15 Affordable Golf Destinations for Retirees

NEWS & TRENDING - TRAVEL NEWS
If you want to live your golfing dream on the green, there’s no shortage of options.
Updated May 10, 2024
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If you’re looking to spend your golden years on the green, there are plenty of affordable golf destinations that have world-class courses, gorgeous landscapes, and great climates for either seasonal or year-round play.

From the gorgeous greens of Florida to the desert landscapes of Utah, there's a locale to suit every budget and preference. 

Here’s how to step up your travel game (and hopefully your golf game too).

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Augusta, Georgia

Kzenon/Adobe mature couple playing golf

For one week every April, Augusta becomes the center of the golf universe, thanks to the Masters Tournament. However, you can access excellent nearby public courses (like Forest Hills) that let you feel like part of the magic for less.

Lodgings may increase that week in the area, but prices are still affordable, relatively speaking.

Birmingham, Alabama

Thomas Talkner/peopleimages.com/Adobe morning golf

Birmingham, Alabama, boasts 140,000 yards of excellent public golf. Courses like Highland Park or Don A Hawkins/Roebuck Municipal offer challenging layouts and gorgeous views at affordable rates.

Birmingham is also easy on your wallet in general and has great weather, hospitality, history, and amenities.

Charleston, South Carolina

liderina/Adobe friends riding a golf cart

While nearby Kiawah Island is a bucket list golf destination, it's not exactly cheap. Fortunately, Charleston proper has excellent, affordable golf courses with serene water views, like Charleston Municipal, Wild Dunes, The Links, and Harbor Course.

Charleston also has a pleasant climate, a rich culture, and lodgings that won’t break the bank.

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Cincinnati, Ohio

moodboard/Adobe women walking on golf course

Cincinnati may not come to mind when you think of golf destinations, but it’s worth a visit for those looking to hit the links on a budget. Just go when it’s warm outside!

Stonelick Hills is arguably the best public option in the area, while Blue Ash is a local favorite. Both are super affordable, too, as is the city.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

moodboard/Adobe man swinging a golf club

Hilton Head Island may be small, but for golfers, it’s mighty, with more than 20 golf courses. That includes Harbour Town Golf Links, a PGA Tour stop. Check out the affordable courses in nearby Bluffton, too.

To keep the trip to this lovely island affordable, stay at the Hampton Inn Hilton Head or book an Airbnb.

Jacksonville, Florida

pressmaster/Adobe sportsmen with golf clubs walking

Home base for the PGA tour, beachy Jacksonville is a popular destination for the pros, but it has much to offer retirees. Enjoy teeing off at Bent Creek, Blue Sky, or the Jax Beach Golf Club, to name just a few.

A trip to nearby St. Augustine to see the World Golf Hall of Fame is well worth it.

Las Vegas, Nevada

nyul/Adobe active senior on golf course

Yes, you can golf in Vegas on a budget! There are over 50 courses within a 40-minute radius of the Strip, including pro favorites The National and The Legacy, a scenic escape from the hustle and bustle

Keep things budget-friendly by staying at The Luxor, which has surprisingly good rates.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Jacob Lund/Adobe pro golfer playing on course

With its hundreds of golf courses and budget-friendly amenities, Myrtle Beach is arguably the best affordable golf destination — it even brands itself as “the golf capital of the world.” Notable courses include Barefoot Resort, True Blue, and Caledonia, but there are so many!

Stay at an affordable golf resort or hotel that’s central to the action.

Orlando, Florida

LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/Adobe asian senior man pointing away

Florida is a well-known golf Mecca, and Orlando stands out with its abundance of affordable options. Notably, there's Shingle Creek if you like a challenge and Mission Inn Resort and Club if you want a lesser-known spot. And, of course, there's Disney.

Affordable lodgings and amenities abound, too, if you know where to look.

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Northern Michigan

spotmatikphoto/Adobe happy senior couple playing golf

One of the most under-the-radar destinations on this list is Northern Michigan, which has an abundance of amazing courses you can play on the cheap. Manistee Golf & Country Club, for example, has views of Lake Michigan, and Elk Rapids looks down on Lake Elk.

The cost of living is super affordable, so your time here will be as well.

Palm Springs, California

Dan Talson/Adobe female golf player

Warm, sunny, and teeming with golf courses, Palm Springs is a dream destination that, despite its fancy rep, doesn’t have to break the bank. Practice your swing at Indian Springs, picturesque Mountain Vista, and dramatic Cimarron—all on a budget.

Dining and lodging can also be done on the cheap with a little effort.

San Antonio, Texas

daviles/Adobe golf player wearing green shirt

Known for its rich history and vibrant cultural scene, San Antonio is also home to some excellent public golf courses. Especially of note are Canyon Springs (with two limestone waterfalls), The Quarry (complete with cliffs), and La Cantera (perched on a hill with impressive views).

San Antonio is also easy to explore on a budget compared to pricier tourist locales.

Scottsdale, Arizona

Kzenon/Adobe senior male golf player

While cheaper in the summer, winter is the perfect time to golf in lovely Scottsdale. Save cash without sacrificing amazing golf experiences at local haunt Papago, rugged TPC Scottsdale, and Golf Digest favorite Ocotillo. Continental and Coronado (cash only) are also solid courses.

Scottsdale is teeming with affordable lodgings, so save your money for the course.

St. George, Utah

Flamingo Images/Adobe smiling senior enjoying a day

Golf among some of the most stunning scenery in the U.S. in Southern Utah at affordable courses like Sand Hollows Resort, Copper Rock, and SunRiver. Drive over the state line into Mesquite, Nevada, for great golf at Oasis Golf Club, both Palmer and Canyons.

Score great, cheap lodgings in this touristy region with Airbnb.

Southern Pines, North Carolina

Suzi Media/Adobe golfer hitting golf shot

Any golfer worth their salt knows Southern Pines is “the home of American golf” and the host of the U.S. Open, but it’s not just for the rich. You can enjoy excellent discounted play at Southern Pines, Tobacco Road, Talamore, and Pine Needles.

Airbnb has some excellent, affordable lodgings to help you keep more cash in your wallet.

Bottom line

pressmaster/Adobe mature man hitting the ball

Whether you prefer the lush green fairways of the South or the stunning desert landscapes of the Southwest, there's a great golf destination that won’t drain your wallet.

Just make sure to bring your top travel credit cards and take the time to explore the other attractions each destination on this list offers, both indoors and out. It’s the perfect way to round out your golf vacation.

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Intro Offer

Earn 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases

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Author Details

Cat Lafuente Cat Lafuente is a Florida-based writer and editor with extensive experience in digital and print content spaces. Her own personal finance journey — particularly consolidating debt and paying it off, in turn boosting her credit score and becoming a homeowner — inspired her to join the FinanceBuzz team; she hopes she can help others do the same.

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