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How do your kids practice/play/learn golf (public vs private)?


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#1 TigerMom

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 10:18 AM

So far I have been taking my daughter to a public practice range and a nearby municipal course

Some courses don't allow kids under 10 or they can only play in off-peak times

She has been taking a lesson a couple times a month from an instructor at a public course whom a friend recommended

I am guessing if golf is like other individual sports that she will go through different coaches over time as her game progresses/changes

It seems that many good players in this area are members of private clubs

The practice facilities seem better and they often receive their instruction there as well

We aren't rich, but we could afford to join a reasonably-priced private club if it made a huge difference

But since no one else in the family really plays much golf, it doesn't seem like it would make sense for us

My oldest plays tennis, and we joined a tennis club (not as expensive or exclusive) to gain access to clinics and courts and instruction


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#2 irvtrain

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 10:25 AM

Private clubs are helpful in that kids can basically practice all day and meet other kids their age and go play the course. Public is fine if it has a good practice facility and has range passes or something. Regardless, it is always helpful if you network with other parents so your kids are out there together and even competing/playing games chipping and putting etc.

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#3 Sean2

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 10:38 AM

I am very fortunate. My practice facility is $195 a month, includes unlimited golf (nine holes),a driving range with grass, a bunker complex, two practice greens, a pitching range that goes up to 100 yards, a 9 hole short course (the average hole being 73 yards), heated bays for hitting balls in the winter, a gym membership, a learning center, and no food and drink minimum. When my son got interested in golf at the age of 11, my wife found the place and joining was a no-brainer. It's where he took lessons and learned to play (as did I). They also have junior events throughout the summer. For example, the kids will play 9 holes and the top scorers will represent the club in matches against other clubs. They also have a summer long "clinic" and I have seen kids as young as 5 toting a bag of clubs...I didn't know they made them that small.

There is also an organization called the US Challenge Cup in our area that host tournaments all summer long for the kids...and they play some nice venues and it is inexpensive. The younger kids play 9 holes, and the older ones play 18. A good friend of mine's daughter (Megan Khang), is now 20 years old and this is her third year on the LPGA Tour. She played in a ton of those events, eventually playing with the boys. I remember watching her play those tournaments when she was a wee lass. Great organization.
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#4 hangontight

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 10:51 AM

Instructors at private clubs can give lessons to non-members, at least in our area they can.   May want to call the club and ask if you think their is a better benefit.  There is a recent thread on here discussing how to find the right instructor for your kid, it may not always be the “top ranked” guy- public or private.

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#5 kekoa

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 01:26 PM

Private golf clubs only make sense if you are already a member or have the means.

I'm considering joining a club to give my kid access to two 18 hole courses, but more so the practice facilities.  I also play too and would use it for business/networking.  If I didn't play golf, there is no way I would join a private club just for my son unless money wasn't an issue of course.

With all that said, if you look at a bulk of the guys on the PGA tour, most of them grew up at a CC of some sorts with exception of Tiger.


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#6 kcap

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 02:11 PM

Prior to this year, I would have told you that it helps to be in a private course but not worth the extra money (joining only for the benefit for your child).  Today i feel, if your child really likes to play then it is hard to beat being a member of a private course.  My son just turned 11.. his day is spent at the club,  there is practice in the morning, 9 holes with friends, goof off time,   followed by a few holes with the Jr Pro at the club (this is the best aspect, the Junior pro just take the kids out and walks 5-6 holes each day; all he teaches is course management).

He gets to play a lot, practices, is with friends rather than dad/mom, and will start caddying next year.  I guess you could recreate that at a public course but it would be hard.

That said, we were members prior to him taking up golf since I love to play. Golf is a declining sport and private clubs are struggling so you should be able to find options within your area that might make sense after you balance usage and value.

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#7 leezer99

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 02:16 PM

View Postkcap, on 20 June 2018 - 02:11 PM, said:

Prior to this year, I would have told you that it helps to be in a private course but not worth the extra money (joining only for the benefit for your child).  Today i feel, if your child really likes to play then it is hard to beat being a member of a private course.  My son just turned 11.. his day is spent at the club,  there is practice in the morning, 9 holes with friends, goof off time,   followed by a few holes with the Jr Pro at the club (this is the best aspect, the Junior pro just take the kids out and walks 5-6 holes each day; all he teaches is course management).

He gets to play a lot, practices, is with friends rather than dad/mom, and will start caddying next year.  I guess you could recreate that at a public course but it would be hard.

That said, we were members prior to him taking up golf since I love to play. Golf is a declining sport and private clubs are struggling so you should be able to find options within your area that might make sense after you balance usage and value.

Our club is $23,000 to join now with $840 monthly dues.

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#8 heavy_hitter

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 03:22 PM

I am at a non equity club.  No initiation fee.  $329.00 a month.  $129.00 for trail fee for out own cart.  Decent course with great practice facilities.  He takes lessons at a club that is much nicer and a great championship course which they allow him to play for free whenever he wants.  He spends a lot of time out there with his coach.  Hangs out with some of the older kids and goes and plays there.  In-Laws are members of another club and they let him come out and play there anytime he wants as well at no charge.  It is all about who you know because he can get on to about any private facility in the county at no charge.  Funny thing is, have to play at the muni.  No big deal because it is only a dollar to walk during the summers.  Problem at the muni is you can't do what you want.  At the private clubs you can hit multiple balls into holes if you want.  You can spend time putting on the greens until 8 oclock if you want or even later.  You can throw balls behind trees and practice hitting cuts and draws.  You can't do all of that at the public course.

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#9 hangontight

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Posted 20 June 2018 - 03:45 PM

View Postheavy_hitter, on 20 June 2018 - 03:22 PM, said:

I am at a non equity club.  No initiation fee.  $329.00 a month.  $129.00 for trail fee for out own cart.  Decent course with great practice facilities.  He takes lessons at a club that is much nicer and a great championship course which they allow him to play for free whenever he wants.  He spends a lot of time out there with his coach.  Hangs out with some of the older kids and goes and plays there.  In-Laws are members of another club and they let him come out and play there anytime he wants as well at no charge.  It is all about who you know because he can get on to about any private facility in the county at no charge.  Funny thing is, have to play at the muni.  No big deal because it is only a dollar to walk during the summers.  Problem at the muni is you can't do what you want.  At the private clubs you can hit multiple balls into holes if you want.  You can spend time putting on the greens until 8 oclock if you want or even later.  You can throw balls behind trees and practice hitting cuts and draws.  You can't do all of that at the public course.

Spot on here.  This sum's up my present dilemma.  Afternoon play and practice is the best for these kids.  Our options -  A.) the local muni where the greens are so unbelievably slow and ragged that its really not worth putting on, and course is always very crowded- literally always a group or two on each tee, and practice facilities are marginally better than your back yard  or. B.) Private golden age CC 3 minutes from house with great conditioning & practice facilities , $55K  initiation ( likely to go up next year after it hosts one of the womens majors, clubhouse renovation) / $800 or so mo.   Driving by that private course every afternoon and seeing not a soul on the course eats me up,..  On to the muni we go !  We make the most of it, but getting quality practice is hard.
We've put some serious thought lately into maybe moving to a golf community, but that means trading our 8 minute downtown commute to work for hour plus, etc.  We'll see how the kids games develop., hoping by the time they breach 10 to be able to join. Until then , we'll keep working on the Tiger & Seve development plan

Edited by hangontight, 20 June 2018 - 03:46 PM.


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#10 Walter

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Posted 21 July 2018 - 04:08 PM

View PostSean2, on 20 June 2018 - 10:38 AM, said:

I am very fortunate. My practice facility is $195 a month, includes unlimited golf (nine holes),a driving range with grass, a bunker complex, two practice greens, a pitching range that goes up to 100 yards, a 9 hole short course (the average hole being 73 yards), heated bays for hitting balls in the winter, a gym membership, a learning center, and no food and drink minimum. When my son got interested in golf at the age of 11, my wife found the place and joining was a no-brainer. It's where he took lessons and learned to play (as did I). They also have junior events throughout the summer. For example, the kids will play 9 holes and the top scorers will represent the club in matches against other clubs. They also have a summer long "clinic" and I have seen kids as young as 5 toting a bag of clubs...I didn't know they made them that small.

There is also an organization called the US Challenge Cup in our area that host tournaments all summer long for the kids...and they play some nice venues and it is inexpensive. The younger kids play 9 holes, and the older ones play 18. A good friend of mine's daughter (Megan Khang), is now 20 years old and this is her third year on the LPGA Tour. She played in a ton of those events, eventually playing with the boys. I remember watching her play those tournaments when she was a wee lass. Great organization.

Sounds like a great place !


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