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fixyurdivot

Golf Course Memberships

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Most of the home communities my wife and I have been looking at have a golf course (or two).  The cost of memberships are separate from the HOA fees and vary quite a bit.  One we're getting more and more interested in is Copper Canyon CG which is in the Sun City Festival development.  It has a resident annual pass ($1850) which reduces the normal resident rate during peak season from $58 to $28, and down to $12 (June-Sept).  For this caliber of course, it's a good deal. Another development offers unlimited play at two courses for $3450.  One has to play quite a few rounds to amortize the membership.  Now, there is no doubt some other benefits that I'm not yet considering (tee time priority, etc.), but I'm a little concerned whether playing the same course so much will start to get stale.  For those of you who are now or have been course members, what are your thoughts on this?  What other pro's and con's should one be looking at when considering a course membership?

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Options you might consider....

Unless you just want or have to live "on" a golf course. Don't. If you're worried about playing the same course over and over all the time then look at other options. Why not move to a nice neighborhood and not join any club at all? Perhaps even skipping a HOA fee also. Many if not most larger metro areas have a golf card or pass available when you can play many courses at a reduced rate. 

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My wife and I are members at a nice muni.  We are a small community and do not have any passes for multiple courses, or I would probably do that. I like the course and many of the people there; that's important.  The advantage is, of course, that you become extremely familiar with the course to the point that I know what club to hit depending on where I'm at without even looking at the GPS or laser.  Course conditions do change throughout the year, so there is some variation.  However, we also like to travel to play at different courses.  We will play other courses in the area, but not as much as we used to.  We make 2-5 day trips here in the NW, and we take a 2 week vacation in the winter some place warm each year.  I can always count on shooting 5-10 shots more on a course that I am not familiar with.  

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I won't get into the money side of this, you have to make that decision on your own.  I've been a member at a club for over 20 years now.  Perhaps is at least partly the design of the course, but I don't get bored playing it.  Beyond that, I love the competitions, I love that I have literally dozens of friends here.  Pace of play is good, tee times are available, there are lots of advantages.  I do get to play other courses on occasion, a week in Palm Springs, a week in Pinehurst, interclub matches locally.  At this stage, I can't quite imagine NOT being a member at a club.  

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Tough call for me. Active in both pastimes and I’ve been a member of a yacht club, but never a golf club member. I always worried that I’d get bored with one course in time, and that’s outweighed the social club benefits to me. Between business connections, a traveling league and the many public courses near me - I continue to be able to play a variety of courses. I like to play cheap munis when I’m practicing, but better courses for social or league play.

I’ve also noticed the median age of golf and yacht club members has increased substantially over the past few decades. That doesn’t bode well for their futures? However the top tier golf and yacht clubs still have waiting lists, but the other 90% may face a tough future?

But we’re moving this year and I may change my golf club membership tune. YMMV

Edited by Middler
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We belong to a golf/yacht club in Ohio and we don't get bored with the course. However, keep in mind that because we are directly adjacent to Lake Erie, we have continually changing conditions on the course. Two big keys for us are:

 

Literally doz. of golf friends - my wife laughs at me during golf season because ever night I get texts from guys wanting to play the following morning. The same guys also have a Wednesday away game where we travel to other courses within a 45 min driving range.

 

The other reason is the ability to walk onto the course at anytime. My wife is a big bridge player so lots of times while she's playing bridge I'll be playing 18 with the guys. Many times those same days we'll run out and play 9 in the evening. Since our membership includes unlimited play we don't have to worry about the pro shop being open.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using MyGolfSpy

 

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Personally, I have never played a golf course that was a part of a residential golf community that I felt I could play every day without getting bored or fed up.  It's been my experience, most courses designed as part of a larger residential community lack character and/or feel.  More often than not, those courses were designed using whatever land remained after streets and homes were built.  The golf course was nothing more than means for the developer to make a few extra dollars.

I have been a member of my club for 12 years.  I chose to become a member because the club is very well established, has a vibrant membership base and the quality of golf is unmatched in this area.  I have never made nor have I ever needed a tee-time.  We chose our house based on how well established the neighborhood was and for the school district.  It certainly helped the neighborhood is less than a 5 minute drive to the club.

To give you an example of the club atmosphere, I stopped by last Friday to pay my membership dues and didn't leave for 3 hours.  It's doubtful I would have left then but I had to pick my daughters up from school.  It was a miserable day of rain and mid 30's temperatures so, playing golf was out of the question.  About two-dozen of us sat around talking about golf, equipment, the middle school golf team, and trips we might take together later this summer as a group.  We also watched a few videos on Youtube about Sweetens Cove.  It's on the list for later this summer!

If I may be so bold as to offer my advice, choose your home and club based on what you desire from each.  If they happen to be the same community, great.  If not, you'll be much happier in the end having a home and a club you enjoy.  Best of luck in this process!

 

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^^ I don’t disagree at all, but having a “vibrant” club experience at $1,200/year is one thing. Spending $12,000 would be another. [Obviously I could use all sorts of $ numbers, just chose at random to illustrate the point.]

Edited by Middler
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1 hour ago, Middler said:

^^ I don’t disagree at all, but having a “vibrant” club experience at $1,200/year is one thing. Spending $12,000 would be another. [Obviously I could use all sorts of $ numbers, just chose at random to illustrate the point.]

I get cost of membership differs greatly depending on where you live but affordable membership does exist.  I've waxed rhapsodic about the cost of membership at my club.  I won't get lost in those weeds again. 

Don't be afraid to reach out to the clubs in your area and ask for a tour.  The tour will typically come with a free round of golf with some members and a breakdown of club costs.  I have done this twice.  Each time I treated it like a job interview.  Sure, they are interviewing you but you are interviewing them as well

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18 hours ago, sixcat said:

It's been my experience, most courses designed as part of a larger residential community lack character and/or feel.  More often than not, those courses were designed using whatever land remained after streets and homes were built.  The golf course was nothing more than means for the developer to make a few extra dollars.

I hear what you're saying and have seen that at a couple of courses in WA.  From what I've seen thus far, the courses at the likes of Robson and Del Webb developments are not designed as an afterthought but rather as a primary feature.  The Copper Canyon course (operated by Troon) is gorgeous and very well maintained. I chatted with one of the pro shop guys and asked his thoughts about the long term future of the course, overall play stat's, etc.  His opinion was that the course is in no danger of going out of business.  In fact, SCF has just opened another 9 hole track with future plans to make that an 18 hole course.  One thing I liked about the course is that, while it winds through the housing development, it does not feel compressed and they left plenty of room along fairways and around greens.

My napkin math suggests ~85 rounds during the year to reach BEP.  I doubt I'd ever play more than 3x/week, so that's a bit more than half a years rounds.  The immediate area has dozens of other courses that would undoubtedly peak my interest.  I suppose one might get spoiled by being able to drive a golf cart to/from the house to the course.  🤔  

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19 minutes ago, fixyurdivot said:

I hear what you're saying and have seen that at a couple of courses in WA.  From what I've seen thus far, the courses at the likes of Robson and Del Webb developments are not designed as an afterthought but rather as a primary feature.  The Copper Canyon course (operated by Troon) is gorgeous and very well maintained. I chatted with one of the pro shop guys and asked his thoughts about the long term future of the course, overall play stat's, etc.  His opinion was that the course is in no danger of going out of business.  In fact, SCF has just opened another 9 hole track with future plans to make that an 18 hole course.  One thing I liked about the course is that, while it winds through the housing development, it does not feel compressed and they left plenty of room along fairways and around greens.

My napkin math suggests ~85 rounds during the year to reach BEP.  I doubt I'd ever play more than 3x/week, so that's a bit more than half a years rounds.  The immediate area has dozens of other courses that would undoubtedly peak my interest.  I suppose one might get spoiled by being able to drive a golf cart to/from the house to the course.  🤔  

We break even at our Club at about 42 rounds. I typically play 120+ at our club so it's a bargain. 

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13 minutes ago, fixyurdivot said:

I hear what you're saying and have seen that at a couple of courses in WA.  From what I've seen thus far, the courses at the likes of Robson and Del Webb developments are not designed as an afterthought but rather as a primary feature.  The Copper Canyon course (operated by Troon) is gorgeous and very well maintained. I chatted with one of the pro shop guys and asked his thoughts about the long term future of the course, overall play stat's, etc.  His opinion was that the course is in no danger of going out of business.  In fact, SCF has just opened another 9 hole track with future plans to make that an 18 hole course.  One thing I liked about the course is that, while it winds through the housing development, it does not feel compressed and they left plenty of room along fairways and around greens.

My napkin math suggests ~85 rounds during the year to reach BEP.  I doubt I'd ever play more than 3x/week, so that's a bit more than half a years rounds.  The immediate area has dozens of other courses that would undoubtedly peak my interest.  I suppose one might get spoiled by being able to drive a golf cart to/from the house to the course.  🤔  

That sounds awesome.  I'm sure developers have learned lessons from the afterthought golf communities I mentioned.  A lot of those places are closing the golf course to build more homes.  

Copper Canyon looks beautiful from the images and Google Maps street view.  Good luck with your decision. 

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I’ve been the member of the same club for 4 years. It’s a very nice Tom Fazio course. I play in a league at another course and the league comes with a golf card that allows reduced rate play at some very nice courses.

I love my club and it’s course. I don’t know that I’d want to play there exclusively as it’s very difficult and I would hate to have scoring expectations set based upon what I normally shoot at Bayou. But you certainly wouldn’t get bored with the course, lots of pin placement choices, nice variety of holes, great pace of play.


Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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My priorities with a club

1) price.. it can’t break the bank. But I’d spend some more so I never go public again. 

2) food/bar... need a good dinner menu for the wife and hang out spot after round. 

3) practice facility... me personally I hate mats. I want a nice grass range, putting green and practice hole with sand.. last one isn’t a must but would be a +

4) course ... grass green rough thick sand soft. Not boring up and back layout 

5) the people.... I don’t want  to golf and deal with douchers 

Having said all that. If the clubs fits all that I won’t get bored. May seem like a lot of things to nail down but most clubs by me have that. It normally comes down to price 

 

 

 

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