golf country club guide

Consider These Tips Before Joining a Country Club Membership

A country club is a private golf club where people can join as members and receive access to the golf course as well as facility amenities like the pool, the gym, the tennis courts, the restaurants, and more.

Gaining membership to a golf country club is controlled and is subject to quotas. One usually has to pay a significant amount to become a member of a country club.

Why Do People Join Golf Country Clubs?

A country club usually offers its members a wide variety of sporting activities. In addition, there are social events, networking opportunities, and food/hospitality as well.

In the US, a country club usually means that there is only one sporting activity – golf. Therefore, sometimes a country club is also referred to as a golf club. The two terms are used interchangeably.

A country club that is positioned more towards families will tend to have more social events rather than golf-related events only.

Country clubs tend to be located away from the city. One key reason for this is the large space requirement of a country club. It takes a few acres to set up a golf course, a lobby/reception area, a dining area, and other structures that are part of a country club.

Tips to Consider Before Joining

If you are wondering whether you should invest in a country club membership, then there are some important questions that you need to ask yourself first.

The answers to these questions will help you figure out whether it is worth joining a country club, what kind of country club you should look to join, and what you can gain out of your membership.

In this article, we have made a list of things that you should consider before joining a country club membership.

1. Why do you want to join a country club?

You need to know your end goal before taking any action. Why are you wanting to join a club? Is it for golfing? Is it for networking? Is it part of your business strategy where you host clients for golf outings?

You should know the answer to this question to then figure out what the best country club membership is for your purpose.

Do you like the golf course at the club?

If you are a golfer and if you plan to utilize your country club membership frequently to play some rounds of golf, then you ought to like the golf course at that club and enjoy playing it.

Otherwise, what is the point of spending all that money on an expensive membership? If golf is the primary reason that gave you the idea of joining a country club, then that factor has to be prioritized. Look into a variety of membership options at nearby courses to compare rates for their unlimited golf membership.

Is a Caddie mandatory?

You’ll find that higher end country clubs tend to offer caddying services as an option to its members. Sometimes this can be mandatory where the golf club requires you to use a caddy with your group and other golf courses make it optional.

This is something to consider since it could be an added cost with caddy tips after every round you play.

Some golfer’s like to play in peace by themselves without a caddy while others find it helpful to have a caddy so if this is important to you, then it could be a factor to think about.

Can you use your own golf cart?

If the golf club you’re thinking about joining happens to be attached to your neighborhood, then they may allow members to have their own golf carts (and pay a smaller cart fee) as compared to clubs that only allow members to use club golf carts.

What is the price and is there financing available?

The initiation fee to join a country club membership can be a significant amount. In places like New York City, the average amount would probably be north of $50,000.

However, in a smaller town away from the large cities, you might encounter amounts as low as $5,000 or $10,000.

Also, you would want to find out if the initiation fee can be paid in installments and whether the country club offers any financing options. Make sure you also ask about any monthly dues and mandatory food service allowances. They can be a few hundred dollars or a few thousand per month that you’re required to spend at the country club.

Ask about any other charges & fees

Country clubs may charge fees in addition to the initiation fee and a monthly due. Such additional fees could include locker fees, club storage fees, service charges, etc. Make sure you know what such fees are as nobody likes surprises later on.

Inquire if there are any upcoming assessments

Assessments are amounts that the country club charges its members to fund significant capital expenditures. For example, if the country club is building a new clubhouse or remodeling an existing area, then all members have to contribute a certain amount.

Sometimes, assessments are charged on things that were built a few years earlier. So, it is better to find out all assessments (existing or planned) that the country club intends to charge its members.

What are the rules for bringing guests?

If you plan to utilize your country club membership to entertain guests and host them for events, then you ought to know the rules related to guests.

Often, country clubs allow members to bring in guests only on specific days of the week. Clubs can also have a cap on the number of guests that a member can bring in a month.

Every club has its own set of rules and it will help to know them before joining a membership.

What is the time/schedule of the golf course?

Some clubs require you to call in and setup a specific tee time. Other golf courses don’t have it and you can just show up and hop in line when the tee box opens up.

Some golf clubs have time slots dedicated to certain groups, for example a ladies-only 9-hole session on Wednesday mornings.

There might be a day in the week when the golf course remains closed to undergo maintenance and repair. You will want to make sure that the golf course operates when you intend to go there.

Are there any specific rules for spouses/families?

If your spouse and kids are also as interested in golf as you are, and if they also plan to come to the course, then you will want to find out the rules of the club related to family members.

Some clubs do not allow family members to play in certain tournaments or on specific days of the week. You should also find out if your family members can attend the club and play on the course without your presence.

As you can tell, there are plenty of things to consider before deciding which country club membership to join. We hope that you find this list of questions useful and that they help you in making the right choice.

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