Pawleys Plantation, October 2022 a few days after Hurricane Ian came ashore in Pawleys Island, SC, and deposited boat docks and other movable objects 1/2 mile across the marsh onto the Pawleys Plantation golf course. Residents of east coastal golf communities are bracing for a summer that might be even worse.

Hurricane Beryl, the earliest Category 5 storm ever, and what it portends for this summer, should scare the bejesus out of folks who own homes on the east and Gulf coasts. And for those searching for a golf community home, one website dedicated to assessing flood risk and other natural hazards could potentially save you thousands in flood insurance premiums by pointing you to drier land. That is the lead feature in the upcoming July issue of Home On The Course, our mostly monthly newsletter.

We also report on a major decision in Florida about the limits of frivolous decisions by homeowner associations. The days are over in the Sunshine State for busybody HOAs telling their members what color they can paint their door hinges or how long they can keep their holiday lights strung on their homes. We can’t say Florida being the first state to protect homeowners from silly laws was at the top of our bingo cards, but as a member of a condo association in South Carolina, I for one hope it spreads.

Occasionally, I see something in the media about golf communities that irks me. It double irks me when I see it repeated. It triple irks me when the media stirs the pot to create a phony conflict. With no evidence beyond one or two anecdotes, some media have decided that Millennials moving to golf communities pose a threat to Baby Boomers’ life, liberty and their pursuits of happiness. The evidence of this non-existent trend were pretty much the silly and selfish reactions of one California couple dopey enough to buy a home near the site of a major, annual music festival. Duh.

Home On The Course is available without charge on a monthly basis, so please feel free (pun intended) to subscribe here. The July issue will email within the next week.

Stay safe and dry.

I really want to be able to use Artificial Intelligence effectively but, after a few “experiments,” I have decided to rely on my own research to write anything I would consider helpful or persuasive about golf communities. Using an app called AI Chat, I wrote the following instructions (a “question” is what AI Chat asked for) that mimics the kind of research I would conduct after interviewing a make-believe married couple looking to retire to a golf community home and identifying their specific preferences in terms of costs and lifestyle. Here was my input to AI Chat:

Write an article about a retired couple searching for a place to live in the Southeast region of the U.S. They have $600,000 to spend on the house, and they do not want to exceed $18,000 per year in carrying costs, which include property taxes, homeowner association dues, and country club dues. They are looking for an overall cost of living amount that is at least 25% lower annually than their former cost of living in Stamford, CT. Their lifestyle preferences include a home in a gated golf community, golf club membership in a private or semi-private country club, well reviewed restaurants within 10 miles, a shopping mall within 10 miles, at least two supermarkets within five miles, a hospital with emergency room within 12 miles, and a home within a 15-minute drive of an ocean beach. A regional airport within 45 minutes of their home and with daily flights to New York City is also required. Please identify 10 gated golf communities in the Southeast Region of the U.S. that would satisfy this couple’s requirements, with a short summary of each.

And here is what AI Chat returned to me:

After years of hard work, a retired couple from Stamford, CT is ready to settle down in the Southeast region of the United States. With a budget of $600,000 for a house and an annual cap of $18,000 for carrying costs, including property taxes, homeowner association dues, and country club fees, they are looking for a place that is more affordable than their previous city. The couple has specific lifestyle preferences, including living in a gated golf community, membership in a private or semi-private country club, nearby restaurants and shopping centers, as well as access to healthcare facilities and beaches. Additionally, they require a regional airport with daily flights to New York City within a 45-minute drive.

Here are 10 gated golf communities in the Southeast region of the U.S. that would meet the couple's requirements:

1. Kiawah Island, South Carolina: Known for its stunning beachfront properties, Kiawah Island offers a luxurious lifestyle with access to a private golf club, fine dining options, and a nearby airport.

2. Reynolds Lake Oconee, Georgia: Situated on the shores of Lake Oconee, this community boasts world-class golf courses, upscale amenities, and proximity to shopping and healthcare facilities.

3. The Landings, Georgia: Located on Skidaway Island near Savannah, The Landings offers a peaceful retreat with a variety of amenities, including golf courses, restaurants, and a marina.

4. Palmetto Dunes, South Carolina: Nestled on Hilton Head Island, Palmetto Dunes is a premier resort community featuring golf courses, tennis courts, restaurants, and beach access.

5. Belfair, South Carolina: Situated in Bluffton, Belfair is a picturesque community with two championship golf courses, a clubhouse, dining options, and proximity to shopping centers.

6. Dataw Island, South Carolina: This private island community near Beaufort offers golf courses, restaurants, and a marina, as well as access to nearby amenities and activities.

7. Oldfield, South Carolina: With a focus on outdoor living, Oldfield is a waterfront community near Hilton Head Island that offers golf, equestrian facilities, and a clubhouse with dining options.

DanielIslandholeandhomeExcept for three condos, the other 33 homes for sale on Daniel Island are priced from the $800s. AI Chat totally missed on the pricing as well as the carrying costs in this upscale community near Charleston, SC.

8. Daniel Island, South Carolina: Located near Charleston, Daniel Island is a vibrant community with a golf club, sports club, restaurants, shopping centers, and access to beaches.

9. Windermere, North Carolina: Situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Windermere is a scenic community with a golf course, clubhouse, dining options, and proximity to outdoor recreational activities.

10. Pinehurst, North Carolina: Famous for its historic golf courses, Pinehurst offers a charming lifestyle with a variety of amenities, including dining options, shopping centers, and access to healthcare facilities.

With their budget and lifestyle preferences in mind, these gated golf communities in the Southeast region of the U.S. would provide the retired couple with the perfect place to call home.

There is nothing “perfect” about the AI Chat output. For example, I was quite specific about a home within 15 minutes of an ocean beach. Of the 10 suggested golf communities, just one – Kiawah Island – is within 15 minutes of an ocean beach. Three of the communities – Reynolds Lake Oconee, Windermere and Pinehurst – are many hours from the Atlantic Ocean. And The Landings, outside of Savannah, GA, is a good 45-minute drive to Tybee Island; I know that because Google tells me, and Google is certainly a primary resource available to AI Chat. Isle of Palms and Sullivans Island are a 25-minute drive from Daniel Island, Belfair is 18 miles from the beaches on Hilton Head Island, and Dataw Island is a solid 15 miles from the beaches at Hunting Island State Park, or about 20 minutes.

AI Chat virtually ignored my instructions about real estate costs and costs of living. For example, there are currently 36 homes for sale on Daniel Island, SC, outside of Charleston, only three of them under the $600,000 mark I set, and all of them condominiums (my bad, I didn’t specify “single family home”). After an initiation fee of $95,000, membership in the Daniel Island Club costs $1,200 per month, or $12,400 of the couple’s budget of $18,000 in total carrying costs. Daniel Island is a wonderful place to live, but utterly unsuitable for my couple from Stamford. If I had provided a local Charleston Realtor with a not-to-exceed $600,000 on Daniel Island and the above-mentioned carrying costs limit, I would have expected the suggestion that they look elsewhere; AI Chat should have left Daniel Island and most of the others off the list. There are lots of other big misses in the output. The feedback from the app is gratuitous, right down to the designation of my mythical couple as “hardworking.” (How does chat assume their resources were not inherited?)

I will be a bit more specific in my next experiment but, for now, artificial intelligence is too heavy on the artificial.