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TussinMan

Can a Non-Member Use a Private Practice Facility?

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Interesting topic. There's alot of club-corp courses in my area and I had a weird situation a few months back. Was invited to use the practice range at one of the country club facilities and I went with a friend who was supposedly a member. After the 3rd time we went he said he hadn't been a member for over a year. 

Since ClubCorp is basically the Walmart of golf, there's no check in for any of the clubs for both the parking lot and driving range (driving range they just leave a huge basket of balls out for each station). Since they not only allow unlimited memberships but they allow the memberships to carry over to any course in the area they can't realistically check anyone in (that's the biggest compliant of clubcorp, it's basically the walmart of golf). 

What is the moral view of using the practice facility ? I know there's generally a very negative view of sneaking onto a 18 hole course (especially since you literally have to sneak in) but what is the consensus of literally just walking up to a driving range with no ill intentions and just hitting balls ? 

 

 

 

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41 minutes ago, TussinMan said:

Interesting topic. There's alot of club-corp courses in my area and I had a weird situation a few months back. Was invited to use the practice range at one of the country club facilities and I went with a friend who was supposedly a member. After the 3rd time we went he said he hadn't been a member for over a year. 

Since ClubCorp is basically the Walmart of golf, there's no check in for any of the clubs for both the parking lot and driving range (driving range they just leave a huge basket of balls out for each station). Since they not only allow unlimited memberships but they allow the memberships to carry over to any course in the area they can't realistically check anyone in (that's the biggest compliant of clubcorp, it's basically the walmart of golf). 

What is the moral view of using the practice facility ? I know there's generally a very negative view of sneaking onto a 18 hole course (especially since you literally have to sneak in) but what is the consensus of literally just walking up to a driving range with no ill intentions and just hitting balls ? 

 

 

 

Yeah, not cool. My course has a Golf Academy practice area that one can pay to use. It’s quite nice with a short game area, two green side bunkers and a fairway bunker to practice with. Quite often people will come to this area to warm up as opposed to the general practice range on the other side of the lake. Most of the time they’re tourists but it’s a bit annoying when they flock over there because they see it’s nicer and  less crowded. I don’t think they realize there’s a reason for that.

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 I’ve been a guest at some outstanding ClubCorp properties.  I’m not quite sure where your misplaced derision comes from, but regardless, it’s wrong to steal from Walmart too...

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I was on a road trip a few years back. Had my clubs with me. I noticed a nice looking course nearby and wanted to practice putting a bit. After a few minuets somebody, i think the starter, came over and told me it was private and I would have to leave. He was polite, told me where a nice public course was and off I went.

People there pay a lot of $$ to use the practice green, I have no entitlement to enjoy the privileges they have.

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1 hour ago, Papa Steve 55 said:

I was on a road trip a few years back. Had my clubs with me. I noticed a nice looking course nearby and wanted to practice putting a bit. After a few minuets somebody, i think the starter, came over and told me it was private and I would have to leave. He was polite, told me where a nice public course was and off I went.

People there pay a lot of $$ to use the practice green, I have no entitlement to enjoy the privileges they have.

You can't were a tank top and denim shorts and expect to not get kicked out of the club 😁

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Same as everything else in life: Don’t take anything that’s not yours.

I don’t think I can relax/make the most out of a practice session if I have to keep looking over my shoulders for sneaking in.

Edited by FlyingAce

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38 minutes ago, FlyingAce said:

don’t think I can relax/make the most out of a practice session if I have to keep looking over my shoulders for sneaking in.

If that’s how’d you feel..you’re likely the type not to do it in the first place.🙂

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3 hours ago, Papa Steve 55 said:

I was on a road trip a few years back. Had my clubs with me. I noticed a nice looking course nearby and wanted to practice putting a bit. After a few minuets somebody, i think the starter, came over and told me it was private and I would have to leave. He was polite, told me where a nice public course was and off I went.

People there pay a lot of $$ to use the practice green, I have no entitlement to enjoy the privileges they have.

Same thing happened to me at a private course in Newport Beach, Ca. Course was right along side of the highway.

I went in to ask if I could golf. The guy asked if I were a member. Told him no. I was not. "No" was his answer. I asked if I could just use the practice area. Same answer. 

As I was leaving a stranger approached me. Told me if I wanted to play the course, that he was going out in a hour or so. That he could get me on as his guest. I did that, and it worked out well. 

 

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We have a County course close to where I live. They have a driving range, three hole practice course that cost $8 each to use. They also have two practice greens with bunkers that you can use for free. This whole area is as nice as the course itself.

I practice there quite often on the free greens. I don’t feel guilty because, I pay County taxes, sometimes I use the driving range, play the practice course, plus I pay green fees to play the course.

Edited by CharlieB

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6 hours ago, CharlieB said:

We have a County course close to where I live. They have a driving range, three hole practice course that cost $8 each to use. They also have two practice greens with bunkers that you can use for free. This whole area is as nice as the course itself.

I practice there quite often on the free greens. I don’t feel guilty because, I pay County taxes, sometimes I use the driving range, play the practice course, plus I pay green fees to play the course.

If it is a public course and the course says that the practice area is open to the public feel free. It is nice to play the course and the range so that the course gets some revenue but have fun.

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On 11/9/2019 at 11:00 PM, David in FL said:

 I’ve been a guest at some outstanding ClubCorp properties.  I’m not quite sure where your misplaced derision comes from

In my area it's not looked down on because the properties aren't nice. It's frowned upon do to the unlimited memberships they sell even though they don't have the capacity for it (there kinda like the massage envy of golf). With my area being the 4th biggest metroplex in the US + the economy being so good right now, capacity is becoming a huge concern (whats the point of claiming your a country club when you sell 2000 memberships and have to run tee times every 7 minutes). It cheapens the sport, cheapens the word "country club" and makes it look walmart'ish 

The tier 1 clubcorp courses I will admit doesn't have this issue due to monthly memberships being almost double and you actually have to pay an expensive joiners fee to enter 

On 11/10/2019 at 7:57 AM, FlyingAce said:

I don’t think I can relax/make the most out of a practice session if I have to keep looking over my shoulders for sneaking in.

We'll thats what was throwing me off. There is no check in so you don't have to really sneak in or check your shoulder (anyone can just walk up to a station and start hitting balls). 

I do understand though why they wouldn't have check ins.  It's not realistic to expect a person who wasn't a member to dress nice, show up, and actually genuinely practice 

On 11/10/2019 at 12:32 PM, CharlieB said:

We have a County course close to where I live. They have a driving range, three hole practice course that cost $8 each to use. They also have two practice greens with bunkers that you can use for free. This whole area is as nice as the course itself.

I practice there quite often on the free greens. I don’t feel guilty because, I pay County taxes, sometimes I use the driving range, play the practice course, plus I pay green fees to play the course.

My county course straight up tells you that you can use the practice facility if you bring your own balls. I think it's probably the norm for the chipping area and putting area 

 

EDIT: Thank you to everyone for the replies. It's always interesting to get others perspectives (one of the main reasons why I like internet forums). 

Edited by TussinMan
Merge

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On 11/9/2019 at 10:11 PM, TussinMan said:

What is the moral view of using the practice facility ? I know there's generally a very negative view of sneaking onto a 18 hole course (especially since you literally have to sneak in) but what is the consensus of literally just walking up to a driving range with no ill intentions and just hitting balls ? 

If I see a stranger on the range at my home club, I'll often go to introduce myself to what I think must be a new member.  If I find that you're not a member, I'll politely ask you to leave.  I don't use private facilities that I don't pay for, and I don't expect that my money should support anyone freeloading on the facilities that I do pay for.

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Put it this way.

It's easy to imagine a lot of people not feeling too sorry for Clubcorp. On the other hand, what about that public range down the road. It probably has an owner trying to make a decent living for himself and his family. In the process, he's keeping a public option available for those of us who can't or won't pay to be a member of a private course. 

Support your local businesses or they might go away. 

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21 hours ago, TussinMan said:

In my area it's not looked down on because the properties aren't nice. It's frowned upon do to the unlimited memberships they sell even though they don't have the capacity for it (there kinda like the massage envy of golf). With my area being the 4th biggest metroplex in the US + the economy being so good right now, capacity is becoming a huge concern (whats the point of claiming your a country club when you sell 2000 memberships and have to run tee times every 7 minutes). It cheapens the sport, cheapens the word "country club" and makes it look walmart'ish 

The tier 1 clubcorp courses I will admit doesn't have this issue due to monthly memberships being almost double and you actually have to pay an expensive joiners fee to enter 

 

Frowned upon by whom?  Certainly not the members, or they wouldn’t be members.  Perhaps they find the convenience of the availability of the practice ares, as well as that of multiple facilities within the metroplex to be worth the price.  I certainly bet they don’t believe that their privileges cheapens their “country club” experience.  Along the same lines, do the more crowded local public courses somehow “cheapen the sport”?

Sorry, but it all still sounds like a bit of sour grapes.  All these people get to use the facilities, but I can’t...

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