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Anyone else played the majority of their career without a membership?


33 replies to this topic

#1 lucasplett

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 10:06 PM

I live and play in Vancouver BC, we have a decent length season, but all our public courses are nothing special.

The exclusively private courses in the area are exorbitantly priced.

The semi private courses in the area have never quite seemed worth it between the length it would take me to drive to the course or the price.

So I am resigned to playing at a variety of courses and doing my practicing at many different ranges.

There is no where in the area that I would classify as having a real practice facility.

All these factors added together make me feel like I will progress much slower than someone with a membership.

Anyone else that has never been a member at any course?



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#2 Mr. Grumpy

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 10:12 PM

Yes.. Privates are too expensive,,  the good publics, the one I play at and would join is an hour away,, I have a hard time committing to that..
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#3 Santiago Golf

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 10:43 PM

I currently practice on range that is 200 yards long with very short range ball and my "home" course is currently 1300 yatd excuetive course because its what i can afford and what time allows me.

I have never had so much fun on a golf course. I dont keep score. I jist worry about hitting a quality shot and if i dont i dont get mad because im so happy to be out there playing.

Dont complain bout what u dont "have", be happy with what u do have. And wpuld neccessarily be happy with what u wanna have
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#4 Conrad1953

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 10:52 PM

I've never been a member at any private course. I don't miss what I never had, lol.
I'm not against it at all but where I live the public golf is pretty good and I can get
an annual pass at the RTJ Trail for far less than a CC membership.
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#5 Tyeetime

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 11:20 PM

I'm 53 and this was the first year I bought a membership. I played 100+ rounds this year so the $2000 membership was worth it.


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#6 BeerPerHole

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 11:33 PM

We have so many courses in our area that I have had trouble settling on joining just one. I like to play many different courses. I am finally thinking of joining the local muni mens club so I can establish a handicap and compete once in a while. We'll see...

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#7 markjay1

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 04:58 AM

Come spring I'm buying my first membership at age 65.  About $800 so I have to play about 20 rounds before the rounds are free.  When I lived in the Bay Area and in NY there were an abundance of excellent public courses so I never needed a membership.  But here there aren't so I do.  Oddly, with such a dearth of golfers around here there are three practice facilities in the area that are fantastic.  And almost always empty.  Go figure.

If you can, get to the courses you play at the crack of dawn or be the last one out at the end of the day.  Play 2-3 balls and take extra chips around the greens.  Boom.  There's your practice facility.

Edited by markjay1, 07 November 2017 - 04:58 AM.


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#8 Pigems

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 05:15 AM

I had a membership one year only, I barely got enough rounds in to make it worthwhile(35) so I didn’t bother with it again this past season. I may do it again next year but I’m undecided as of right now. It is nice to not have to think about where you want to play, or having to have cash for green fees. But it’s always nice playing different courses too, this year I got 28 rounds in at 12 different courses.
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#9 KYMAR

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 05:39 AM

I have a "membership" but to a public course (That i now also work at part time, which helps with the cost) but I'm not a private, country club kind of guy. Partly because I can't justify all of the associated costs when I really like playing at different courses. My relatively cheap membership doesn't make playing elsewhere too painful.


pigems love the new avatar! And 28 rounds? Part timer huh? :drinks:

Edited by KYMAR, 07 November 2017 - 05:40 AM.

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#10 Pigems

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 06:25 AM

 KYMAR, on 07 November 2017 - 05:39 AM, said:

I have a "membership" but to a public course (That i now also work at part time, which helps with the cost) but I'm not a private, country club kind of guy. Partly because I can't justify all of the associated costs when I really like playing at different courses. My relatively cheap membership doesn't make playing elsewhere too painful.


pigems love the new avatar! And 28 rounds? Part timer huh? :drinks:

Thanks! I originally only went with it for Halloween but Im now thinking I may keep spider pig around a while, hes growing on me :)

Yeah I know eh, 28 is barely enough to consider myself a golfer. Stupid day job getting in the way of my golf time!!

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#11 Stuart G.

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 06:33 AM

Membership by itself doesn't mean you'll have better practice facilities.    Either a course has good practice facilities or it doesn't.   Maybe some of the more expensive courses might have a better chance but the correlation is only very rough and not very reliable.   It's more about luck then anything else.  We have one very private (and expensive) course near by that doesn't even have a range.   And then there is a blue collar track that (at least at one point) didn't even offer memberships that has probably one of the better practice areas around.   My home course (semi-private) has a small range - generally mats only - and horrible for short game practice.    When I truly want to put time into practice, it's generally a 20-25 minute drive to a public driving range.

Edited by Stuart G., 07 November 2017 - 06:34 AM.


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#12 Ferguson

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 06:58 AM

Did it both ways on and off my entire golf tenure.   The club thing worked more effectively when the kids came along - pool, tennis, etc.

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#13 BKN1964

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 08:33 AM

Good topic.

I started playing again a few years ago, and recently started looking into memberships.

I live in northern Kentucky (Cincinnati area).  There are a lot of reasonably priced public courses.  The closest private course is (to me) pretty expensive at ~$5,100/yr.  The country clubs that are close by are even more.  As much as I'd like to join the private course for both the proximity and quality, it's pretty tough to justify when I can go on Golfnow and play 135 rounds at different courses for ~$35 on average for the same cost (I'm pretty sure I won't come anywhere near that number of full rounds).

There is one club about 35 minutes away that I just submitted an application to.  I've purchase a season pass the last two years at the two county courses, but this will be my first true membership.  It's $1,100/yr and has a pool that's open Memorial Day to Labor Day.  Not the nicest course in the area, but I'm looking forward to the "club" aspect (monthly tournaments, playing with other members, etc.).  And at that price, I can still justify playing other courses periodically.

BTW, the drawback I've found to season passes at public courses is that I'm still competing for tee times, and in the evenings in the summer I'm stuck behind leagues.

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#14 Jagpilotohio

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 09:11 AM

I’m fortunate here in central Ohio to have a large number of nice reasonably priced public courses available all within a 45 minute drive of me.

Every Time I consider joining a private or semi private course I talk myself out of it because I really enjoy the variety of playing a “rotation” of nice public tracts.

I know that once I join someplace I would then feel somewhat “compelled” to play there on a regular basis and I would lose the enjoyment I get from playing lots of different places.

I’m sure I will eventually Join one at some point.  I think the regular events, tournaments, and social functions, and “convenience factor” are  definitely “worth” something in addition to the Golf itself.  

Its been talked about many times on this site, but You can never evaluate the cost of a membership exclusively in terms of  the cost per round of golf.  It never makes any sense if you look at it that way.

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#15 sailfishchris

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 09:26 AM

i can't fathom joining a private club on Long Island. The costs just seem ridiculous to me. I've played several private courses this season and they've ranged from 16k to 28k a year. Not including buy-ins...... I'll stick with Bethpage and the courses out on the East End

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#16 JerseyBoy

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 09:50 AM

We are "social" members at a nice Club that was private and was about to go under, so the Township bought it and manages it.

It's cheaper than the local swim clubs and 4 rounds of Golf are included. We get it mostly for the kids and the pool. And it allows us the opportunity to use the amenities as well.

As someone else mentioned, there are so many courses near me to play, I'd prefer to play all over for now.

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#17 Boricua Golf

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 09:54 AM

I've only had one membership at a military golf course, the private clubs are way to much for me, so I normally play public or semi-private...one day would love to, but at this point in my life, I don't see it happening anytime soon...
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#18 sprcoop

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 12:20 PM

Never have.  There is probably 50 pretty nice (to me) public or semi private courses within an hour of me that I can, and do, play.

Sometimes under $20, usually under $30, never over $40.  Saying that, I played the same course these last 3 weekends in a row for convenience.

Given the opportunity a membership would be nice for all the peripherals.

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#19 KBong

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 12:40 PM

 markjay1, on 07 November 2017 - 04:58 AM, said:

If you can, get to the courses you play at the crack of dawn or be the last one out at the end of the day.  Play 2-3 balls and take extra chips around the greens.  Boom.  There's your practice facility.
This.

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#20 KBong

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 12:55 PM

 lucasplett, on 06 November 2017 - 10:06 PM, said:

The semi private courses in the area have never quite seemed worth it between the length it would take me to drive to the course or the price.

So I am resigned to playing at a variety of courses and doing my practicing at many different ranges.
There is no where in the area that I would classify as having a real practice facility.

All these factors added together make me feel like I will progress much slower than someone with a membership.

Anyone else that has never been a member at any course?
IMO....Vancouver is golf heaven.

Year rd golfing...yes it's wet in the winter.
A ton of public courses in the GVRD.....with lots of variety.
For a metropolitan city...golf is reasonably priced....if you venture to the suburbs/Fraser Valley....there are some great prices really early in the morning or at twilight.

Within 15 kms of downtown Vancouver...there are 9 full length public courses....6 of the 9 with driving ranges....and many with putting greens or short game practice areas available for free.
Then there is the plethora of golf facilities in the suburbs and Fraser Valley....e.g.) in the Pitt Meadows area...there are seven 18 hole courses all within approx. 6 kms of each other.

There are tons of options to practice/play to improve.

I've played golf for nearly 5 decades as a public facility golfer....only two where I was an intermediate member at a private course back in Ontario in 1985 & 1986....at the time...no initiation.

Edited by KBong, 07 November 2017 - 12:57 PM.


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#21 bazinky

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 03:48 PM

Started playing in my early 20's. Didn't join a club till my early 40's. Didn't feel the need to go private till after my daughter was born (Being gone all day is no longer an option). Loved my time as a golf vagabond, but I wish I had gone private sooner.
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#22 KSI

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 05:36 PM

never have since clubs in the SF bay area are too expensive and would not be worth the cost per round unless could play at least four to five times per week at a minimum

would look to do so in retirement in another area but would need to be a club with at least 2 really good courses

Edited by KSI, 07 November 2017 - 05:37 PM.


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#23 DavePelz4

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 05:46 PM

In 50 years of playing I've only been a member at one club and that was part of the deal when I moved to Boston.  In Chicago, we have so many awesome courses and variety is a great thing.  A couple of summers ago we played 75 different courses which was so much fun.

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#24 aceofclubs

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 07:30 PM

I never really had much interest in joining a club anywhere because i like to play different courses.....but im getting kind of tired of trying to get guys together, sneaking away in the afternoon to save money and figuring out where to go.
Theres a crappy course 4 minutes from my house that would be cheap to join and probably has groups of regulars on the weekends. I could be home before lunch. Its starting to look pretty good to me.
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#25 sdandrea

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 07:36 PM

Yes, sort of.  The 6 months I live in VA, I use the Va State Golf Assoc card to play MANY courses at good discounts.  In Florida, I have a community membership that opens me to 4 courses and once a week I play in a travelling quota game.

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#26 lucasplett

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 07:40 PM

 markjay1, on 07 November 2017 - 04:58 AM, said:

Come spring I'm buying my first membership at age 65.  About $800 so I have to play about 20 rounds before the rounds are free.  When I lived in the Bay Area and in NY there were an abundance of excellent public courses so I never needed a membership.  But here there aren't so I do.  Oddly, with such a dearth of golfers around here there are three practice facilities in the area that are fantastic.  And almost always empty.  Go figure.

If you can, get to the courses you play at the crack of dawn or be the last one out at the end of the day.  Play 2-3 balls and take extra chips around the greens.  Boom.  There's your practice facility.
I've never thought of going out late like that. Will definetely be doing that from now on. Thanks

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#27 Pepperturbo

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 07:41 PM

Public tracks are not known for having great practice facilities.  Of all the courses I play, few have quality turf stations or greens where we can chip, which annoys me to know end.  Private courses allow members to place their own targets in the range too, among other benefits.  If your goal is to play in regional events or improve past that, private club is the way to go.
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#28 teejaywhy

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 01:34 PM

Yes

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#29 pearsonified

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 06:31 PM

If you're looking to maximize bang for your buck and you aren't one of these guys who will play 200+ rounds per year, you must be a public journeyman.

I played 142 rounds on 21 different courses in 2016, but my total greens fee cost was only about $3600. I walked nearly every time out, got a few rounds for free, and only played a handful of rounds on courses with fees over $75.

This year, I've played 13+ rounds on 3 different courses and 7 on another; it would be extremely difficult to achieve that kind of variety at such a low cost with a CC membership.
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#30 Golfnuck

Golfnuck

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Posted 10 November 2017 - 10:17 PM

Joining a private club can never be justified by cost per round.

Yet in every one of these public vs. private discussions many posters still want to reference cost per round?

I live in the Vancouver area also.

We usually can golf year round except for last year.

We do have some nice public courses.

I do not expect the prices or demand for the top private clubs to drop significantly as one of the top private clubs will cease to exist after 2032 when its lease with a local Indian band ends.

This means that in a few years there will be only four top private clubs left.

Edited by Golfnuck, 10 November 2017 - 10:25 PM.


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