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Thinking of going (semi-)Private... Pros and Cons?

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So, let me see if I understand this correctly....

It is less than $600 per year for UNLIMITED Golf..  and range? and practice facility? 

Even if you do not play and only practice and hit range balls, that is dirt cheap..

I'm not familiar with the golf economy in Massachusetts, but out west, $600 is few months dues for a Jr Executive.  

If I were in your shoes, and SWMBO was on board, I'd already have signed the paperwork...

 

 

  

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Hahaha

So I had put the wrong number in, it’s going to be about $1,100. (I forgot up update that post) which is still really good considering the use of practice facilities and such.

The $600 was their rate if you joined over the summer and is down to like $350 for the rest of the year now. Plus $300 off next year.




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1 hour ago, B.Boston said:

Hahaha

So I had put the wrong number in, it’s going to be about $1,100. (I forgot up update that post) which is still really good considering the use of practice facilities and such.

The $600 was their rate if you joined over the summer and is down to like $350 for the rest of the year now. Plus $300 off next year.




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That is still dirt cheap. I am non equity at a club and I pay $302/mo. And the dues at my club are some of cheapest in the area. Previous club I was at was non equity as well and it was over $500/mo.

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That is still dirt cheap. I am non equity at a club and I pay $302/mo. And the dues at my club are some of cheapest in the area. Previous club I was at was non equity as well and it was over $500/mo.


Agreed! Most other courses in the area near me are 2.5 to 3x that rate. I’d have to play them a ton to be worth it.

I’m trying to figure out if I could play there Monday and Friday morning when I don’t have to drop the kids off at daycare. Even if it’s not a full round or I just hit balls it would swing way in favor of going with the membership.


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On 10/2/2019 at 7:40 AM, MattF said:

I hate to say it but Firestone is looking like the best value at the moment.

How often would you be allowed to bring guests?

Right now is a bad time for me and my wife since we have two kids in college and intend to get them through debt-free, but after they are done (maybe after the first is done?), I want to join a club. There are two private clubs within about a mile of my house. One is pretty exclusive (I believe an invite is required), the other less so, but it will come down to bang for the $.

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On 10/2/2019 at 7:40 AM, MattF said:

 I hate to say it but Firestone is looking like the best value at the moment.

I don't think you'll have a problem hosting an Ohio Spies get together there. 😊

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21 minutes ago, MaxEntropy said:

How often would you be allowed to bring guests?

Right now is a bad time for me and my wife since we have two kids in college and intend to get them through debt-free, but after they are done (maybe after the first is done?), I want to join a club. There are two private clubs within about a mile of my house. One is pretty exclusive (I believe an invite is required), the other less so, but it will come down to bang for the $.

If you have daughter(s) in college, just be prepared; weddings = one year of college. Don't ask how I know. 

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Just now, tony@CIC said:

If you have daughter(s) in college, just be prepared; weddings = one year of college. Don't ask how I know. 

They are both girls.... 😞 

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Two daughters in college now and one more will be in two years.  $ave a$ much a$ po$$ible!

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45 minutes ago, MaxEntropy said:

They are both girls.... 😞 

😱! On a positive note you've almost made it through their teenage years 😎

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3 hours ago, MaxEntropy said:

How often would you be allowed to bring guests?

There are two private clubs within about a mile of my house. One is pretty exclusive (I believe an invite is required), the other less so, but it will come down to bang for the $.

I don't know but I'll find out on Thursday. 😉

Fairlawn and Portage? Be careful because they nickel and dime you, that's why Firestone is looking like a better bang for the buck...no minimum spend per month/quarter.

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23 minutes ago, MattF said:

Fairlawn and Portage? Be careful because they nickel and dime you, that's why Firestone is looking like a better bang for the buck...no minimum spend per month/quarter.

Rosemont and Fairlawn are the closest to me. Rosemont at least posts their rates online, I have no idea how much Fairlawn or Portage charge (or Firestone, for that matter).

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1 hour ago, MaxEntropy said:

Rosemont and Fairlawn are the closest to me. Rosemont at least posts their rates online, I have no idea how much Fairlawn or Portage charge (or Firestone, for that matter).

I looked at Rosemont as well and actually, they're the best value from what I can see. Fairlawn charges you for everything including breathing!

Here's a bit of the email I received from Firestone:

 

Quote

Our Golf Members enjoy full Club privileges, including full access to all Club amenities and unlimited golf on all three courses. We offer individual Resident, Non-Resident (50 miles or more from the Club), Junior Resident (34 and under), Corporate and Social Memberships.

 
An individual Resident Membership will give you full access to the club and unlimited golf on all three courses (you pay cart fees). Here are the rates: 

Annual dues - $7,000 (we can either prorate for the remainder of the season or charge the annual dues at the time of enrollment)

Annual golf fee - $650 (waived for remainder of 2019) (bag storage, practice range, locker/locker room services and GHIN handicap)

Initiation Fee - $2,500 (as a special offer, we will waive the Initiation Fee and give you TWO book of certificates valued at $1,000 EACH which will give you complimentary guest green fees for all three courses, savings in the Pro Shop, Grille Room and more! ALSO, we will give you complimentary guest green fees on the West Course through May 31, 2020 (restrictions apply).

You can also add our Signature Gold Unlimited benefits to your membership for $600 per year.  With this benefit package, you will receive access to over 300 clubs nationwide where you can enjoy two complimentary green fee rounds every month at each golf and country club (you only pay cart fees; guests would be charged a full guest fee). You will also enjoy two complimentary four course meals each month at all business clubs, plus savings on hotels, rental cars, restaurants, tickets and so much more! 

 

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10 minutes ago, MattF said:

I looked at Rosemont as well and actually, they're the best value from what I can see.

I kind of wonder what kind of shape Rosemont is in, financially. I had heard Davey Tree bought them a few years ago and two years ago they had non-prime time tee times on Golf Now for $40 - it wasn't clear whether this was trying to make extra money or a marketing campaign to get people in the door. If it was a marketing campaign, they failed, because there was very little effort to recruit that I saw (a couple emails was about it). Hell, who knows, they may have seen Mike and I coming and decided they wanted nothing to do with us.... 🙂.

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If the math works out, I'd say go for it! I played more golf than I usually would have this season solely because I was a member vs. non-member.

I'm stuck in a similar situation for next year. I got a screaming deal this season because the course allowed me as an "add-on" to my in-laws membership, so I paid only $300 for 35 walking rounds, split between 9/18 holes about evenly. My in-laws aren't renewing, so I'm either stuck paying $625 for a single membership or paying out-of-pocket. Out-of-pocket cost for those 35 rounds is about break-even at that $625 point, so I'm unsure if I want to drop that cash up front or not.

I really like this course, not in the most perfect shape, but the owner genuinely cares about it and is very flexible in allowing me to basically just show up and play before the course is officially open.

How often do you hit range balls, and what do they cost? Having a practice facility membership is amazing as well. I paid $175 this year for unlimited balls at my practice range (normally 35 balls for $6), and had that value covered easily by early June.

As far as private/non-private, my only experience around here has been that private clubs are typically in better shape. All the more reason to join, assuming the cost is right.

 

 

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On 10/2/2019 at 12:34 PM, B.Boston said:

Lots of great feedback so far!  To address some of the questions that have been coming up:

1) Economics of it:  Based on this year's rate I'd be paying less for the year than I do for just my league rounds (about 20, 9 hole rounds) at the other course's league rate.  As far as I know, the only additional fee is that I can either get a season cart rental, or pay $10 per round if I want a cart.  This course is VERY walkable and since you're allowed to walk during league play, I probably would. (maybe I need to factor in the price of a nice push cart....)

1b) As far as I know there is no longer a restaurant or proshop minimum, but I would have to verify that.

2) playing other courses:  I have to agree that I enjoy playing many of the courses around.  However, the majority of my rounds come from my week night league.  If i replaced that with a membership here I would be more likely to jump out for a quick round (even if its just 3-4 holes as time permits because it is closer to home and could serve as good practice).  A membership here would not stop me from playing elsewhere on weekends for those rounds.

3) Pace of play:  I hadn't really thought of this, but now that it's been brought up the two times I've played at that course this year we played 9 holes with 3 or 4 people in under 2 hours.  I've had some league matches that we were waiting on each an every shot that lasted nearly 3.5 hours (for 9 holes!!!).  This might be a benefit I had not thought of.

4) It is a 9 hole course, which is fine with me since the majority of my rounds are 9 hole from league play, and it reduces the potential maintenance issues and costs associated with additional land.

5)  Here are some of the benefits:

  • Unlimited Golf for Full Members
  • Club Tournaments & Social Events
  •  Impeccably Manicured Course
  • Men and Women Member Leagues
  • Use of Practice Facility
  • Preferred Tee Times

I requested additional information, so hopefully I'll know soon about additional fees or potential adjustments.  I also found out they use a payment plan too, so I could pay for the membership over the course of the season (I think 3 payments).

Quick math shows my league only play costing about $700 ($35 per round), this under 35 membership was less than $600 for the year this year.  It also helps that the finance committee (Read: My Wife) Approves of the idea of the membership (She's great, I know!).

 

 

Sounds like a great deal and looks like you've done your due diligence.  I say go for it.  Save a few bucks and making SWMBO happy, win win in my book 😁

 

MDGolfHacker

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On 10/1/2019 at 9:36 PM, B.Boston said:

 

Hey Spies,

 

I’m hoping to get some feedback from those of you that have experience being members at a private or semi-private club.

 

There is a course near me that offers a good price on memberships for those under 35. I would not get voting privileges, but get all other benefits the club offers.

 

I am considering this because I like the course, and it works out to be less expensive than just the rounds I play in my league. I could play in their league and tournaments and they also have a practice area that I would have access too.

 

It’s closer to home than my league course too!

 

So, from that list it sounds like a great deal for me... what am I missing? Anyone here ever been a member and regretted it? What sort of things should I be looking for?

 

Also looking for a spot where we can have some general private vs public discussion. I think this is a good spot for it, but Mods feel free to move if I should have placed this in a different spot in the forums.

 

IMG_6168.JPG

 

 

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My course is public but I have a membership which gives me access to the league and other fun stuff. I personally love it because you can get out go play and not worry about finishing a round if your'e busy or something comes up during the week. The weekly tournaments are nice and the members are great. 

The the two things I'd look for is how the members are (whether or not you can meet people and feel welcomed) and then two whether they have any rules or restrictions for non voting members. (my course limits morning rounds on weekends, so I have to go full membership)

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On 10/2/2019 at 7:40 AM, MattF said:

I'd do it. I was fortunate to have a public course offer a 2 year deal last year for an unbelievably low price and I jumped on it. But, when the membership expires at the end of next year, I can't see myself not joining another club. In fact, I'm already looking at memberships for various clubs now and I hate to say it but Firestone is looking like the best value at the moment.

Firestone?? Hmmmm...keep in mind you have lots of really good friends here at MGS 😁

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On 10/3/2019 at 12:52 PM, B.Boston said:

I think it will come down to when their league plays, and how often I'll be able to get there realistically.  Thanks everyone for your feedback.  I'm sure I'll update when the time comes!

Best of luck with the process. 

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