You’ve bumped along for years with your fifteen handicap, winning Trevino Flight trophies for second low net. You could grind your way down to the single digits, sure, but only by practicing constantly so as to keep all the flaws at bay. The one true path to a low handicap is obvious: Move to a community that excels in teaching and training. Instructors there will use high-tech sensors to diagnose your swing deficiencies. Custom fitters will lock-and-load you into clubs with ideal specs. The practice complex—with its fitness rooms, video kiosks, short-game kingdoms and creature comforts—will become your daily refuge. Before long, you’ll arrive super-tuned at the first tee, waving that single digit in your opponents’ faces. So to speak.
Longtime Reynolds residents must wonder whether management considers them lousy golfers. First it built the sixteen-acre Reynolds Golf Academy. Then it brought in the TaylorMade Performance Lab, a NASA-like complex dedicated to precision swing analysis and club fitting. And now there’s a golf-performance palace called the Kingdom at Reynolds Plantation, featuring proprietary motion-analysis software. If all this doesn’t fix your slice, they may cryogenically freeze you pending further breakthroughs. Residential options include estate homes, cottages and townhomes with views of Lake Oconee and the miles of fairways. Visit reynoldsplantation.com.
Square Feet: 3,800
Bluffton, South Carolina
Berkeley Hall residents are like the kid whose dad built him a backyard hockey rink complete with boards, goals and a scoreboard. It’s a fully private community with a vast learning center sited between two Tom Fazio courses. Instructors provide kind encouragement or intense, disciplined training—your choice. The short-game area is designed for have-wedge, will-wander practice sessions. It’s got three well-bunkered practice greens and every sort of lie to play from. Berkeley Hall is civilized and clubby, with lots of red brick and filtered treeline views. “Cottages,” which can be placed in the rental pool, and stately homes make up the housing stock. Visit berkeleyhallsc.com.
Square Feet: 6,300
Home buyers at Barton Creek are drawn to the crateload of top-resort honors earned here over the years. And to the bountiful golf inventory—seventy-two holes among the Hill Country slopes and basins. In residence is Chuck Cook, one of the great instinctive teachers in golf. Along with having a sharp eye and an easy manner, Cook is big on specialized formats. His Low-Handicap Two-Day Specialty School offers the amateur the rare chance to have his lofted-iron distances measured, evaluated and fine-tuned with swing tips. With twenty gated neighborhoods to choose from, you may be house hunting for a while. Visit bartoncreekliving.com.
Square Feet: 2,800