We made the hour long drive south to The Villages on Friday.
Zoa & Adam had lunch waiting for us, and later I went with Adam to get a propane cylinder filled for the grill. At the local Ace Hardware, it took a lot longer and was a lot more complicated than getting our RV cylinders filled. Plus, I'm guessing due to Sunday's Super Bowl, there were lots of people needing propane.
In the afternoon, we watched golf and they prepared us a wonderful dinner.
After dinner, Linda, Zoa, & I played Qwirkle. I had a good night, and let's just say I was called several un-publishable names. :)
On Saturday, we had a big breakfast and then Adam and I bundled up and jumped in his golf cart to head out for a round of golf.
Here at The Villages, there are 12 Championship Courses (most of which have 27 holes to spread out 18-hole play a bit) and there are 36 Executive Courses which are all 9-hole courses consisting of mostly par-3 holes with a few par-4s mixed in. Tee times are required for all courses, and you can sign up for tee times 4 - 7 days in advance. The tee time reservation system allows you to put in a request for a particular course (with second and third choices), but you may be assigned to a different course when the system assigns times three days before the date of play. From October through April, the busy season, it's best to book tee times as early as possible.
Now, The Villages promotes "Free Golf For Life", which is sort of true, but misleading. If you are a resident here, you can walk all the Executive Courses without paying another dime toward golf. However, if you want to drive your own golf cart on the Executive Courses, you have to pay a $4 trail fee per golfer in the cart OR you can purchase a six-month or annual "trail fee pass".
But if you prefer to play the "regular-sized" Championship Courses, you have to pay the appropriate "resident" greens fees which range from $44 - $58 in the winter (January through April). If you don't have your own golf cart, you tack on an additional $10 per person to rent a cart. The greens fees are $10 - $12 cheaper from October through December, and then there are better discounts during the summer.
If you play a lot of golf, you can purchase a Priority Golf Membership which provides greens fees discounts ($10 - $15 less than the regular resident member prices), priority tee times, pool access at the country clubs, and free tennis at one of the country clubs. The Priority Golf Membership can be purchased for a single or a couple and can be purchased for six months or a year. You can also purchase it for two, three, four, or all twelve clubs (by far the best deal). The 12-month Priority Golf Membership for all twelve clubs for one person is currently $740 and for a couple is $925. It would take about 60 rounds of golf per year on the Championship Courses for the discounted green fees to cover the cost for one (about 80 rounds per year for a couple). That's a budget of $3,000 - $4,000 per year just for greens fees (assuming you have your own golf cart - which everybody does whether they're a golfer or not). Still, it's a much better value than most private country club memberships around the country AND you get multiple courses and the ability to play year round.
Of course, there is a lot more to The Villages than golf. I would venture to say most residents don't play golf, but there is every other kind of sport and activity you can think of. Plus there is the Lifelong Learning College, live music in the town squares every night, and everything anyone might need in the way of restaurants, shopping or medical care.
This trip was sort of a spur of the moment thing, so we hadn't given enough notice for today. Therefore, the only tee time that was available was a nine-hole Executive Course about 30 minutes away by golf cart. It was chilly with rain predicted, and it was a bit of cold ride to the course.
We were joined by two Bills, and played the short par-29 course fairly quickly. It wasn't nearly as nice as the Championship Courses I've played here over the years, but the greens were good and I hit my irons better than I had been. A drizzle started about a third of the way through and continued most of the round, so we were both glad we weren't playing eighteen today.
Back at the house, I watched a little basketball and the gals returned from shopping. The rain came down harder, and we watched the Phoenix Open until dinner. Adam made us some chili - he's a great cook - and he watched some basketball while the other three of us played more Qwirkle. The women folk tried to gang up on me, but my lucky streak continued - seven wins in a row this weekend, and more name-calling. :)
So, we've had a nice visit, and we'll head back home on Sunday. Zoa & Adam are going to a Super Bowl party and though we were invited, I prefer to watch the game in a quieter, more comfortable setting. Plus, I'm certainly not great with chit-chat with people I don't know for four hours, and yelling "Be quiet, I'm trying to watch the game" usually doesn't go over too well in a room full of strangers. :)
Have a great day. :)