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What benefits do you find of joining a golf club?


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4 minutes ago, Jim Shaw said:

I am wondering, what were the reasons you have joined or not joined a golf club. 

I have not joined a club because:

1. Too expensive. Private clubs have initiation fees and monthly minimums. No reason to join a semi private club because I can just make a tee time and play.  No real benefit except I can make a tee time further in advance; since the times aren’t full I can just make one when it opens to the public.

2.  I like to play different courses.  If I was a member, I’d feel like I should be playing where I am a member.  

3.  Don’t see any benefit to being a member of a club.  

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1 minute ago, cnosil said:

I have not joined a club because:

1. Too expensive. Private clubs have initiation fees and monthly minimums. No reason to join a semi private club because I can just make a tee time and play.  No real benefit except I can make a tee time further in advance; since the times aren’t full I can just make one when it opens to the public.

2.  I like to play different courses.  If I was a member, I’d feel like I should be playing where I am a member.  

3.  Don’t see any benefit to being a member of a club.  

all valid points, I have had a fun conversation this morning with @Hobert this morning about the benefits he has found.

 

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I haven't joined due to costs - kids are expensive!

I do plan to join the semi-private around the corner from my house in a few years once the college tuition bills are all set, or close to it. For me, it's about access to all their practice facilities, member-only tee times during peak hours, and the ability to finish dinner and head over to walk 9... or 6... or whatever I feel like getting in before the sun goes down. 

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Out of my budget for the foreseeable future but I like the idea of good practice facilities, locker room/shower on site, club tournaments (member/member, member/ guest), wife wants to paly tennis/swim. Also a ton of the public courses I currently play are guaranteed 5 hour rounds with the popularity these days

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3 minutes ago, jkimbrell0 said:

Also a ton of the public courses I currently play are guaranteed 5 hour rounds with the popularity these days

Another excellent point I left out. I can often walk a round in under 4 hours at the club. When playing a late afternoon / early evening nine, I often have no one in front or behind me that I can see.

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1 hour ago, Brooky03 said:

I have not joined because I don't play enough to make it worth the money.  And the social aspect of it has no appeal to me.

 

fwiw, I'd only be looking at getting a membership to a public course.  Truly private courses are way out of my price range and I'm not sure I'd ever feel comfortable even if I could afford it.

I totally understand your first point. 

With respect to feeling comfortable at private courses, there is a fairly broad spectrum (e.g. initiation fees from $1k to $40k+). As a member of one on the lower end of that scale, our club has members from all walks of life and, at least in my experience, everyone is welcomed. Members who don't want to socialize can easily keep to themselves and just use the facilities to play/practice. 

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2 hours ago, Hobert said:

We decided to join a private club in March and have no regrets (we had previously joined and left a semi-private years ago). For me, I knew it would get me out playing more often which has been a goal of mine for years. The initiation fee was fairly modest compared to the high-end member-owned clubs near me. The monthly fee is about half of my former car payment (that end last September). We have a quarterly food/beverage minimum that is fairly low (and alcohol counts towards that minimum). As far as benefits go, there are many:

  • Unlimited range time
  • Amazing short game practice area (multiple greens, each with a bunker (one deep, one less so))
  • Spread out tee times which allows/encourages walking (more than half do walk)
  • Generally can get a tee time for the same day even on weekends
  • Teaching Pro is regarded as one of the best in the area (construction is almost finished on an instruction facility for him (simulator, garage door opens up out on to range, etc.); he has already helped me tremendously (member rate for teaching is quite affordable)
  • New to Golf for Women Clinic has encouraged my wife to start practicing and playing/helped her meet a group of friends at the club to play/practice with
  • Fun social events (e.g., Around the World events on Friday evenings comprising 9 holes of Captain's choice; chef has food/beverage stations between some holes to have themed appetizers and drinks)
  • Networking and meeting new people (and seeing them again). For example a father and son joined me and a friend for a round a few weeks after I joined. The son was a freshman in high school and put on a show (Eagled the Par 5 7th after his dad applied pressure saying "this is his eagle hole" as we walked onto the tee box (he bombed a drive to 160ish out, put his second within 6 feet, and drained his putt). Father and son were extremely nice and I got to watch a show first hand.
  • Free tees 😂
  • Lack of congestion resulting in rounds under four hours
  • Organized tournaments
  • I'm sure more will come to mind

I have not yet grown tired of playing the same course and I do still play other courses in the area from time to time with friends/colleagues.

This is a comprehensive list.  Well done! 

I think the ability to make last minute bookings and being able to play in under 4 hours (or so) are huge benefits.

I would add Match Play and being able to meet and play with players with similar handicaps and interests is great too.  Lastly, junior instruction can be better organized / funded with more numerous options is a benefit as well.

Cons are the politics of some clubs can make the place less inviting.

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Obligatory "I'd never join a club that would have me as a member" joke. 😁

 

Club membership sounds great but that's a circle I'll never be able to afford to be a part of.  I scraped together what I could in order to afford the membership to the local muni.  I can get out during the week and walk and it won't cost me any extra.  At the rate I play it paid for itself within a month.

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I remember when I was a junior, I joined a local semi private club in a small town in NH and it was US$75 for the Summer.  Great Summer of golf! My best friend and I got a lift there in the morning and a lift back at night (It was 15 miles away from his house).  It was nothing fancy or exclusive, but it was a fantastic Summer.  When we went to the course we always got in 18-27 holes and lots of putting on the practice green.  We weren't great golfers by any stretch, but it was a lot of fun. 

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I have not joined a club. Primary reason is the cost involved. Even semi-private clubs it is still less expensive for me to walk and pay as I go versus a membership.  The other reason is I prefer not to have to listen to political banter between people.

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@Jim Shaw What are your thoughts on the subject?  As a scratch-ish golfer, do you believe ability would be a factor?  

Now I'm curious...Strictly on the golf side of the equation, who would benefit more from a club; the scratch golfer or the double-bogey golfer?

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2 hours ago, JerryB said:

@Jim Shaw What are your thoughts on the subject?  As a scratch-ish golfer, do you believe ability would be a factor?  

Now I'm curious...Strictly on the golf side of the equation, who would benefit more from a club; the scratch golfer or the double-bogey golfer?

Not speaking for @Jim Shaw, but many kids of local high school teams are members of our club as well as some on college teams (member who is on UNC Wilmington's women's team helped with clinic I mentioned above). I see them out there practicing regularly. Also during my recent lesson, the Pro pointed out a guy on the range as a reference for what he was teaching (and noted that the guy, who also works with the Pro, plays competitively in senior events).

That said, it is also benefitting my game due to increased practice and play. Also, by knowing the course well I can concentrate more on executing each shot as opposed to figuring out what shot to hit. 

Who benefits more? I don't know. But I think there are benefits for all.

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Slightly off topic, but I really, really wish I had taken up golf when I was younger.  One because I just missed out on years of golf, and two because it appears there are lots of heavily discounted opportunities for younger golfers.

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4 minutes ago, JerryB said:

Slightly off topic, but I really, really wish I had taken up golf when I was younger.  One because I just missed out on years of golf, and two because it appears there are lots of heavily discounted opportunities for younger golfers.

Totally agree!

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3 hours ago, JerryB said:

@Jim Shaw What are your thoughts on the subject?  As a scratch-ish golfer, do you believe ability would be a factor?  

Now I'm curious...Strictly on the golf side of the equation, who would benefit more from a club; the scratch golfer or the double-bogey golfer?

Hi @JerryB, I 100% do not think ability would be a factor, this I do know for a fact, if you join a club you will play more golf period, whether it is to pay for the membership or because you want to get better or because you like the environment or because you met like minded golfers, whatever, it is a good thing to do. 

I think honestly it would benefit both types of golfers equally, the scratch guys would get more opportunity to play against other scratch players and the average handicap golfers would find lots of golfers in their same ability level. 

There are so many things that aren't mentioned here... it is a great topic though.

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22 hours ago, Hobert said:

We decided to join a private club in March and have no regrets (we had previously joined and left a semi-private years ago). For me, I knew it would get me out playing more often which has been a goal of mine for years. The initiation fee was fairly modest compared to the high-end member-owned clubs near me. The monthly fee is about half of my former car payment (that end last September). We have a quarterly food/beverage minimum that is fairly low (and alcohol counts towards that minimum). As far as benefits go, there are many:

  • Unlimited range time
  • Amazing short game practice area (multiple greens, each with a bunker (one deep, one less so))
  • Spread out tee times which allows/encourages walking (more than half do walk)
  • Generally can get a tee time for the same day even on weekends
  • Teaching Pro is regarded as one of the best in the area (construction is almost finished on an instruction facility for him (simulator, garage door opens up out on to range, etc.); he has already helped me tremendously (member rate for teaching is quite affordable)
  • New to Golf for Women Clinic has encouraged my wife to start practicing and playing/helped her meet a group of friends at the club to play/practice with
  • Fun social events (e.g., Around the World events on Friday evenings comprising 9 holes of Captain's choice; chef has food/beverage stations between some holes to have themed appetizers and drinks)
  • Networking and meeting new people (and seeing them again). For example a father and son joined me and a friend for a round a few weeks after I joined. The son was a freshman in high school and put on a show (Eagled the Par 5 7th after his dad applied pressure saying "this is his eagle hole" as we walked onto the tee box (he bombed a drive to 160ish out, put his second within 6 feet, and drained his putt). Father and son were extremely nice and I got to watch a show first hand.
  • Free tees 😂
  • Lack of congestion resulting in rounds under four hours
  • Organized tournaments
  • I'm sure more will come to mind

I have not yet grown tired of playing the same course and I do still play other courses in the area from time to time with friends/colleagues.

Great list. In addition - the ability to go out and play even after the pro shop is closed. Both our club here in Ohio and Florida, members are allowed to play after regular tee times without having to contact the pro shop. An evening 9 is better than sitting at home watching TV. 

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9 hours ago, Hobert said:

That said, it is also benefitting my game due to increased practice and play. Also, by knowing the course well I can concentrate more on executing each shot as opposed to figuring out what shot to hit. 

Who benefits more? I don't know. But I think there are benefits for all.

I still think each club would be different.  I looked at some of the memberships in my area and depending on the level you may still have to pay greens fees, cart fees (walking isn’t always allowed), range fees, and for lessons; they are just discounted.  Generally Needs to be private club for those to be included.     Getting weekday walking privileges is the next level up. Most still seem to have an add on fee for range balls though some get included as you jump up in levels.    Closeness of the course factors in as well to determine if you are willing to make the drive multiple times a week to hit balls and/or play.  Depending on the level of course I choose, I could walk 9 a couple of times a week and do a range membership for less than a private club and about the same or less than at a semi private club.    
 

Obviously you can factor in things like weather, exercise, etc. but considering a home simulator for practice might be just as economical as a membership. 

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2 minutes ago, cnosil said:

I still think each club would be different.  I looked at some of the memberships in my area and depending on the level you may still have to pay greens fees, cart fees (walking isn’t always allowed), range fees, and for lessons; they are just discounted.  Generally Needs to be private club for those to be included.     Getting weekday walking privileges is the next level up. Most still seem to have an add on fee for range balls though some get included as you jump up in levels.    Closeness of the course factors in as well to determine if you are willing to make the drive multiple times a week to hit balls and/or play.  Depending on the level of course I choose, I could walk 9 a couple of times a week and do a range membership for less than a private club and about the same or less than at a semi private club.    
 

Obviously you can factor in things like weather, exercise, etc. but considering a home simulator for practice might be just as economical as a membership. 

ineresting last comment there, I have been a member on and off (usually off due to work restrictions) for over 60 years, part of golf for me is the social aspect, home simulator may cost the same but all the other benefits outweigh being in my garage pounding balls. 

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the idea of an initiation fee gets under my skin - big time. It's like you're telling me that I'm not good enough myself and I have to pay for the privilege to be a member? nah, I don't want any part of that.if the club is using the initiation fee to keep membership rates low or to fund certain things then maybe they should have another look at their operating budget model. 

the clubs around me are overpriced, the cheap ones are 4-6k for a basic membership - and they can't stay open year round. 
my town has one that I've played at multiple times with friends that are members and it's a nice course but not worth the 20k plus it costs to join and the members there are pretty pretentious. 

I'm sure there are much more affordable options with a great group of people but that's probably not near where I live.

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2 minutes ago, StrokerAce said:

the idea of an initiation fee gets under my skin - big time. It's like you're telling me that I'm not good enough myself and I have to pay for the privilege to be a member? nah, I don't want any part of that.if the club is using the initiation fee to keep membership rates low or to fund certain things then maybe they should have another look at their operating budget model. 

the clubs around me are overpriced, the cheap ones are 4-6k for a basic membership - and they can't stay open year round. 
my town has one that I've played at multiple times with friends that are members and it's a nice course but not worth the 20k plus it costs to join and the members there are pretty pretentious. 

I'm sure there are much more affordable options with a great group of people but that's probably not near where I live.

Agreed. For me, the idea of having a decent course to play regularly is appealing and there is a country club within close proximity to where I live. I looked into joining,  but I couldn’t get past the initiation fee, the monthly food and bev minimums, and the entry fees they charge in addition to the monthly, any time they host an event or tournament.

I don’t mind paying to golf, but all the other ancillary costs were ridiculous. So I give my money to the local public course instead. And if we’re being honest, the public course is a better track anyway. That being said, I know a lot of our fellow spies are members who quite enjoy the clubs they belong to. Good on em’, it’s just not for me.

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34 minutes ago, cnosil said:

I still think each club would be different.  I looked at some of the memberships in my area and depending on the level you may still have to pay greens fees, cart fees (walking isn’t always allowed), range fees, and for lessons; they are just discounted.  Generally Needs to be private club for those to be included.     Getting weekday walking privileges is the next level up. Most still seem to have an add on fee for range balls though some get included as you jump up in levels.    Closeness of the course factors in as well to determine if you are willing to make the drive multiple times a week to hit balls and/or play.  Depending on the level of course I choose, I could walk 9 a couple of times a week and do a range membership for less than a private club and about the same or less than at a semi private club.    
 

Obviously you can factor in things like weather, exercise, etc. but considering a home simulator for practice might be just as economical as a membership. 

I agree that each club is different. And I am probably lucky to have an option near me that includes what it does for the price. There is a fee for using a cart (or an annual subscription for a flat fee), but I prefer to walk. Other than that, the range, the spectacular short game practice area, massive practice green, and uncapped walking golf (and tees) are all included.  I also failed to mention a very nice pool (we have a neighborhood pool that is more convenient), fitness center, and (soon) pickle ball courts. 

One downside that I failed to mention is of course the dreaded closure of the course for several months every so many years for renovation, major maintenance, etc. During this time there are other courses where you can play, but not your home course. A friend of mine at a pricier club in town went through that this year, (reopening September 1) and we will go through it next summer.

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:taylormade-small: V Steel 3 wood

:Sub70: 699U 3 (19.5*) 

:Sub70:  699 (4-6) / 699 Pro (7-PW) with :kbs: Tour 120 shafts (stiff)

:callaway-small: JAWS Raw (50/54/58 degrees)

:EVNROLL: ER8v with Fujikura MC shaft (firm)

Kirkland V3 

:1590477705_SunMountain: 2023 2.5+ / :nike-small: University of Miami Stand Bag

:BagBoy: Nitron - Forum Test Review

:ShotScope: Pro L2

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18 minutes ago, StrokerAce said:

the idea of an initiation fee gets under my skin - big time. It's like you're telling me that I'm not good enough myself and I have to pay for the privilege to be a member? nah, I don't want any part of that.if the club is using the initiation fee to keep membership rates low or to fund certain things then maybe they should have another look at their operating budget model. 

the clubs around me are overpriced, the cheap ones are 4-6k for a basic membership - and they can't stay open year round. 
my town has one that I've played at multiple times with friends that are members and it's a nice course but not worth the 20k plus it costs to join and the members there are pretty pretentious. 

I'm sure there are much more affordable options with a great group of people but that's probably not near where I live.

I hear you. My initiation fee was a fraction of that. We stay open year around. And the fact that we currently currently have less than 500 members means I can get a tee time the same day in most cases. Maybe we have a bit of a unicorn here.

:Sub70: 849D with Evenflow Riptide (stiff)

:taylormade-small: V Steel 3 wood

:Sub70: 699U 3 (19.5*) 

:Sub70:  699 (4-6) / 699 Pro (7-PW) with :kbs: Tour 120 shafts (stiff)

:callaway-small: JAWS Raw (50/54/58 degrees)

:EVNROLL: ER8v with Fujikura MC shaft (firm)

Kirkland V3 

:1590477705_SunMountain: 2023 2.5+ / :nike-small: University of Miami Stand Bag

:BagBoy: Nitron - Forum Test Review

:ShotScope: Pro L2

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2 minutes ago, Hobert said:

I agree that each club is different. And I am probably lucky to have an option near me that includes what it does for the price. There is a fee for using a cart (or an annual subscription for a flat fee), but I prefer to walk. Other than that, the range, the spectacular short game practice area, massive practice green, and uncapped walking golf (and tees) are all included.  I also failed to mention a very nice pool (we have a neighborhood pool that is more convenient), fitness center, and (soon) pickle ball courts. 

One downside that I failed to mention is of course the dreaded closure of the course for several months every so many years for renovation, major maintenance, etc. During this time there are other courses where you can play, but not your home course. A friend of mine at a pricier club in town went through that this year, (reopening September 1) and we will go through it next summer.

my buddy who is an accountant and a member of the fancy-shmancy club in town is not a good golfer but he maximizes the social aspect. he has a regular weekly game at his course with a friend and in turn that friend who is a member at another private course has him over on another day of the week. he might do the same thing with someone else too.. I forget. but he plays the same courses all the time and I've invited him to play outside of his regular course and he's never taken me up on it.

plus the fact that you have to pay additional for every member-guest, club tournament, etc. is just too much to ask...

Driver-  Titleist  TSR3 10*
Woods-
Cobra  LTD 3w 15*, 5W 19*
Irons- Titleist 718 AP2 (5i-50*)

Wedges- Callaway Jaws Raw (54/58)

Putter- Wilson Infinite Grant Park
Ball- Maxfli Tour X
Buggy- Motocaddy M7 GPS Remote Electric Caddy
Bag- Motocaddy Dry-Series

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4 minutes ago, Hobert said:

I hear you. My initiation fee was a fraction of that. We stay open year around. And the fact that we currently currently have less than 500 members means I can get a tee time the same day in most cases. Maybe we have a bit of a unicorn here.

sounds like a great deal. 
when I got out of the Marines my first job in 95 was at RJ Reynolds in Winston-Salem. I liked the town and it seemed like a great place to raise a family but I was 22 and needed more night life so moved to Atlanta.

 

Driver-  Titleist  TSR3 10*
Woods-
Cobra  LTD 3w 15*, 5W 19*
Irons- Titleist 718 AP2 (5i-50*)

Wedges- Callaway Jaws Raw (54/58)

Putter- Wilson Infinite Grant Park
Ball- Maxfli Tour X
Buggy- Motocaddy M7 GPS Remote Electric Caddy
Bag- Motocaddy Dry-Series

Proudly testing for 2024:

 

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42 minutes ago, Jim Shaw said:

ineresting last comment there, I have been a member on and off (usually off due to work restrictions) for over 60 years, part of golf for me is the social aspect, home simulator may cost the same but all the other benefits outweigh being in my garage pounding balls. 

This is why each person is different.   When playing there is a social aspect to the game but “social” will depend on the individuals personality.   I am pretty introverted and am just as happy to play a solo round than partner up with people I don’t know.  When I am practicing I definitely want the alone time and if I were to play an afternoon 9 I’d prefer to be alone as well.  

Driver:  :ping-small: G400 Max 9* w/ KBS Tour Driven
Fairway: :callaway-logo-1: Paradym AI Smoke Max HL  16.5* w/MCA TENSEI AV Series Blue
Hybrids:  :titelist-small: 915H 21* w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype
                :titelist-small: 915H  24*  w/KBS Tour Graphite Hybrid Prototype        
Irons:      :honma:TR20V 6-11 w/Vizard TR20-85 Graphite
Wedge:  :titleist-small: 54/12D, 60/8M w/Accra iWedge 90 Graphite
Putter:   Sacks Parente MC 3 Stripe

Backup Putters:  :odyssey-small: Milled Collection RSX 2

Member:  MGS Hitsquad since 2017697979773_DSCN2368(Custom).JPG.a1a25f5e430d9eebae93c5d652cbd4b9.JPG

 

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1 minute ago, cnosil said:

This is why each person is different.   When playing there is a social aspect to the game but “social” will depend on the individuals personality.   I am pretty introverted and am just as happy to play a solo round than partner up with people I don’t know.  When I am practicing I definitely want the alone time and if I were to play an afternoon 9 I’d prefer to be alone as well.  

yes, thank goodness each person is different... 

committed to performance excellence

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