that the larger issues that one might run into with a home like a leaky roof are few and far between. In golf homes specifically, having the most current amenities surrounding the sport like putting greens always make for an attractive sale.
What about the best tips for renting out a golf home for extra income? And what should owners know from a design perspective?
Using services such as Vrbo or Airbnb may be helpful because they are easily accessible to a broad network of people who can search specifically for a golf home. And engaging a good photographer and videographer can pay dividends when promoting your property. Wide-angle lenses and quality professional shots are essential for capturing your home in the best light and enticing renters.
It’s also essential to invest in a heavy-duty cleaning right before peak golf season. This means power washing the exterior, window cleaning and using fresh mulch or pine straw. And the less cluttered the home, the more desirable it is. You want to make renters feel like they’re staying at a high-end resort.
From a design perspective, rentals often lack personality, but you want to give the property warmth and stay away from a cookie-cutter look by using rich fabrics, pops of color, decorative candles and other accessories that feel intentional.
What are some up-and-coming destinations for golf properties?
Augusta is synonymous with golf and continues to be a pacesetter for golf properties. We have two new private courses under construction in the region — the Tree Farm and Old Barnwell — and more than 20 high-quality courses in the area.
Also in the South, Kiawah Island, off the coast of Charleston, S.C., is seeing lots of new development and just an hour outside of Atlanta, Reynolds Lake Oconee is a growing lakeside golf community with lodge-style cabin homes that’s surrounded by several noteworthy golf courses, including the National Course. Pinehurst in North Carolina, Streamsong Resort in Florida, and Scottsdale, Ariz., also come to mind. Scottsdale is becoming a golf destination for younger enthusiasts looking for a more casual golfing experience that’s less steeped in historic traditions.
Internationally, Lahinch Golf Club on the western side of Ireland is a beautiful golf destination with stunning views and wonderful amenities.
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