In the St. Louis area, private Bogey Hills CC opens itself to non-member preview days on a few Mondays each summer. You have to make a reservation, and the deal is:
Before 2 PM: $49.50 + lunch.
After 2 PM: $32.50 (no lunch)
Bogey mainly promotes this through Walters Golf Management, which runs the club.
The area's Big 4 clubs all have waiting lists, but some of the mid-level clubs have trimmed or eliminated initiation fees. Dynamic pricing now extends well beyond individual golf rounds.
It seems private country clubs often have calculated an "ideal" number of members, so that the facilities are maximized without being crowded.
The private country clubs often have tennis and swimming along with golf - and additional family activities - whereas the semi-private golf clubs normally just do golf.
I never believe handicaps. I thought at first that people lie to get more strokes, but it is just the opposite. When I see a 8 handicap, who( for example, drives the ball 220 from the regular tees), I highly question it. I think, "could this guy break 90 from the championship tees at Oakland Hills? The answer for anyone who claims to be a 8-15 is usually no.
Its super frustrating!! Theres all these simulators and the whole try before you buy but I cant hit a ball in a simulator to save my life. It makes me nuts!!!! How is one supposed to demo clubs when they can't hit it in the sim!?