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Private Clubs vs. Public - Advantages/Disadvantages

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Some very interesting posts here. It's true that most private club members have a lot of disposable income. However, there are several types of rich people. My club has members that are from "old money" meaning they came from wealthy families and inherited at least some portion of their wealth. Others have achieved financial success totally on their own. One thing I've noticed from both groups is that money and class don't always intersect.  I prefer to judge people by how they treat others. Fortunately, my club has more "class actors" than rich jerks. 

Whether playing private, semi-private, or pubic courses I found that over the years most of the people I've met were good people. Of late, golf has begun to attract people of questionable character. Usually those people don't stick around once everyone knows them.  

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I have belonged to a country club for over 20 years.  I have won the club championship several times.  We have automatic tee times on Fri, Sat and Sun and we have a big skins game.  The club championship trophy sits in a glass case near the entrance to the club.  I also have my own club champion parking space.  There is nothing better than belonging to a country club where everyone knows you are the club champ.  

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6 hours ago, Hoganman1 said:

Some very interesting posts here. It's true that most private club members have a lot of disposable income. However, there are several types of rich people. My club has members that are from "old money" meaning they came from wealthy families and inherited at least some portion of their wealth. Others have achieved financial success totally on their own. One thing I've noticed from both groups is that money and class don't always intersect.  I prefer to judge people by how they treat others. Fortunately, my club has more "class actors" than rich jerks. 

Whether playing private, semi-private, or pubic courses I found that over the years most of the people I've met were good people. Of late, golf has begun to attract people of questionable character. Usually those people don't stick around once everyone knows them.  

Absolutely! The club I was talking about was not a bastion of WASP culture, nor of old money! I kind of prefer the "new money" folks since the last thing I enjoy is stuffiness! 

In reference to your final paragraph, I made a career in sales. I was scared to death going into it. I was a bit socially awkward, but I knew what I was talking about. I discovered the same thing you did. Most people are good people. Yes, you run into a jerk here and there, but you learn to move past them. 

I've also traveled overseas and enjoyed myself immensely! People are people, no matter where you go!

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19 hours ago, famousdavis said:

I have belonged to a country club for over 20 years.  I have won the club championship several times.  We have automatic tee times on Fri, Sat and Sun and we have a big skins game.  The club championship trophy sits in a glass case near the entrance to the club.  I also have my own club champion parking space.  There is nothing better than belonging to a country club where everyone knows you are the club champ.  

Sounds awesome,  someday for me lol

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14 hours ago, Buckeyebowman said:

Absolutely! The club I was talking about was not a bastion of WASP culture, nor of old money! I kind of prefer the "new money" folks since the last thing I enjoy is stuffiness! 

This is interesting to me.  My wife worked for a while as pharmacist in a pretty affluent suburb of Washington DC.  Her experience was that most of the "old money" people were really very pleasant and considerate, but some (a small minority to be sure) of the "new rich" were the ones were the ones who were full of themselves and their financial position.

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19 hours ago, famousdavis said:

There is nothing better than belonging to a country club where everyone knows you are the club champ.  

Common.

Isn't it a bit of been there, done that. 

Gotta branch out champ. Take on new challenges.

Edited by mcanadiens

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One thing that I haven't seen mentioned here is one of the great things about private clubs.   It can be a lot less structured.   If you go to the range one day and want to see how it translates to the course, you can usually jump out for a 3 hole loop of whatever?     Just finished up 18, but still got some more in you?   usually not an issue to go a few more holes.    you can often grab a few holes on the way home from work, or whatever.      It doesn't always have to be 18 holes at the 8:56 tee time that you made 5 days ago.    can be a lot more loosy goosy.  and for busy people, that can translate to a lot more golf. 

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19 hours ago, famousdavis said:

I have belonged to a country club for over 20 years.  I have won the club championship several times.  We have automatic tee times on Fri, Sat and Sun and we have a big skins game.  The club championship trophy sits in a glass case near the entrance to the club.  I also have my own club champion parking space.  There is nothing better than belonging to a country club where everyone knows you are the club champ.  

That's cool, but I can think of a lot of things better.  I don't rely upon the impressions others hold of me for my happiness.  I'm happy to enjoy the game, and other things, for their own sake and not for the praises/recognition of others.  

Edited by ncates00

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19 hours ago, famousdavis said:

I have belonged to a country club for over 20 years.  I have won the club championship several times.  We have automatic tee times on Fri, Sat and Sun and we have a big skins game.  The club championship trophy sits in a glass case near the entrance to the club.  I also have my own club champion parking space.  There is nothing better than belonging to a country club where everyone knows you are the club champ.  

Well thats true. Winning a club championship at a private club is much different than at a public place. Ive won several at both types and I was kinda like a king for a year at the private club. Nobody really gave a shit for the ones ive won at munis or public courses. I didn't even get a trophy for the last one i won at a muni. Just got a gift card to the pro shop. 🤣

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16 minutes ago, lastings said:

One thing that I haven't seen mentioned here is one of the great things about private clubs.   It can be a lot less structured.   If you go to the range one day and want to see how it translates to the course, you can usually jump out for a 3 hole loop of whatever?     Just finished up 18, but still got some more in you?   usually not an issue to go a few more holes.    you can often grab a few holes on the way home from work, or whatever.      It doesn't always have to be 18 holes at the 8:56 tee time that you made 5 days ago.    can be a lot more loosy goosy.  and for busy people, that can translate to a lot more golf. 

This is true as well. I often jumped on the course for 3-4 quick holes after work. But you could do the same at a public course as well. Twilight rates aren't really expensive at most places. 

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16 minutes ago, Groucho Valentine said:

This is true as well. I often jumped on the course for 3-4 quick holes after work. But you could do the same at a public course as well. Twilight rates aren't really expensive at most places. 

Yep.

One of our courses has a great 4 hole loop.  It has 2 par-4’s, a par-5, and a par-3, and ends at the parking lot.

We almost always finish a round by playing it to resolve any outstanding bets, or to give the losers an opportunity to make some money back.

Late in the afternoon we can even combine 2 groups.  We’ve played an emergency 9 as an 8-some in under 1:30...

:-)

 

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4 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

This is interesting to me.  My wife worked for a while as pharmacist in a pretty affluent suburb of Washington DC.  Her experience was that most of the "old money" people were really very pleasant and considerate, but some (a small minority to be sure) of the "new rich" were the ones were the ones who were full of themselves and their financial position.

Absolutely!  New money think they can buy "class". Truth is class is not for sale: usually, old money has it and new money typically has no idea what it is...

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A private course has not even been a possibility for me.  Yet, assuming I can afford it and had the time, I think that would be a sure way of improving my game.  I don't get out to play as often as I'd like (used to before the kids came along)  

That said, when I can play I usually head off the the course late in the day say 2pm or after on a weekend when the course is empty...and viola!   Private course on the cheap!   I play pretty fast, so depending on the daylight I can finish pretty easily.

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First, don't join a private club if you don't find the track interesting and challenging. I belong to a private club that is far from "hoity-toity" and, while we are surrounded by those types of clubs in the Philly area, our course is one of the better, interesting tracks in the area so I am lucky to find something like that. It ain't cheap but I prefer the perks of a private club, like conditioning, pace of play, a good range, access whenever I want even if I just want to play 4-5 holes, and being familiar with my surroundings like the golf staff and the membership. Our club fits all of the fore-mentioned criteria, and I never have to change my shoes in the parking lot. I know of some good private clubs in South Jersey with good tracks and good memberships, but I am not real familiar with your area. Good luck in your search. 

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Personally I like the clubs are just golf focused, and of the semi private variety. I'm a twilight member with practise facilities at a very nice course but with no requirements to spend money and no other amenities. Didnt pay the extra for storage and cleaning.

Basically as a twilight golfer, the decision was twilight member costs vs paying each time I played. It's really the only course in my area to offer the twilight membership. I would join the muni courses here as I like them, but they only offer memberships that make it cheaper if you are a retiree playing during the day a lot.

Edited by cutchemist42

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On 6/6/2019 at 11:43 AM, DaveP043 said:

This is interesting to me.  My wife worked for a while as pharmacist in a pretty affluent suburb of Washington DC.  Her experience was that most of the "old money" people were really very pleasant and considerate, but some (a small minority to be sure) of the "new rich" were the ones were the ones who were full of themselves and their financial position.

Yes, it takes all kinds to make a world. I played in a league with a millionaire, although you'd never know it. His Dad was a multi-millionaire who owned a chain of grocery stores plus numerous ancillary businesses. When this guy, and his brothers, were being "groomed" for their careers they started out bagging groceries in their Dad's stores. Then they "graduated" to stockboy, then produce, bakery, dairy, meat, etc. They had to know every job in the store. Their Dad made them work! 

On 6/6/2019 at 4:00 PM, sjduffers said:

Absolutely!  New money think they can buy "class". Truth is class is not for sale: usually, old money has it and new money typically has no idea what it is...

And I've also experienced the flipside of what I referred to above. I had to deal with a spoiled, snotty brat who thought the universe revolved around him! His legal counsel was the same way, an absolute A$$hole! The last I knew of them both were in prison! If they're out, they are not around here. And good riddance! 

Both of these examples do not involve generational old money, In both cases the fortunes were made by their parents. It just indicates how fast things can go wrong, and how it depends upon how the children are raised.

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I’ll chime in here. I’ve been retired for 10 years now and love to play golf. My wife and I joined a private POA community here in Hilton Head area. We live to play golf and together we play 500 rounds a year. So the idea of not joining a private club was out of the question. Way too expensive playing that much at public courses. We have 36 Tom Fazio courses and I have never gotten bored playing every day. What I like about it above all else is the practice facility. You can work on your game anytime. And as David related to there are weekly games, 3.5 hour rounds and great guys, to golf with along with a great group for couples golf. We have a lot of FIPS at our club (former important people). None of them care how much money you have or what you did in the professional life they just enjoy playing. We have all the amenities but like David  said, I’m just interested in golf. 

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