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DDBowdoin

To Join Or Not?!?!

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Hey all, wanted to start a new thread to get some first hand accounts from people who faced the decision to join a club.  I am 33 years old and I have a few years (likely 2-3) to decide on a club and take advantage of young professional programs.  Several clubs near me do not require the remaining initiation balance to be paid when I hit 40, while some clubs cap that age at 36 or 37.  

The club I am thinking of is member owned, has a low initiation fee, and a yearly dues (everything included) for roughly 5K.  The local public tracks that are worth joining are 3,000(ish).  

I am interested in a perceived brotherhood that exists in a members club, potential friendships, and being part of a community.  I fear the fiscal dangers of a member owned club when things go wrong and members have to pony up cash to cover a new back nine irrigation systems, etc.   Financially speaking the 5,000 would be my limit.  I also fear being bored of the same track.

However, with all that said I am trying to ground myself constantly.  Public courses here, even those that run 100 bucks a loop, have issues that just irk me.  

1.) grounds grew that mow 40 feet away while you're teeing off. 2.) tee boxes that are all slanted. 3.) people who never fix divots and ball marks. 4.) slow slow slow pace of play.

Am I being too ridiculous to let this stuff bother me?

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Small point and I’m sure you mean to an extreme amount but all tee boxes should be slanted/tilted so they drain.

Joining a club doesn’t mean you can’t play elsewhere. Sometimes a club has good reciprocal relationships too.

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5 minutes ago, iacas said:

Small point and I’m sure you mean to an extreme amount but all tee boxes should be slanted/tilted so they drain.

Joining a club doesn’t mean you can’t play elsewhere. Sometimes a club has good reciprocal relationships too.

Yeah, I mean to the point where the ball is noticeably below my feet when I’m teeing off.

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I think if you can find a good club for a fee that you feel is comfortable it is a good idea to join one.

When I was just out of college, I thought that you had to be a really good player to belong to a club, but learned later that the golfers at clubs aren't really better they just might pay more to play. 

The benefits of being at a club are usually quicker pace, less traffic and course is maintained better than most public courses.  As you mentioned, you also tend to see the same people and develop some friendships you might not get from floating to a number of different courses.  

Also as others have mentioned many clubs have arrangements with other clubs to play for reduced rates, and you can always play other golf courses.  Where I live now and am a member, I would guess 60 - 70 per cent of my rounds are there, but I float to other courses as well. 

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We joined a club this past December. I have been trying to convince my wife to join one for a couple years. We spend about what you are. Best move we ever made. We like to walk when we can and we can play 18 holes in three hours. Even if the course is busy it still only takes 3.5 hours. Down side is that when I play other courses, the greens are not going to be as good so it takes me a few holes to get the speed. The club has reciprocal clubs (all over the USA) so we can go play those when we are in town. The members have been great so far.

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I'm a club member, it's great. Over here we pay about 1/10th of what you'd pay over there (no exaggeration), so it's a no brainer. 

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3 minutes ago, Moxley said:

I'm a club member, it's great. Over here we pay about 1/10th of what you'd pay over there (no exaggeration), so it's a no brainer. 

Yeah unfortunately Massachusetts is a tough state all around... I posted a massive rant against MA golf on TST about 8 years ago! It still holds true.  It’s going to take some time convincing the wife for the 5,000.  Relative to many of the other clubs around here it’s a pretty good price. 

 

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Depends on what you want from your golf and whether or not you'll make use of the membership to its fullest.

Im not a member as at the moment i can only play at weekends so i have to take a 7 day membership which at my local course is about £775 for the year which isn't bad.

Many clubs where i live will offer a half year membership at a reduced cost.

If the amount of rounds you are going to play per year make the membership worthwhile then go for it. Check with the club as over here many golf clubs are members of a scheme where you can play heavily discounted green fees at other member courses. Not sure if you have the same thing over in the US?

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4 hours ago, RussUK said:

Depends on what you want from your golf and whether or not you'll make use of the membership to its fullest.

Im not a member as at the moment i can only play at weekends so i have to take a 7 day membership which at my local course is about £775 for the year which isn't bad.

Many clubs where i live will offer a half year membership at a reduced cost.

If the amount of rounds you are going to play per year make the membership worthwhile then go for it. Check with the club as over here many golf clubs are members of a scheme where you can play heavily discounted green fees at other member courses. Not sure if you have the same thing over in the US?

I failed to mention... I am a school teacher and am off from June 1 to August 25th so I will play every day.

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@DDBowdoin, I'm in the same boat as you are (so I'm biased), but if you can convince the Mrs., I say go for it. Then tell me what argument you used 😉

Other than the financial commitment the only real downside I can see is playing the same course all the time, but as others have mentioned, you can still play other courses and many clubs  have reciprocal relationships with others. You may find it will actually open doors to play private clubs previously unavailable to you.

Also this might just be me, but there are five municipal courses in the county I'm registered to play, but I find I generally play at the same one all the time anyway for various reasons.

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If I didn't have a close knit foursome I'd join the local private country club.   I already have the wife's permission but the group enjoys playing different courses as do I.   If I didn't have this friendship, I'd join in a heartbeat.   In Davison, a golf membership also includes a membership to the athletic club which is a great deal.  

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15 hours ago, DDBowdoin said:

I failed to mention... I am a school teacher and am off from June 1 to August 25th so I will play every day.

It should be worth it then.

My Wife is a Teacher too. I'm not alllowed to mention the 13 weeks holiday she gets a year (she only "gets" 2 weeks of them according to her :-P)

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I joined my first club at 28 years old. It was very cheap considering we used their pool a lot when the kids were young. But I played a good bit of golf. Well worth it. Moved to Charlotte and joined a golf club there and I used it considerably and my youngest got the bug and played a lot. Fast forward and my kids are grown and gone and my wife and I have moved to the Raleigh/Durham area where I am now considering whether to join a local club that has 54 holes, many amenities but the initiation fee and dues are pricey $$! And it’s quite fancy. So weighing whether I want to buy into that lifestyle. I love to play but is the $$ worth it. I say go for it if the bottom line is something you can live with. 

Edited by Doctorfro
Mistakes

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On ‎8‎/‎1‎/‎2018 at 12:16 PM, DDBowdoin said:

I failed to mention... I am a school teacher and am off from June 1 to August 25th so I will play every day.

I'm a teacher also and it was fantastic using the club this summer. We (wife and I) used the pool often, the exercise facilities and of course the golf course. I met a lot of members this past summer so I now have a couple groups that I can hook up with. Of course, I'm back to school now so no more week-day rounds for a while.

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I joined one this year with my son to get him out and play with him at non peak times... have played a lot together this summer.  Mostly after work and Sun afternoons.

I still get out with my regular buddies on the weekends too.  We don't have any reciprocal relationships with others clubs.... wish we did.  I have played at my home course 99% of the rounds but before I joined I use to play the same place pretty much every week with an odd round here and there at other places.  This course is tough so I have enjoyed the challenge.

I kinda know the area so I was wondering if it was Shaker Hills or Red Tail you were looking at?

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Before you choose a course, you should make sure you find that course very visually interesting and challenging, since you will be playing it most of the time. There are plenty of courses that I know I would not join because of this. I've been a member of the same course for around 30 years, and I never get bored with it. It can be a big investment, so take your time.

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On 8/1/2018 at 6:28 AM, Moxley said:

I'm a club member, it's great. Over here we pay about 1/10th of what you'd pay over there (no exaggeration), so it's a no brainer. 

Curious: what’s the per-round average cost at your course, assuming there’s a guest rate.  It would be interesting to understand the ratio between membership fees (assuming $500 based on your comment) and typical round cost.

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@Jekyll-Hyde £35 visitor, £20 guest , £20 twilight. Full Membership is £700 , but there are many schemes, such as young adult discount that make it cheaper, so £500-£600 a year for me while im in my 30's. 

For dollar amounts multiply by around 1.3

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