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High Handicap invited to Private Club


Adam2323
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Hey guys, I'm new here, but have a question I hope you can help me with. I am getting married in the Palm Springs area coming up, and was planning a golf outing. I have a connection at Mission Lakes Country Club and have been given the opportunity to play a round there with a few friends and family members the weekend of the wedding. There is a group of 7 of us. 4 are fairly high handicappers, and 3 are pretty decent golfers. My question is, I have never played at a private course. Will we be uncomfortably out of place playing at a nice private course like this? For me, the thing that makes golf not fun anymore is when someone is right on your tail pressuring you, or giving you a hard time for not being as good. I play ready golf, understand rate of play, try not to slow anyone down, and will pick my ball up if a hole is getting out of control, but sometimes it takes us a little longer because we aren't great. 

Would we be better off playing at Desert Willow, a nice public course, or should we take advantage of this opportunity? I was thinking it actually might be even more crowded at a public course, and it would cost us quite a bit whereas the private course would be free. I would love to take advantage of what might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but I also want to make sure I have a good time. Any information any of you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. 

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24 minutes ago, Adam2323 said:

Hey guys, I'm new here, but have a question I hope you can help me with. I am getting married in the Palm Springs area coming up, and was planning a golf outing. I have a connection at Mission Lakes Country Club and have been given the opportunity to play a round there with a few friends and family members the weekend of the wedding. There is a group of 7 of us. 4 are fairly high handicappers, and 3 are pretty decent golfers. My question is, I have never played at a private course. Will we be uncomfortably out of place playing at a nice private course like this? For me, the thing that makes golf not fun anymore is when someone is right on your tail pressuring you, or giving you a hard time for not being as good. I play ready golf, understand rate of play, try not to slow anyone down, and will pick my ball up if a hole is getting out of control, but sometimes it takes us a little longer because we aren't great. 

Would we be better off playing at Desert Willow, a nice public course, or should we take advantage of this opportunity? I was thinking it actually might be even more crowded at a public course, and it would cost us quite a bit whereas the private course would be free. I would love to take advantage of what might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but I also want to make sure I have a good time. Any information any of you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. 

I'm a member of a private club, and here's what I expect of guests:

Play at a reasonable pace.  It sounds like you're already aware of this issue, and will do everything you can so that it doesn't become an issue

Act like an adult.  Don't go hooting and hollering, don't play your music at top volume, just act decent.  Treat the staff respectfully and politely.  To me, this is just normal stuff, and I bet it is for you too.

Find out about any dress code, and comply.  Don't show up in your Iron Maiden T-Shirt and cut-off jeans, with high-top basketball shoes. In most cases, nice shorts and a golf shirt with a collar are all you need, nothing fancy.   Again, I don't bet you'd be surprised by this.

Where we play, we have plenty of 20 and 30 handicappers who do just fine, not every private club member is a good golfer.  Just go out and have fun.  Desert WIllow is a really nice facility with two good golf courses, but like you say it can be pretty crowded.  If you can play a private club, go for it.

 

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8 minutes ago, DaveP043 said:

I'm a member of a private club, and here's what I expect of guests:

Play at a reasonable pace.  It sounds like you're already aware of this issue, and will do everything you can so that it doesn't become an issue

Act like an adult.  Don't go hooting and hollering, don't play your music at top volume, just act decent.  Treat the staff respectfully and politely.  To me, this is just normal stuff, and I bet it is for you too.

Find out about any dress code, and comply.  Don't show up in your Iron Maiden T-Shirt and cut-off jeans, with high-top basketball shoes. In most cases, nice shorts and a golf shirt with a collar are all you need, nothing fancy.   Again, I don't bet you'd be surprised by this.

Where we play, we have plenty of 20 and 30 handicappers who do just fine, not every private club member is a good golfer.  Just go out and have fun.  Desert WIllow is a really nice facility with two good golf courses, but like you say it can be pretty crowded.  If you can play a private club, go for it.

 

I'll second that Dave said, except..what's wrong with an Iron Maiden t-shirt, I have 2 of them?  :whistle:

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Just now, jsgolfer said:

I'll second that Dave said, except..what's wrong with an Iron Maiden t-shirt, I have 2 of them?  :whistle:

Nothing wrong at all.  Do you play golf while wearing them at Springfield?

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Just wanted to add to what @DaveP043 and others said.

Probably don't wear cargo shorts. I had been playing golf for all of two days when a friend invited me to his private club. I made the honest mistake of thinking cargo shorts were kosher for golf. I got chewed out pretty hard on the range. It was mildly traumatic haha. 

 

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If your "connection" is a member there, I would contact him and see what the social protocols are.

At some nicer clubs, they wil go ballistic if you change clothes or into your golf shoes on the parking lot. Such clubs provide non-members with visitors' lockers for the day.

And yes, @JetFan1983 gives solid warning on the continuing war against cargo shorts and cargo slacks at many private clubs.

Also, most private have very specific rules on who gets tipped, and exchanging of money. At old line clubs, "money never changes hands" - the member just signs for everything. (This rule is for club house activities... settling bets is another matter.)

If your connection is vague on the rules, you could always quietly call the club manager and ask what specific rules are. Also, most upscale clubs have an upfront web page link for Visitors. Such links give you very specific guidelines on the club's social protocols.

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On 3/17/2017 at 3:03 PM, JetFan1983 said:

Just wanted to add to what @DaveP043 and others said.

Probably don't wear cargo shorts. I had been playing golf for all of two days when a friend invited me to his private club. I made the honest mistake of thinking cargo shorts were kosher for golf. I got chewed out pretty hard on the range. It was mildly traumatic haha. 

 

Are you sure it wasn't the JETS t-shirt??

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50 minutes ago, boogielicious said:

Are you sure it wasn't the JETS t-shirt??

No my Vinny Testaverde t-shirt always draws numerous high fives from strangers. It was definitely the cargo shorts.

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On ‎3‎/‎17‎/‎2017 at 4:07 PM, Adam2323 said:

That makes me feel a lot better about playing there.

You should as your contact about when the club has days which are less busy. Like a weekday morning or afternoon.
Most private clubs have days when the course is less crowded.
Enjoy the invitation and play. It may inspire you to become a better golfer and possibly someday become a member somewhere...  :beer:

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On 3/17/2017 at 11:13 AM, Adam2323 said:

Will we be uncomfortably out of place playing at a nice private course like this?

Would we be better off playing at Desert Willow, a nice public course, or should we take advantage of this opportunity? I was thinking it actually might be even more crowded at a public course, and it would cost us quite a bit whereas the private course would be free. I would love to take advantage of what might be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but I also want to make sure I have a good time. Any information any of you could give me would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. 

You may actually find it easier. I've been plenty uncomfortable with some of the rude behavior of know-it-alls at public courses.

I once played with a group of CEO's at a private/high-end course. They were a lot more tolerant of all my stupid stuff - I was practically a non-golfer at that point.

Ironically, I would guess you find more snobs at the muni's.

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So long as you follow their dress code and play well enough to keep pace (which just means really that you're capable of getting the ball airborne and know how to play ready golf), the private course won't mind you playing there at all.

One of the worst golfers I've played with was at a private course that I was playing a practice round at for a tournament. He was a wealthy man from investments and would golf a couple times a year. He would occasionally miss the ball entirely, and other times top it only a few yards forwards. It wasn't bad playing with him at all though, because he played at a brisk pace regardless of the number of shots he took.

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15 minutes ago, Pretzel said:

So long as you follow their dress code

Says the guy who wore jeans in his Newport Cup application video...   :-P

I agree with everyone else here that etiquette and pace-of-play are much more important than your skill.  Go for it!

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I would definitely encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to play the private course.  I think you'll really enjoy it. I've been a guest at private clubs many times, and have found the members and staff at virtually all of them to be very friendly and helpful. 

The biggest issue I have encountered is something @WUTiger also mentioned...some private clubs do not accept cash or credit cards.  Members sign for everything and receive a bill at the end of the month.  This can make it tough to get food or beverages if you're not playing with a member.  Not all private facilities do this, but I would find out in advance how they handle it there. Have a great time and enjoy it!

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Be yourself and enjoy the day.

1 minute ago, 1badbadger said:

I would definitely encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity to play the private course.  I think you'll really enjoy it. I've been a guest at private clubs many times, and have found the members and staff at virtually all of them to be very friendly and helpful. 

The biggest issue I have encountered is something @WUTiger also mentioned...some private clubs do not accept cash or credit cards.  Members sign for everything and receive a bill at the end of the month.  This can make it tough to get food or beverages if you're not playing with a member.  Not all private facilities do this, but I would find out in advance how they handle it there. Have a great time and enjoy it!

I have played several times at Las Vegas Country Club. At the turn, there is a snack/beverage station. They do not accept cash, but will permit a credit card.

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51 minutes ago, Hardspoon said:

Says the guy who wore jeans in his Newport Cup application video...   :-P

 

Hey now, I adhered to the dress code of the course! Nowhere in that course's dress code are denim or non-collared shirts banned.

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Note: This thread is 1647 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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