There are a handful of island golf communities where you can leave your footprints in the sand and reduce your carbon footprint at the same time. Along the tattered Lowcountry seaboard of Georgia and the Carolinas are several developments that ban or greatly limit the use of automobiles—their roadways are the exhaust-free province of golf carts and cart-style utility buggies. It’s a transportation policy that, according to residents, fosters a particularly deep camaraderie. Able to zip from place to place in the open air, they feel better about their environment and the world in general. That they also have access to excellent golf and other fine amenities merely strengthens that bonhomie.
Hampton Island Preserve
Not merely one island but a virtual Lowcountry archipelago, Hampton Island Preserve is laced with crushed-limestone roadways perfect for golf-carting from amenity to amenity. The Davis Love III course at the four-thousand-acre community is just about ready for limited play. The equestrian facility, which includes some nine hundred fenced-in acres of riding terrain, is in full gallop. A seaplane, the first of two planes that will constitute the community’s fleet, is in service and air-ferrying members to remote beauty spots at their request. Two separate spas are complete, and a clubhouse, marina, pool and additional accommodations are planned. Visit hamptonisland.com.
Square Feet: 4,000
Price: $3.45 million
Daufuskie Island, South Carolina
You arrive at Haig Point on a small passenger ferry and scarcely see a car the whole time you’re there. This 1,050-acre community has the barefoot feel of a summer colony from the mid-twentieth century. The average age is mid-forties, and some residents are rearing young children, who attend school on the island. For the first time in many years, Haig Point is pursuing an intensive campaign of improvements. An addition to the beach club is scheduled to be completed by August, and the Rees Jones golf course has been substantially renovated. Home exteriors feature stacked porches and double stairways. The home shown looks out on the twelfth hole. Visit haigpoint.com.
Square Feet: 2,678
Bald Head Island
Bald Head Island, North Carolina
Speed limit signs on Bald Head Island—where maximum velocity is 18 mph— might well include a turtle logo. That would provide a visual reminder to keep it slow and would also pay tribute to the community’s sea turtle–protection program. Guiding eco-efforts is the twenty-five-year-old Bald Head Island Conservancy. The barrier to shooting par on the handsome George Cobb design is a combination of tricky winds and ball-swallowing lagoons. The master plan has homesites in seven environments, including dune ridge, marsh and golf course. The home pictured has both course and beach views. Visit baldheadisland.com.
Baths: 4 Square Feet: 2,200
Price: $1.5 million