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juanrjackson

Semi-Private Golf courses

18 posts in this topic

All,

Just wonder....what does a "semi-private" golf course mean? I did a google seach & the definition I got was "A golf course/club that has members, but also allows those that are not members to play".

But in reality it seems like semi-private courses are just non-private courses that are ran by private companies instead of municipalities. They have higher green fees..but seem in nicer condition than munis...

Your comments?
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''semi private''... according to websters: ''a BS phrase made up by golf club 'marketeers'(sic) to make members of mid-priced to expensive courses open to the public feel more special about themselves so they don't go purchase a membership elsewhere at a members only club.''
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I think the members get the tee time priority and sell some of the left over tee times to non-members.

Hmmm. I stand corrected by Senorchipotle
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A "semi-private" course is exactly what you say it is. It's a public golf course with members, privately owned.
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The course here in town is "semi-private" they allow non-member play Mondays and Tuesdays although it is mostly filled up by league play. It's just a way to get outside money that doesn't come from the members, also you wont see a non member teeing up during any of the usual morning group times. All courses are different though...
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Around here, semi-private means that it is a course that has a membership and anyone can join if you pay the fee, but they also allow public play from non-members. Typically the members get the priority tee times on weekends. There might be other things as well, pro shop discounts, food discounts, etc. You see them a bunch in the more rural areas where a course couldn't survive on just having a few hundred members. They need to be open to get the extra income.

I have seen that the more members a course has, the more restrictions they put on the public.
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I'm a member at a "semi-private" course, and have to agree with what's been stated above. Anyone can come pay and play, but members have priority on the course, and there's the locker room which members have access to, but I don't use it because I don't play exclusively at that course, it's just where I play the most. It's in the middle of nowhere, and the members make up the majority of the players during the winter months, but during the summer, it's a 50/50 mix of members and pay to play guys. The members always get priority off the tee box though.
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Unlimited play. Able to make tee times far in advance of the public. At our club, the public cannot make a tee time before 10:30 on the weekends. Members tournaments. Guests receive discounted rate. The only bad part is having the public get in the way.
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A public golf course that has memberships that can save you money of you play enough golf. Or it could be a private golf course that is open to the public a day or two a week.
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''semi private''... according to websters: ''a BS phrase made up by golf club 'marketeers'(sic) to make members of mid-priced to expensive courses open to the public feel more special about themselves so they don't go purchase a membership elsewhere at a members only club.''

SenorC...

Oakmont Country Club just north of Dallas was in this situation about 1995 or so. Originally designed as a private club, the members got all uppidy about allowing outsiders to play - until the adult managers told them they could go bust and lose their investment if the club went bankrupt. From the looks of the website, they may have rebounded and shifted to private. Do you know Oakmont's situation now? http://www.clubcorp.com/club/scripts...MTCC&SUBGRP;=15 Sometimes developers will build an upscale golf course in a rural area in the path of suburban expansion. Often combine it with a couple of high-$$ subdivisions on the side. The developers start selling memberships while allowing everyday people to play at the course for a fee. This has two benefits: * Shows off the golf course * Allows them to make money on the excess capacity of rounds when initial membership is low. If memberships sell well, at a certain time they will take the club private. WingHaven C.C. in west St. Louis County an example of this. When my work trips first took me to the area in 2005, WH was still semi-private. It's marketing blurbs warned that "memberships are going fast." From its website, it appears it is private now: www.winghavencc.com Courses built on a semi-p to private plan which don't sell enough memberships some times get shut down and subdivided, or sold to a local city or county. If it becomes a public course, new management likely will fill in some of the sand traps to cut maintenance costs, and cut down some trees on tight fairways to speed up play. One of the young assistant pros here on the Illinois side said all the semi-p clubs are having the same recession problem: Memberships are lagging, and non-members only want to pay $30 for a $60 round of golf. (That's $60 in good times when people have jobs)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WUTiger View Post
None

SenorC...

Oakmont Country Club just north of Dallas was in this situation about 1995 or so. Originally designed as a private club, the members got all uppidy about allowing outsiders to play - until the adult managers told them they could go bust and lose their investment if the club went bankrupt. From the looks of the website, they may have rebounded and shifted to private. Do you know Oakmont's situation now? http://www.clubcorp.com/club/scripts...MTCC&SUBGRP;=15

This is a great example.  The club mentioned here is owned and managed by ClubCorp, which does so over something like 200 golf courses through out the world, mostly in the US though.  They own a lot of little known but very nice courses, and also some better known courses (Bear's Best in Atlanta and Vegas for example), including some that have PGA/LPGA tour stops (Firestone and the one in Palm Springs that has the LPGA major, I forget).  Anyhow, some of their places are semi-private, which you can tell by the fact that they offer tee times on their web site as well as membership information (not pricing though, I think maybe because pricing throughout their clubs varies wildly and they don't want members from the upper-tier clubs complaining about the dues at the lower tier clubs).

I am a member at one of these clubs, and it's completely private, but surprisingly not that expensive, especially if you're under 35 and get in at the "junior executive" rate.  Nice thing about ClubCorp is every member can pay a premium in their dues each month (for me it's $50) which gets them a number of benefits (1/2 off dining for example) including free greens fees and loaner clubs at pretty much every one of their other facilities.  Makes for some cheap but really good golf when travelling to urban areas, and their mostly private so it's typically not jam packed or poorly run.

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Sometimes a "muni" can also be a semi-private. Eastchester, NY is an example. The town took over a defunct private club back in the 70's and turned it into a town-owned semi-private country club. The idea is that you have to join as a member to use all the facilities, but at substantially reduced rates compared to a private club. For example town residents get to join the entire country club with golf, tennis and pool for around $2800/yr for a family. Any resident is eligible..no initiation fee. Just have to prove residency. The club also allows a limited number of non-resident members at higher rates (which is still alot less than private). A private club around here would cost around $12k+ per year plus an initiation fee and caddy fees, assessments, etc.

To fill in unused tee times the club also allows non-members to play at certain times as well. But only members can use the pool or tennis.

Conditions at the semi-private are much better than county owned courses or daily fee courses but not as pristine as private clubs. The best part is being able to play 2-3 holes after work without a separate fee as a member or consistent 4-hour rounds walking. Never really crowded, but not empty like private clubs with only 300 members. Also no caddies, cart girls or cold towels. You do get a few water fountains scattered around and the compny of some really nice people who tend to be much friendlier caus they are members and know they will see each other all the time.

It's a great way to save money and enjoy alot of the benefits of a private club without the expense. Maybe use it as a stepping stone to a private club down the road.

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Originally Posted by mikegoods

Does a Semi-Private Golf course have membership refusal rights?

I would assume so.  You can probably still play there though.

In my experience in Sacramento and the surrounding areas, "Semi-private" courses are all courses that used to be completely private until falling upon hard times due to the economic downturn of the past several years, and actually even before that.  A lot of the members during the private days were none too happy bout it, either.

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Originally Posted by juanrjackson

All,

Just wonder....what does a "semi-private" golf course mean? I did a google seach & the definition I got was "A golf course/club that has members, but also allows those that are not members to play".

But in reality it seems like semi-private courses are just non-private courses that are ran by private companies instead of municipalities. They have higher green fees..but seem in nicer condition than munis...

Your comments?

You are partially right.  In concept, you are dead on.  But, semi-private does not have to be owned/operated by a private company.  It can be owned by a municipality.  I have not generally seen semi-private owned by a larger city.  More so, in smaller cities and lots of times it may have been a once private country club that was going under and the city/town bought it.  Then to appease the older membership they offer a membership or annual pass or something where they pay each month or annual and they get something for their committment to the course.  That something could be discounts off merchandise, preferred tee times, free range balls, something.  But, these courses still allow outside, pay as you go, players.

To me, it is still a public golf course...not a private one.  Just harder to get an early morning Saturday tee time.  A semi-private golf course in crappy condition is just a public course probably overcharging for their product.  :)

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A public golf course that has memberships that can save you money of you play enough golf. Or it could be a private golf course that is open to the public a day or two a week.

Oh 2010 jamo. It was a simpler time.

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semi-private= public golf course

the name is an oxymoron.   BTW.....why do people park on driveways, but drive on parkways? .........LOL

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Originally Posted by BuckeyeNut

semi-private= public golf course

the name is an oxymoron.   BTW.....why do people park on driveways, but drive on parkways? .........LOL

In some cases yes, but most semi-privates probably won't let non-members just walk in on their own and play. Usually you either have to be with a member or sign-up online through their web site or Golf Now for the available slots they have.

Typically, the ones I've seen are run more like private clubs with alot more members and less frills. There are also public courses that sell memberships for unlimited play but I don't consider these semi-private as they also are open to anyone who walks in.

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