Are you a new Villager?  There's a lot to do and a lot to learn.  We’re in our fourth season (proving that I’ve watched too many streaming shows since covid) and I’m still learning new things.  This section compiles key intro info to help you get acclimated to golfing in The Villages.  Here are the topics>>>>>>>>>>>>

  1. Basics - a 101 on golfing in The Villages
  2. Levels and Tees - the Numbers and Colors that Count
  3. Your Starting Rounds - four courses you have to play if you're new in town
  4. Costs?  It's free - sorta 
  5. Frustrations?  oh yeah, I have a few!
  6. A League of Their Own
  7. Beginners Luck
  8. Help!
  9. Connections - the real reason we're here

The Basics

There are a lot of golf courses in The Villages - 14 Championship courses, 41 Executive, 3 Pitch and Putt, and 3 Putting courses.  And more on the way.  All in there are over 800 greens to reach!  This website is dedicated to reaching the greens just on our Executive Courses.  Each is a nine-hole courses that range from par 27-29.  Here you will get my opinion and impressions.  Nothing official.  But you can find more sanctioned information and a lot of good details on The Villages Golf site.  Check that out for sure.  

Levels and Tees - the numbers and colors that really count!

The designers have made it easy to match your skill to the course.  Each course is designated as Level 1 through 4, with 1 being is the easiest and 4 the hardest.  And nearly all courses have three color-code tee boxes – Green tees are the closest, Gold in the middle and Black furthest back.  This means you can always find a level of difficulty that's comfortable for you. 

Starting Rounds

With so many options, how do you pick the courses you should try first?  Below is a curated list of four courses each selected to give you a diverse sampling and starting point.  Each is a progression from Level 1 to Level 4 so you can see how courses vary in difficulty.  As you work your way through these starting rounds you can acclimate to the levels, types and how far you want to travel to play. Then you can pick out your own favorites or maybe just go play them all! 


4 courses to start with:

Level 1 Sarasota - the perfect starting point for a New Villager.  It's a simple course around an idyllic lake with hills in the background and this single oak tree to center you as you begin your golfing journey!

Level 2 Lowlands - a comfortable course with two shorter par fours and many similar length par threes.  Plus the course ends at an outdoor bar! 

Level 3 Mira Mesa - a newly renovated historic course on the northern side of town with tighter fairways but flat fair greens - you'll love the landscaping! 

Level 4 Belmont - a beautiful and hard "racetrack" in the northwest quadrant of town.  There are no holes that are on my Hardest List but it will give you plenty of challenge.  And the 5th to 9th holes is as good a stretch run you'll ever find.  

After completing these four starters, consider the course in my Top Five for your next round! 


It’s free!  Sorta.  Your amenity fee covers the costs to play the executive courses.  Championship courses charge a separate greens fee.  You also have to pay a Trail Fee to drive your golf cart on a course.  it’s $4 per person per round, but you can pay a semi-annual fee that runs about $110. It’s even cheaper if you pay annually.  Here’s more info: Golf The Villages   There’s no cost to pull or carry your clubs.  If you want to use the online reservation system (and you do!) it’s costs $8 per month.  Call 352-753-4040 to sign up.  And here’s the website.


If you’re like me, you’ve played golf “up north” in your pre-retirement/younger years.  And one of the draws to The Villages was the expansive golfing opportunities.  When I moved here, I went from playing 10 times a year to over 100.  That meant I dealt with various physical and mental challenges. 

Injuries were common early on. Elbow, wrist and even a bout with a plantar fasciitis strain to my left foot.  My favorite song became “Ice Ice Baby”!  I started a stretching and exercise routine and often use the outdoor weights at the rec centers to help me build/maintain strength. 

Mentally, I assumed that playing more would lower my scores – it did a bit but not as much as I thought. I’ve tried to be healthier by focusing on the fun of the game and setting and company kept more than pressing to score well.  Easier said than done!  But as in all things, I’m a work in progress!   

Another type of frustration some experience is with the course and ability to play where you want.  Sometimes the condition of the greens and tee boxes are poor.  Easy to understand given the masses that play each day.  But again, a bumpy green only has a bearing on my score.  One wise Village Veteran told me he gives himself two extra strokes when the greens are in rough shape – that’s a healthy habit! Another habit to form is helping out by repairing your (and others) ball marks on the green and filling your divots on the tee box and fairways with sand (ask the Ambassador how the first time).  

You may also experience some irritation trying to get a tee time on a particular course.  In the winter months when renters and snowbirds and guests are in town the courses get filled up and it’s harder to get on.  It is what it is.  That’s the price we pay for having this bounty of courses and being a destination of choice! 


Another great way to meet new people and learn about the golfing opportunities here is to join a league.  Men play on Tuesdays, women on Thursdays in the morning at ten different courses. I play at Lowlands.  It’s a Scramble tournament where teams of four compete for lowest score.  You sign up a week in advance on the online system described above and each week you're randomly paired up with new teammates.  Your foursome will never be as good as the one in the picture!  But it’s meant for average golfers to join forces and have fun.  My league game at Lowlands costs a whopping $2 and you can enter the closest to the pin game for another $1.  It's cash only.  Winning teams can earn “prize money” like about $10 for winning your flight!  Big Money Indeed! I've met some great guys playing in the league each week - so will you! 

Beginners Luck 

Yep, You're in luck if you're a beginner golfer!  There's no place better to begin.   Here's a link to information just for you>>>


It's not only a classic Beetles song, but it's a "cry for" too.  And there’s a lot of it here! 

First, each course has Ambassadors – yes that’s their title!  United Nations?  Nope, Village Golf!  They’re all Villagers working part time and you can count on them for helpful and friendly advice about the course and rules and pace of play. 

The Villages Golf Academy offers lessons and has excellent practice facilities. You can find all the details here: Golf The Villages

And maybe you need new clubs?   There are routine golf fitting expos where Reps from many manufacturers will individually assess your swing and make customized recommendations for golf club types.  The cost is $25 per fitting but you get all that money back if you buy clubs, so it’s really free if you’re planning to buy new clubs! Go online at the site above or call the Academy at (352) 259-8121to learn more.

In no time you'll be playing better than Beetles!  


I came here to play golf.  But I stay here because of the connections I’ve made through golf.  Other than my neighbors, many of the friends I’ve made here were because of golf. And when we’re at the squares and we meet someone new and they tell me the Village they live in, I usually ask what golf course they're near.  That helps me get my bearings and is a great ice breaker!  The other connection is how many cool things there are to do in close proximity to the golf courses.  Hundreds of clubs and activities and places to go – virtually all on a golf cart!  Is this heaven?  Or is it Iowa?  For sure it’s a Field of Dreams!  You’ll find my suggestions on “what’s nearby” in each Course Story on the Home Page so you can get your head out of golf and into everything else this wonderful place has to offer! 

Ok, that's enough.  Get out and get golfing!  

Have Fun - Be Happy and Swing Hard .....just in case you hit it!

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