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MiniBlueDragon

Why did you choose the club you did?

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Assuming you're a member of a golf club and not just visiting public courses, why did you choose your current club?

Location? Budget? Difficulty? Friendships?

I have 6 or 7 local courses within 20 mins drive of me, of which all but three require a secret squirrel handshake, Borg dresscode and right trouser leg rolled-up with car keys in a bowl on a drunken night to join, i.e. I'm not interested.

The remaining three have WILDLY different pricing structures:

Course #1

20 mins drive.

5697 yard par 70. "a good test of golf to any level of golfer."

7 day membership = £70 per month.

5 day membership = £62 per month.

Course #2

10 mins drive.

5299 yard par 66. "tight and difficult course"

7 day membership = £121 per month.

5 day membership = £100 per month.

Course #3

15 mins drive.

6295 yard par 71. "tree lined fairways, carefully positioned bunkers, deceptive greens and natural water hazards."

7 day FULL membership = £168 per month.

7 day restricted membership = £142 per month.

5 day membership = £117 per month.

I'd be opting for the 5 day membership as I primarily play weekday mornings when it's quiet (I have about 3.5 hours of time each morning) but to be honest the combination of cost, travel time out of my 3.5 hours and course difficulty has me confused.

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I am a member at a local public course, does that count? Lol

I picked it because it has an amazing student discount and is a decent course for the price.  It is also only 10 minutes away from my house.

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I've never found sufficient value in a private club to consider joining.  The Denver Metro area has too many really nice public and privately owned daily fee courses that I would rarely play if I restricted myself by paying a lot of money to join a club.  Instead I buy the Colorado Avid Golfer Passport each spring for $79.  This gives me discounts on some great courses all over the state.  Last month I played Grand Elk and Pole Creek (two outstanding mountain courses) for $45 each - that's less than half price each.  I'll be visiting both courses at least once or twice more this year before they close at the end of September.  For me, that's a better deal than joining any club.

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Right now I can only play whatever course I can get a job at so that I can play for free... otherwise I can't afford it and I just practice instead. Luckily I have a job picking a driving range 2 nights a week for unlimited free golf and range balls, no money though.

Originally Posted by Fourputt

I've never found sufficient value in a private club to consider joining.  The Denver Metro area has too many really nice public and privately owned daily fee courses that I would rarely play if I restricted myself by paying a lot of money to join a club.  Instead I buy the Colorado Avid Golfer Passport each spring for $79.  This gives me discounts on some great courses all over the state.  Last month I played Grand Elk and Pole Creek (two outstanding mountain courses) for $45 each - that's less than half price each.  I'll be visiting both courses at least once or twice more this year before they close at the end of September.  For me, that's a better deal than joining any club.


I am going to school in Boulder, that deal sounds pretty cool never heard of it though, does it last all year?

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Go with the Private Clubs if you can and check to see if they offer unlimited range with their membership... In my opinion you want to stay away from the semi-private clubs.

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Originally Posted by jshots

Right now I can only play whatever course I can get a job at so that I can play for free... otherwise I can't afford it and I just practice instead. Luckily I have a job picking a driving range 2 nights a week for unlimited free golf and range balls, no money though.

I am going to school in Boulder, that deal sounds pretty cool never heard of it though, does it last all year?


Yes.  It's good for the the whole year, allowing that some courses have longer seasons that others.  There are usually some restrictions - many courses only allow play mon-thur; some only after a certain time, may be 10 AM or 12 noon or 1 PM.  Others are good any day, any time.  Most include cart, green fees and range balls.  You can get information at ColoradoAvidGolfer.com.

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Thanks for the replies so far. Keep 'em coming!

The sole reason for me looking at a proper membership is the value factor versus what I pay currently.

If I renew my current "priviledge" card I get to play the par 3 9 hole course on Course #1 above as much as I want but I find there's little challenge there, only practice for short game as holes are 119, 147, 208, 147, 151, 140, 168, 94, 180 yards each and all have circular banks around each hole to keep the ball in play after a bad shot. They do have various bunkers, hazards and multi-tiered greens though which add to difficulty a little.

I can pay £7.50 to play the front or back 9 on the larger 18 course at the same club using my priviledge card but if I play 9 holes any more than twice per week it becomes bad value versus a full membership. Plus if I'm a full member I can play any amount of holes I want to at the club I'm a member of, I'm not limited to 9; if time allows I can play 10, 12, 14 etc.

Originally Posted by CuppedTin

Go with the Private Clubs if you can and check to see if they offer unlimited range with their membership... In my opinion you want to stay away from the semi-private clubs.

How come?

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"tight and difficult course"  sounds like the local muni.   It also sounds like Rivera (one of the first stops of the PGA tour which would not accept me as a member even if I could afford it)

The local muni is very affordable. The sand traps are hard pack, the greens chewed up, the driving range has thin rubber mats on cement. What a club usually offers is better facilities,  better course care, and far less traffic.  Take the fringe for example. At the muni - it's no longer a fringe. Too much foot traffic.

The best thing to do would be to play all 3 then decide.

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Originally Posted by MiniBlueDragon

Thanks for the replies so far. Keep 'em coming!

The sole reason for me looking at a proper membership is the value factor versus what I pay currently.

If I renew my current "priviledge" card I get to play the par 3 9 hole course on Course #1 above as much as I want but I find there's little challenge there, only practice for short game as holes are 119, 147, 208, 147, 151, 140, 168, 94, 180 yards each and all have circular banks around each hole to keep the ball in play after a bad shot. They do have various bunkers, hazards and multi-tiered greens though which add to difficulty a little.

I can pay £7.50 to play the front or back 9 on the larger 18 course at the same club using my priviledge card but if I play 9 holes any more than twice per week it becomes bad value versus a full membership. Plus if I'm a full member I can play any amount of holes I want to at the club I'm a member of, I'm not limited to 9; if time allows I can play 10, 12, 14 etc.

How come?


It all comes down to play, all of the semi-private and local courses around me are always covered up. The private courses are always more open to tee times and not to mention you will meet other guys there that share your interest...

And this is just my opinion and I'm not judging every other golfer the same, but I think private courses seem to be taken care of better by the player, trash, divots replaced, etc...

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As mentioned above, go to each course and ask for a "trial round" to see if you want to play the course "full-time."  I did that at my club and it made my decision quite easy.  First you can see how the holes are laid out and if it is a course that you want to play very often.  Also you can just casually walk up to members on tee boxes or between holes and ask them some general information.  This was the best part of the trial rounds for me.  I met 5 or 6 members and asked them the "pros and cons" of the club.  Nothing better than getting answers to questions by the membership not the membership director or GM of the club.

A very cool thing about a club that I was not really expecting was getting in with a group of guys to play on a Saturday mornings.  MBD, I know that you say you would not take advantage of that, but I would not count it out.

As far as why semi-private is not really worth it... in my area Semi-Private is just that.  Anyone can get a tee time so the courses are packed.  The "members" just get to make them father in advance.  Not much of a benefit for my monthly dues if you ask me.  Also, the private club in my opinion seems to be better kept by the membership (ie fairway divots filled with sand, pitch marks repaired).  Again this is my opinion, but the general public has no vested interest in repairing divots and pitch marks at a course.

Lastly, private clubs tend to give pro shop discounts and lessons are easier to get scheduled.

Hope this helps

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I look at how far away from the green I am and choose the club that I hit that distance.  (I seriously thought that was what this thread meant when i read the title.)

For me its close and its super cheep.  I got unlimited golf for 80 dollars one year.

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Originally Posted by CuppedTin

Go with the Private Clubs if you can and check to see if they offer unlimited range with their membership... In my opinion you want to stay away from the semi-private clubs.


Originally Posted by MiniBlueDragon

How come?

Semi private basically means public course that you get the privilege of paying a monthly fee to join. A lot of times the only difference between you and the public is that you can make your tee times a day or 2 before the general public. I joined one once and it was one of the biggest wastes of cash ever.

I joined a private club for pace of play, because it was close to home and because it has a lounge/bar where I can get a decent meal afterwards. Right now I am primarily a weekend player but unless its one of the monthly tournaments, our rounds are always right around 4 hours (double tee times off the front and back so 3:45 is the shortest it will ever be, but it rarely sees 4:05.) I will never average the cost per round that a public course golfer does, but you get what you pay for. The membership is still very cliquish, but everyone gets along, even if very few of the different groups ever share players.

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Originally Posted by trackster

I look at how far away from the green I am and choose the club that I hit that distance.  (I seriously thought that was what this thread meant when i read the title.)


I did too!

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I would go with #3. Not sure what the Euro to Dollar ratio is though.

At my home course it's two minutes down the road, and my dad knows the guy who owns the course so he gives us a good deal. It's open to the public but it's a pretty nice course and it's my high school golf teams' home course so that's nice too.

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Well that's put a spanner in the works as all of those courses allow visitors (Mon to Thur mainly) alongside members. It seems the main purpose of membership would be because I can play daily and save on how much I'd pay if I were paying per round. Other than that you're right in that it's open to the public and bound to be of mediocre quality. Any private clubs locally require crap like "being introduced by a current member who has been in good standing for at least 5 years" etc. That or they're £2000 GBP per year membership plus £1500 join up fee which is pretty ridiculous unless you're retired and want to spend all day every day on the course. :-(

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I got close to joining one then did the math... would end up being about $70 / round if i played 2.5 times a week.  Couldnt stomach that even though its just 5 minutes from my office.   maybe when i make more money :)

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Looks like Gracho Marx was right: "I won't join any club that will accept me as a member."

This is a good thread - now I know better then to get suckered into a semi-Private club and a Private one is out of my financial  league.

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