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You've got 3k to spend  

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  1. 1. Would you rather:

    • Join a club for a year (~3k)
      5
    • Buy a skytrak and build a home simulator (~3k)
      12


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Some long lost relative just died and left you 3000 with the requirement that you spend it on something golf related.

Would you rather:
 

A: Join a club for a year (~3k) ?

B: Buy a Skytrak (~2k) and build a home simulator (~1k) ?

 

Note - I realize that is a bottom of the barrel budget for a home sim setup but just go with me on this. 😉
Note 2 - I understand club memberships can be all over the map; I picked 3k as an average.

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I'm obviously biased as 1) a SkyTrak owner who 2) plays at a course where the yearly rate is much cheaper than this. But for me, the big difference is that, at the end of the year, with the SkyTrak I still have something for my money. With the membership, I'm now faced with the question of whether I re-up for the next year without hoping for the untimely passing of another relative.

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i’d build the home setup. joining a club is on my list in the next year or two, but with moving it’s gonna take a lot of research to find the right fit. 

with the sim setup, i’m guaranteed 365 days of usability from the comfort of home. 

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I am assuming i can still pay green fees to play the course when i want to, correct? 

I practice way more times than I play so the simulator is an easy choice.  As  mentioned I don't have to re-up next year for the sim.

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I’d choose home setup but I’d have to do some home renovations to have a place to use the skytrak.

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I guess I'm an outlier, I chose the course. I'd rather get out and play outside, practice on grass, meet some new folks, etc. 

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Variety is the spice of life and I like playing different courses. Give my the simulator and different courses in the summer

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51 minutes ago, Lacassem said:

Variety is the spice of life and I like playing different courses.

Absolutely!  I play with a few guys that have CC memberships and they do not typically want to stray from their club due to that large investment they've already made.  This could be dependent on the access to nice public courses you have in the area.  

I bought a skytrak at the beginning of the year and really haven't been able to utilize it much due to injury, but looking forward to doing so for years to come.  I will say that my initial thought on the investment was low compared to what it will actually be when I add in the need for a more powerful laptop and the game software.  Looking at what I will be getting, I think it's worth the extra cost.

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I'm out of this one...I have both already 😁.   

But seriously, I would probably do a membership somewhere different. Since having a simulator is great and can really help your game without going anywhere. You can see your ball flight, face angles swing speeds and such. Once you start playing well and consistently it's not as much fun. For me it was a novelty that sort of wears off. I find it much better being out on a course and experiencing nature, golf and it's challenges, different lies and such. You can't get that on a simulator.  I have Augusta National as one of my courses and I shot a 65 my third time playing that course. Am I going to do that in real life? We all know the answer to that.

So I can walk down a flight of steps and play on the simulator or I can drive 2 miles without a tee time and play. I always choose real golf. The exceptions are hard rain and temperatures below 40 degrees.  

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I’m 100% going the home simulator route here. 1. There is still currently snow outside... that is not a problem for the home simulator
2. With 3 kids, 2 who are getting into organized sports ages, the available time slots to really enjoy a $3k membership would need to include a lot of other benefits than just rounds of golf.
3. I can play sim golf every dang night if I want to after the kids go to sleep.

As much as I’d prefer to be outside playing, for me the home sim setup would be a much better use of the funds.

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I guess I'm an outlier, I chose the course. I'd rather get out and play outside, practice on grass, meet some new folks, etc. 

There is absolutely nothing wrong with that choice either. If you have the ability to really enjoy that year of membership it is easily worth it. I know that I wouldn’t be able to fully enjoy it. Last year was the most I’ve ever been able to golf in a year since graduating and I played... let’s call it around 50 rounds. That’s $60 a round which is a pretty solid price for a weekend rate around here, but no real bargain either. Now if It was close by and I could use the practice facilities at night that could shift the equation.
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10 minutes ago, B.Boston said:


There is absolutely nothing wrong with that choice either. If you have the ability to really enjoy that year of membership it is easily worth it. I know that I wouldn’t be able to fully enjoy it. Last year was the most I’ve ever been able to golf in a year since graduating and I played... let’s call it around 50 rounds. That’s $60 a round which is a pretty solid price for a weekend rate around here, but no real bargain either. Now if It was close by and I could use the practice facilities at night that could shift the equation.

I'm looking at it purely from the fun hypothetical POV 🙂 I've got one 18 hole course 5 mins away with a full practice range, decently sized putting green, practice bunker, etc. that I could get full use out of for a year (and they're open year-round here in MA). I potentially have a 9 hole course 4 mins away if the new owner is able to find someone to lease it, which also (when it used to be open) has a driving range and short game practice area. So I could get a heck of a lot out of that "free" $3k. 

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1 minute ago, russtopherb said:

I'm looking at it purely from the fun hypothetical POV 🙂 I've got one 18 hole course 5 mins away with a full practice range, decently sized putting green, practice bunker, etc. that I could get full use out of for a year (and they're open year-round here in MA). I potentially have a 9 hole course 4 mins away if the new owner is able to find someone to lease it, which also (when it used to be open) has a driving range and short game practice area. So I could get a heck of a lot out of that "free" $3k. 

That would have to be the ideal case for the membership!  Now, if you can have a cart included in that membership you can just hop in and ride over anytime you wanted! haha

closest course to me just wouldn't be worth the $3K membership fee.. so that is probably tainting my viewpoint a little.  If my favorite course was 5 min away that would cause some pause, but I'd still probably lean towards the home sim due to the 24/7/365 aspect of it.  

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I'd go with the Skytrak because, as @GolfSpy MPR stated, at the end of the year, I'd still have the Skytrak.

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Besides the cold, snow, rain and darkness that the simulator lets you play through I was just thinking about the time advantage.  You can play 18 on a simulator in a lot less time than the ~4 hours (including travel time) of a real round.  Not that I'd ever want to do a sim exclusively but I could get in quite a few holes  on many occasions I only have 1 to 1-1/2 hours of free time.

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4 minutes ago, B.Boston said:

That would have to be the ideal case for the membership!  Now, if you can have a cart included in that membership you can just hop in and ride over anytime you wanted! haha

closest course to me just wouldn't be worth the $3K membership fee.. so that is probably tainting my viewpoint a little.  If my favorite course was 5 min away that would cause some pause, but I'd still probably lean towards the home sim due to the 24/7/365 aspect of it.  

That's actually a good point I wasn't considering. So I took a quick look at the club's page - a family membership is $3,600 so theoretically I could get a single membership at less than the hypothetical $3k, or I could kick in $600 and go for the family so my 15yo can golf with me whenever he wants, or we could drop him off and he can practice whenever he likes. To me, based on my experiences at this course, it would be well worth it. 

https://www.allendalecc.net/memberships/

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Give me the simulator! I'd happily play less in the summer if it meant having to do one or the other. Like @GolfSpy MPR, my view is tainted a bit because I pay considerably less than $3k for my membership (that would nearing prestigious CC level near me - minus initiation fees, of course).

A lot of what I enjoy about golf is the never ending quest to improve/chase the "perfect" swing (for me). While I do enjoy playing, practice is also very enjoyable. So the simulator makes the most sense, especially given playing conditions are less than ideal from October to May.

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I'm already a club member and don't really have an interest in a home simulator setup, so I'll just pocket the 3G for a rainy day 🙂 

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I had to go with the home simulator. I would get a lot of use out of a membership, but I don't think I would play quite enough to justify the cost. A simulator would be great to have on days where I've worked or the weather is too bad to get out. I think it would help dial in yardages and give feedback on any swing changes I might be working on all from the comfort of home. 

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Im already a member at a club that costs more than 3k a year, so i would take the gc quad home simulator option. Wait, that wasn’t even an option lol.

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