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Chris Stewart

Thinking about membership...

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There's a place near me, Windy Hill (http://www.windyhillsports.com) that offers membership for unlimited greens fees for $800 and I'm contemplating joining. They have a 9 hole (par 35) course and a 9 hole, par 3 course. I've played each course twice and enjoyed it. The par 3 is really quite simple. It's fun to play quickly and is good for short game practice, but it's more for practice than anything else. The regular course I've played twice in just the last 2 weeks. I wasn't expecting a lot (details below) but I was impressed by it. The greens are very well kept, as are the fairways. It's not a killer course by any stretch, but for me it has challenges and makes you hit different types of shots often. For instance, there are par 3s over water or with water threatening, par 4s that dogleg and in ways where you're not hitting a driver off the tee always, and a finishing par 5 of 442 yards where the green is greatly elevated. On the other side, there aren't forced carries or completely fortified greens. So it's challenging for me, but not in an overboard way. I'm concerned about joining a place, and therefore committing myself to playing there the vast majority of the time, that's only a 9 hole course. My work schedule is such that I can play 9 holes after work at least twice a week and probably once on the weekend, where I couldn't do the same for 18 holes. I have 3 kids, so I feel guilty if I spend 4 hours on a weekend playing golf while my wife watches the kids (1, 2, and 4 in age). Granted I still get to play 18 on a weekend regularly enough, I don't expect to be able to. The idea of being able to play 9 regularly is great. I just want to "have the normal experience" of playing 18, a full round. It feels weird just playing 9, if that makes any sense. Also, this place isn't your typical golf course. It has Go Karts, probably best known as a driving range, batting cages, and mini golf. That's why I was surprised by the quality of the course. It's better than my local First Tee. Not quite as nice as some others, but it's not nearly as expensive to play or be a member of either. They also have a full pro shop, pros, lessons, etc. Anyway, I guess I'm just trying to figure this out in my mind, but any thoughts are welcome. :-)

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What I'd do if I was in your situation is take how many rounds you expect to play until Dec 31st as i'm guessing this is an annual membership, and decide how much that would be and whether it's a lot more than 800.  Then decide if you really want to devote yourself to only playing this course, well at least a lot more than you'd normally play it.

Last summer, I worked at a course, and played it practically everyday.  It was nice to be able to play whenever you want, but you get so used to the course and how to play it, you lose course management for other types of shots you wouldn't normally play.  I had to try and play another course at least once a week, to make sure I can play other courses just as well.  Was it worth it? In the end, yes because i could practice all I want.

Hope that helps.

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To me joining a club has 2 benefits. 1 is, playing at the same place each week I get in a game with a regular group of guys who play at the same time each week. It is a regular thing which is very nice. 2, is competition. My club has great tournaments 6-7 times per year that are competitive and fun to play in. That is nice.

Other than that, the course plays a bit faster which is nice. I do lose the ability to play other places but that is outweighed by the benefits I listed.

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Personally, I could never join a 9 hole course. I can play one after work, but joining a club usually means you are going to play most of your golf at that course and 9 holes aren't enough. Maybe it's fine for you though.

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If I were you I'd compare that course to one's in the area. I wouldn't want to join a course that only has 1 full length 9 holes especially for $800.

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9 hole courses are great. They tend to be fun, cheap and are quick to play.

Membership there doesn't prevent you from playing 18 elsewhere every now and then.

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What I'd do if I was in your situation is take how many rounds you expect to play until Dec 31st as i'm guessing this is an annual membership, and decide how much that would be and whether it's a lot more than 800.  Then decide if you really want to devote yourself to only playing this course, well at least a lot more than you'd normally play it.

It's a rolling year, so it would start the day I paid and go until that date next year. I feel like I'll probably end up playing here a lot regardless, simply because it's convient from work and it's not overly crowded.

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If I were you I'd compare that course to one's in the area. I wouldn't want to join a course that only has 1 full length 9 holes especially for $800.

In my area, there aren't many other options at that price. First Tee is $950, which is closest in price. It offers 18 holes (par 66, so a lot of 3s) but gets really busy on the weekends as it's the "best cheap golf" in town. I could probably get in 9 holes after work like I can at Windy Hill, which I hadn't considered before, and it's on my side of town so weekends are more likely. I think they also pro-rate it, so it would be cheaper since it's only for 7 months. This might actually be a better option for me. The Crossings is probably my favorite course I've played in Richmond so far, and it's $169/month ($2,028/year). It's a nicer course with 18 holes but also gets quite busy given it's location. It's on the side of town where I work, so weekends are less likely. The big benefit is it gives you membership to 5 "area" courses. Problem is, most of those are in Williamsburg and it would be rare that I'd go out there. I'm not sure the cost/benefit would work here, need to do the math. Most everything in this area is at least $2,000/year and that's the public courses.

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Going through the numbers on the other options, I don't think any of them would really make sense for me to join except Windy Hill. Even then, it would be close. So maybe I'll just keep doing what I'm doing. :-)

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Around here, membership fees around $800 gets you on a nice full-length course (without a season cart pass).

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Its really a toss up for a nine hole course. In comparison Iive in Missoula Montana and we have three top notch course, 1 being public, 1 being semi private and the 3rd being completely private. this is the public course http://canyonrivergolfclub.com/index.php and its season passes are $895. I have played several very nice cousres and this is one of my favorites. I play enough to justify the season pass price but i also feel for the quality of the course their price is justified as well. Thought it might be nice to compare some similar prices.

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Note: This thread is 3076 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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