THE VILLAGES, Florida – First and foremost, the decision to move here to “The Villages” should be made only after spending time here taking a good look at what this unique place is all about and whether it’s where you want to spend your Golden Years.
“The Villages” is a golfing community. Fondly known as “Florida’s Friendliest Hometown,” it’s also a community that offers something for everyone. There are recreational programs that provide every resident with an opportunity to participate. From softball to bocce to pickle ball and swimming the list of programs is endless. Each month a 40-page recreational programs brochure is delivered to every home listing what’s happening in recreational areas throughout “The Villages.”
Another popular option is Town Square entertainment with different groups every night. Currently, there are three Town Squares in “The Villages” with more being built to accommodate the recent addition of new homes. The Fine Arts Programs are second to none and provide top rate performances. Polo matches are held throughout the year at The Villages Polo Fields making it almost impossible for residents not to find something to do every day.
Buying a Home
There are plenty of opportunities to purchase a home or apartment in “The Villages” basically because the aging population either is constantly forced into nursing homes or people die (with a smile on their face) of old age. Buying a home here is both a challenge and reward as you make what will be a “life changing “ decision. There is a home here for everyone, it just takes a little shopping around and knowledge of what type of home will accommodate your needs going forward, and where’s the best buy for your price range. Remember, along with purchasing a home you will also be purchasing a golf cart. If you’re a family with two cars be sure to find a home with a two car garage and a smaller golf cart garage this will keep you from having to play musical chairs with your vehicles every day.
So, if you’re a golfer the No. 1 question is how do you get a tee time at “The Villages?” The first thing that you need to know is how the Village wide Golf Reservation System operates. My first attempt was a little confusing but once I started using the system and began to ask golfers questions about the scheduling process, I became an instant “expert.”
First, both the Championship courses, Executive courses and Chip and Putt courses require using the reservation system. The Championship courses are a little different because they offer a second tier of scheduling for what is called a “Priority Golfer.” A Priority Golfer, when requesting a reservation on the system, receives a little more attention to their request by the system than a non-priority member. Priority Members pay an additional fee to receive this privilege.
The Villages Golf reservation system is the fairest and most consistent system of scheduling for the magnitude of requests it receives each day. It also has within its scheduling program the ability to assess a penalty for golfers who do not show up for their assigned tee time. Once you get involved with this system, you will begin to enjoy how easy it is to book a tee time.
Tournaments and Competitive Games of Golf
How does a village with 12 Championship courses (10 courses with 27 holes and 2 courses with 18) and 42 Executive courses (all 9 holes) manage to provide golfers with major Village-wide tournaments and weekly men’s and women’s games on Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s at both Championship and Executive courses? Let’s take a look.
Men’s and Ladies’ games occur weekly year round. Games are offered at selected Championships Courses and Executive Courses each week. Currently, now in mid-summer, there are four championship courses that offer games each week. One of the four championship courses is rotated among six courses while the other three remain the same each week. Executive course games are scheduled on 10 courses each week. Some courses remain constant each week while other courses rotate.
These weekly championship courses men’s and ladies game also allow golfers to play from the tees that their handicaps allow. Championship courses also offer “ Super Senior” grouping for golfers over 65 years of age.
Championship course games have an entrance fee required and a voluntary “Birdie” fee. Executive courses have no fee to play. Each course sets the game to be played each week. The Village Golf Website posts the schedule of games to be played each week at the beginning of each month to give the golfer the choice of what game they would like to participate in and the course offered. Sign up for games each week are open from Tuesday afternoon until Friday night for the coming week. Players are assigned to a team or as an individual golfer if the game that week is an individual format by the USGA GHIN handicap. No one can participate at the Championship course level without a Current GHIN handicap.
One of the more enjoyable tournaments to watch is when all of our Golf Pros tee it up each year for Village bragging rights. This tournament is played at a different Championship course each year. It is a nine-hole tournament that eliminates a participant each hole until only one is left standing holding the Championship Trophy.
There is so much to discover about “The Villages” and hopefully you’ll find this report helpful if looking for an enjoyable and stress-free lifestyle in your senior years! Fun – you bet it is!