Golfing Special: Concentrate on the important things - like improving that swing

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The Independent Online

For many people, the idea of living literally on a golf course is the home-buying equivalent of a hole-in-one.

For many people, the idea of living literally on a golf course is the home-buying equivalent of a hole-in-one.

With more and more people looking abroad for their new home, what better way to ensure that you're going to meet like-minded people than to base yourself in a place where you will at least have your leisure activity in common?

There is, of course, much more to buying a property on a golfing development these days. First of all, there are no limits to your destination possibilities if you are looking for a home in the sun surrounded by the pristine emerald greens of a golf course. Spain and Portugal may well top your list of traditional British favourites, but other Mediterranean destinations are catching up fast: Cyprus, Malta, the Balearics, Italy...

Almost 2,000 golf courses have been constructed in the US during the past five years - many of them in the balmy southern states such as year-round favourite Florida, where buying a golf development property could well net you not only a superb holiday home but also a rental income. But do remember to check whether rental is allowed before you sign on the dotted line.

Just about every country in the world now boasts golf courses, from the deserts of Dubai to the chillier Icelandic courses. But when you are looking to buy a property, you need more than just a good course at the bottom of the garden - this is, after all, to be your home.

Yes, you will be guaranteed your very own green belt - that view from your window won't suddenly be blighted by infill housing. But for many golf property owners, the fact that they are part of a community is very important.

Make sure your chosen golf development offers more than the usual 18 holes and the clubhouse if you plan to spend more than a short break there without boredom setting in for those family members who are not golf fanatics.

Most new developments now offer a wide variety of other sporting activities, from tennis, swimming, archery or riding, to shooting or bowls, as well as spa and hydrotherapy treatments. But restaurants, shops, clubs, bars and pools, as well as nearby local towns and villages are important ingredients to ensure that you feel you are living in a real community.

If you are buying to use the property as a holiday home, any good development will offer peace of mind and a sense of security with its property management services ensuring the safety of your home. So you can concentrate on the important things in life - like improving that swing.