Cost of Golf Club Membership
Cost of Golf Club Membership
In this article I want to look at the pro’s and con’s about the cost of golf club membership, some golfers feel that having an annual fee compared to casual golfers forking out weekly on green fees is the way to go – what suits your game!
With the US Masters now out of the way and the warmer weather arriving there is no better time to dig out the golf clubs, wipe off the cobwebs, give them a spruce up and head for the nearest fairway to get this seasons golf quest underway – but before you do that lets look at some of the benefits of being a member of a golf club:
I have listed below some areas I believe that are some good points about golf membership, which one or choices suits your game?
1. Play when you want
I think is a major point because the more you play the cheaper golf becomes, even if you don’t want to play a full round you can go out and have a few holes, zig zag the course, jump to different tees and play the course how you want to all because you are a member and can do that, but never jump onto holes without firstly checking you will not be inconveniencing other members already on the course. This point really forces home ‘do you fancy a few holes after work’ – you can do because your green fees are paid.
2. Finally getting a real golf handicap
Over the years, I have been playing golf you meet so many golfers who have this idea that they are shooting in the ‘90’ range so they are an 18 handicap, so far from the truth because they are a casual/social golfer and only ever play off the visitors tees at golf courses. When you have an official handicap all handicaps are worked out off of the ‘BACK’ markers, dependent on the golf courses the colour of the BACK markers varies but they are mainly WHITE in colour, so playing off the BACK tees it generally means you will be playing off the WHITE tees.
Some courses also call the white tees the member’s tees, but for official handicap purposes the white tees are the competition tees. So you are now playing off of the competition tees and you can now submit your first three cards for handicap calculation, and finally get an official handicap.
Also, when you have an official handicap it also means you can go and play much better quality courses who insist on you showing a handicap certificate before you play, so no more having to play local public or municipal courses, you can go visit top quality tournament venues!
I have included this because a lot of people have gym memberships and because of the word gym its classed as real exercise, well the majority of the time when you play a round of golf you might as well say that you are going to walk over 3 miles per round, carrying or pulling a 25 kilo golf bag at the same time, believe me, you are not only getting exercise, you are getting fresh air, variations of scenery and plenty of times you will be problem-solving out on the golf course – every shot is different and each one of them takes a lot of thought, so plenty of usage for your brain too!
4. Make new lifelong friends
Being a member of a golf club also gives you access to all of the members which you have the opportunity of meeting on a regular basis. Most golf clubs have competitions throughout the week and they might be called ‘Roll-Ups’ or something similar, it basically means you can turn up at a certain time, dependent on how many people turn up then the draw is made on the spot, there and then. So this way is a great way of meeting new friends and future golfing buddies!
So with a golf membership you are so far getting cheaper golf, regular exercise, a real handicap and meeting new friends – sounds like a good deal to me but I haven’t finished yet because there are more benefits to being a member of a golf club.
5. Not expensive
The reason I have called it not expensive is dependent on some major factors, firstly what type of golf club are you looking for and is it 5 days or 7-day memberships, because adding in a few different variables can all of a sudden skyrocket the cost of your annual golf fees.
Firstly is there a joining fee? If there is then this might be a one-off upfront fee when you initially join, but this depends on the type of golf course you are joining? Historically the reason there are joining fees at some golf courses is because some of them have always charged the joining fee and if they stopped charging this joining fee they might have a rebellion on their hands by established long term members, so always ask or check this before deciding on a golf course to join.
Saying that, a lot of golf courses are feeling the pinch and because of things changing in the economic climate they do not charge a joining fee to attract new members, so look into that little detail before you decide to join a golf club, it normally means the higher the calibre or quality of the golf course is a major deciding factor whether a joining fee is administered.
Take out the joining fee and that is when you annual golf fees can seem very inexpensive and save you a lot of money over 12 months, doing a bit of homework on this factor and you will be on your way to becoming an established member of an established golf course.
6. Being able to have access to the golf course professional
When your average golfer goes into a pro shop or golf retailer they feel a bit intimidated by the thought of asking a professional golfer questions, sometimes the thought of asking basic normal questions is something the average golfer doesn’t like to do.
But once you have joined your local golf course on a membership you will then have the opportunity to become friends with your golf course pro and on first name terms, this then breaks down those barriers of what questions you feel comfortable in asking.
He or she will then be accessible for questions on equipment, tips and possibly lessons, so look at this as a real benefit of being a golf club member – your local pro can become your best friend and trust me I have been down this path so I can vouch for this and it is a good thing!
7. Playing a round of golf doesn’t have to turn into an all-day affair
Being a member as I mentioned earlier allows you access to the course 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, so playing a couple of holes, 9 holes or even 18 holes when you want to becomes a real added benefit.
With the warmer months approaching and the days getting longer, the opportunity to play after work, before work or whatever time suits becomes a possibility because of paying your annual fees.
You will also find that your rounds of golf may start getting quicker and not being out on a golf course when all the ‘weekend’ hackers are out in force, you will find that playing golf competitions are quicker, and because your fellow members also have an official handicap you know that they can get around a course pretty steadily and know the etiquette and rules of golf.
Also, know that the players in front of you and behind you are also in the same competition so they know when you are being delayed, so you feel that you are not under pressure because all of the fields are in the same boat.
However, this might be different if you are at the back end of the field ,because all golf courses want to earn extra revenue so they start pushing out pay and play golfers after the competition field has departed off on their round – so sometimes the tail enders getting the public once in a while golfers behind them – however this might not always be the case with certain golf clubs so just be aware when putting your name down for a competition and also what day of the week it is, generally pay and play golfers get out on the weekend.
8. The golf club roll of honour!
Lastly, the best bit about being a member of a golf course is all about the annual golf events or tournaments held at the course, during the year there will be club championships, team events, mixed events, senior events, the list is endless and all of them give you the opportunity of putting your name on the honours board for years to come!
One of the first things I look at when I visit new golf courses is the honours boards, it sort of gives you an indication of the type of players and standard of players the golf club attracts – maybe one day your name will be up there for everyone to admire and aspire to when they also look at the honours board.
Plus it’s a great talking point with your new found golfing friends when you do get your name up in lights! Plus there is always the opportunity of joining the ‘Hole in One’ Club at your new golf club, it doesn’t matter of what standard of golfer you are there is always the chance of all of us getting an ‘Ace’ at your home club because you really get used to playing the short holes regularly, but be warned if you do get a hole in one at your home club you may have to buy all the members on the golf course, or at the time of the hole in one, a celebration drink for your fete!
And I said golf was cheap! A round of drinks for a few hundred members can get very expensive so be warned either pay off your playing partners or take a hit in the wallet! Some golf course memberships actually cover a nominal 75 Pounds or Dollars in your annual fee so well worth looking into just in case? Or alternatively, some golfers buy golf insurance for this just in case!
I hope that you have enjoyed this article on the cost of golf club membership compared to playing ad-hoc on a casual basis and as always if you have any comments or feedback please do not hesitate to leave me a message or comment below, I will be glad to respond to any of your questions.
In the meantime keep hitting those fairways and keep hitting the golf ball straight!