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Joining a Country Club?


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30 minutes ago, Kenny B said:

A couple of other things...  we have one private CC in town.  From what I hear they are building a new(er) clubhouse or remodel, I'm not sure.  They just built the one they have a little over 20 years ago and it's quite nice!!!  I would ask what are the plans for any new construction, remodel, new irrigation system, course renovation, etc.  I knew a guy that was a member of a very old CC in SC that was redoing their irrigation, and the club came to the 200 members and requested $15K each.

Also, ask about how the sale of your membership works.  At our one CC when you want to sell, the club does the selling... not you.  You get put on a list... at the bottom... and the others for sale are sold first.  If it's a hot market, it may not be too bad, but when I started playing golf in the early 1990's, there were a lot of memberships for sale and they didn't sell quickly.  I think memberships were around $5K buy-in back then.

And that's what I like about my area. I want to join.... ok, fill out the application. When will it be approved. You can start tomorrow.  Hey I want to resign. Ok see ya. We will send you your last bill at the end of the month. 

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12 minutes ago, chisag said:

... Lots of great responses so thanks to all. I am paying around $500-750 a month to play public courses so similar monthly dues at a nicer track for s similar price would be an upgrade. The main thing I would like is to find some good golfers to play with on a nice course where members take care of the greens and fairways. Some friendly competition and some tournaments as well as a mens league that wasn't about drinking and riding in carts more interested in having fun than playing golf. I have no problem at all with mens leagues that are all about fun, just not of interest to me especially since I don't drink. 
 

... Being new to Phoenix I have made a few golfing friends I play with every now and then, but no solid partners or people I can spend time with away from the course. Finding new friends is never easy but with Covid, being in a new town and not working here I feel like a CC might be a way to find some golf partners and maybe some new friends. As many have said, finding the right fit is the challenge. 

... Thanks again for all the responses! 

Talk to a few of the pros in the area; certainly ones where you are considering membership, but also pros at public courses. In my area (about 300K population) all the local pros know each other.  They may have some insights into which clubs might have what you are looking for.  On my last trip to Phoenix I remember something about on certain days a bunch of pros play high $$ on a regular basis.  Also, when I traveled a lot, I got a lot of information about courses from the major golf retailers; i.e.,  PGA Tour Superstore, and there has to be some local fitters that know the pros at clubs in the area.

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12 minutes ago, Kenny B said:

Talk to a few of the pros in the area; certainly ones where you are considering membership, but also pros at public courses. In my area (about 300K population) all the local pros know each other.  They may have some insights into which clubs might have what you are looking for.  On my last trip to Phoenix I remember something about on certain days a bunch of pros play high $$ on a regular basis.  Also, when I traveled a lot, I got a lot of information about courses from the major golf retailers; i.e.,  PGA Tour Superstore, and there has to be some local fitters that know the pros at clubs in the area.

This is a great idea. 2nd that @Kenny B 👍🏼

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@chisag, not all club memberships are created equally.  Here is my experience.  I will try to remain brief while being as detailed as possible. 

I was once a member of a club managed by one of those conglomerates that was strictly in business for profit.  Seemingly every time I turned around, the membership was being nickeled and dimed to death.  I stayed three years and resigned.  I was not interested in joining another club, ever.

My wife convinced me to buy stock in a stock-equity club a few years later.  She grew up as the daughter of parents who owned stock-equity in the same club.  The contrast is remarkable.  The club is a non-profit organization.  We only do golf and nothing else.  The shop has equipment and merchandise deals with FootJoy, Under Armour, TItleist, Ping, TaylorMade and Callaway.  Equipment and merchandise prices for club members are typically cost plus 10%.  For instance, I just bought a Titleist TSi2 driver with HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX shaft for $450 plus tax.  Try buying that club anywhere else for $100 more than that!  I have a closet full of FJ Lisle shirts, pullovers, and Under Armour quarterzips I get for $40 to $50.   

The membership is solid.  We have 370 dues paying members who are active in the club.  The course is always in great shape.  Can get a bit busy on the weekends but nothing unmanageable.  The club runs some outstanding tournaments throughout the year.  The Invitational is a regional "open" (Pros and Am's) event that we have hosted for over 60 years.  People come from hundreds of miles away to play it.  The best part to me is the lack of a tee-sheet.  No tee-times, no reservations, and no bullshit.  Show up, pair up, and play.  The membership does a great job of policing itself. 

I will never be a member of anything other than stock-equity again!  They are harder and harder to find these days.  Some were mismanaged and forced to sell.  Some dove head-long into aquatics centers, fitness centers and the like to keep up with the conglomerates.  I firmly believe a stock-equity golf club, if well managed, is heaven on earth!

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1 hour ago, sixcat said:

  The best part to me is the lack of a tee-sheet.  No tee-times, no reservations, and no bullshit.  Show up, pair up, and play. 

That is a big plus that I missed in my posts. I haven't had to make a tee time in 15 years. We don't even have tee time sheets. No crowds, no wait, less than three hour rounds. Show up walk to the first tee and your off. The only time I need to make a tee time is when I play somewhere else. Plenty of groups to play with if you choose. 

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:cobra-small: 7 Wood, F6 22.5* R Flex

:Sub70: Irons, 699 Pro's S Flex (5 - AW)

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I going to add nothing other than support for what @MattF said.  Def sounds like a CC is not what you are looking for.  You would want to know too if the club allows push carts.  Some clubs do not (mine).  Only carry or carting it.  Might be different in PHX though.  I view the club as a social experience for myself and family.  We go to the pool, the family will play golf together.  Prior to pandemic,  I could get on the course anytime I wanted.  Now with work from home, its a little different.  Pace of play isn't an issue at a CC but could be at even a semi-priv club with memberships. 

I would think that you could save your money and have less of the nagging feeling of needing to use the CC amenities by going to a public or semi-private membership route.  Checks all your boxes. 🤙

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18 hours ago, TBT said:

Yeah, I looked at a private club closest to me, it’s very nice 3 - 9 hole tracks all done by Robert Trent Jones...it’s gorgeous!

Initiation fee is $15,000 and it’s $550 per month with a $100 food and beverage minimum 😳😳😳

I live in one of, if not the lowest income counties in CA. This is normal in the area. There is only one club with that high of initiation fee but the dues at almost all of them run between $500-$600/month. I pay $325 as a non equity member at my club. That is a percentage of full dues and no minimums. If I wanted to play a public course in the area on a weekend morning it is $75-$95 per round (huge increase in last year) and its 4.5 hrs plus. Golf is thriving and while it will balance at some point there was a point in time in my area that this was completely normal.

 

@chisag I think you can find what you are looking for. I would meet my minimums just having lunch after the round once a week. My clubs are not touched by anyone but me and I know that if I want to I can go find a money game or just a game for fun. Some of the best resources you could lean on are the guys working behind the desk. Most of them are welcoming and will give inside information without too much prodding. IMO if it is in your budget joining a club that fits you is a great experience. 

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On 5/9/2021 at 7:44 AM, bens197 said:

And just to add one more thing…

Its nice to see that I’m not the only one that can’t stand other people touching my clubs. Thanks for normalizing this behavior 😊

I was invited to a high end club a couple of years back and figured I should allow the gentleman to retrieve my clubs from the suv, etc. ( I never allow anyone to touch my clubs) Of course, he dropped them on the asphalt! My clubs are always in mint condition. Several of my irons had nicks, etc, on them and my driver had a nick too. I just lost my mind and went ape s___! on the guy. I know it was just golf clubs, but probably a bag of $1500 or more. 

I have not since or will never allow anyone to touch my clubs. 

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3 Wood: :taylormade-small: SIM - 15*, Diamana 75 Limited Stiff
Hybrid: :titelist-small: TS3 - 19*, Hzrdus Smoke 6.0 Stiff
Irons: :titelist-small:  7 - PW T100S, 4 -6 T200 all with Nippon NS Pro 880 AMC Chrome Stiff
Wedges:  :titelist-small:Vokey SM 7 - 50*, 56*, 60*  Standard Wedge Shafts                                                                                                                                   

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3 hours ago, GaDawg said:

I was invited to a high end club a couple of years back and figured I should allow the gentleman to retrieve my clubs from the suv, etc. ( I never allow anyone to touch my clubs) Of course, he dropped them on the asphalt! My clubs are always in mint condition. Several of my irons had nicks, etc, on them and my driver had a nick too. I just lost my mind and went ape s___! on the guy. I know it was just golf clubs, but probably a bag of $1500 or more. 

I have not since or will never allow anyone to touch my clubs. 

Totally get it dawg...when I worked at clubs this became a habit to just ask...may I grab you clubs for you?  

For those who don't care about others touching them, it's a touch of class.  For those like us who do, it's an acknowledgment and respect.  You can't lose.

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@Chisag,

This might be of some assistance in narrowing down the search some. I just received an email from Golf Life. They now have a tool to match you up to your club requirements. Go to https://golflifenavigators.com  you click on the state you are interested in, then the area of the state, club operations that are important to you, how many days you play and, your handicap. Then you put in your email and they match you up with clubs or you can schedule a phone call with them.

Just came across this and thought it might be helpful. 

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:taylormade-small: 3 Wood, SLDR  HL 17*  R Flex

:taylormade-small: 5 Wood, SLDR 19* R Flex

:cobra-small: 7 Wood, F6 22.5* R Flex

:Sub70: Irons, 699 Pro's S Flex (5 - AW)

:Sub70:  JB Wedge 56*

:cleveland-small: Wedge, CBX 60*

:odyssey-small: Putter, Marksman Fang 35"

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... Thanks Nut, I have used them several times with different parameters. 

Driver:   TaylorMade SIM2 Max 10.5* ... Diamana Ltd 60R
Fairway:  TaylorMade SIM2 Max 15* ... Tensei Raw Blue 65R
                 TaylorMade SIM2 Max 18* ... Tensei Raw Blue 65R
Utility:   TaylorMade DHy 19* ... Diamana Ltd 65R
              Taylor Made Sim Hybrid 22* ... Diamana Ltd 75R
Irons:    4-Pw Cobra King Tour MIM ... Steelfiber 95R
Wedges:  Cobra Snakebite 50* ... Steelfiber 95R
                 TaylorMade MG3 58* LB ... Steelfiber 95R
Putter:  Cleveland Hunting Beach Soft 11S 33.5"
Ball:      TaylorMade TP5x (2021)

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On 5/8/2021 at 3:36 PM, chisag said:

... I have really never been interested in joining a CC for a variety of reasons but since I am now living in Phoenix and can play year round I am considering it. Lots of questions and it probably isn't an ideal fit for what I want but I would love to her from those of you that belong to a CC. Here are some of my issues/concerns:

1. After so may years of doing my own work and taking care of my on clubs, I really don't like being helped with my golf equipment. I don't want someone "wiping down my clubs" with a dirty rag when I take care of my clubs as I play. I don't want someone taking my bag to my car and do not plan on leaving my bag at the course. 

2. I eat organic/grass fed and can't imagine a CC has that kind of food in their restaurant so I am probably not interested in spending any money there although a cheat meal once in a blue moon isn't out of the question. 

3. I don't drink so a bar is not something I am interested in either. 

4. I walk with a remote cart and don't need a cart but imagine the intense heat of a summer in Phoenix with temps above 110 may change that for June-September. 

... What I am interested in is a great golf course with members I can play golf with. Mens league and tournaments. Practice facility is a nice touch but with a twice surgically repaired back I don't practice much. So I am probably not a great fit for a CC but hopefully some of you have made it work for you and I appreciate your thoughts in advance!

I am a member at a country club.  My experience is that they should tailor your experience to you.  If you do not want your clubs cleaned then they will learn this.  2. You would be surprised what is on the menu at a lot of clubs.  Mine does offer grass fed (now we are in the Midwest as well).  Look around, call and visit places.  You will be surprised what you can find.  

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