On the weekend, sometimes there is nothing better than fitting in 18 holes. The air is crisp, the greens are beautiful and the stress from the week can just melt away. You can walk into the club, chatting about the birdie on hole five, and catch up with friends. Belonging to a golf course, then, is more than just hitting the links. It’s a social membership, and one that should be considered greatly before committing. Here are four things to think about before you pay the membership fee.
Who runs the club? How well is it doing financially? While many courses are financially stable, you want to know now what the books look like (and you certainly have that right). With any luck, you’ll find an organization that has invested in golf course consulting. These companies help maintain organizations and help keep them efficient as well as lucrative.
Most players enjoy golfing in groups of four. It’s not really a solo game. With that said, ask about how many people are currently members and how many people have recently left. You want someplace that maintains a strong retention rate. If people are leaving quickly, the course may have problems, and you might want to avoid it. In addition, go out a few times with some of the regulars. You can often ask to be placed as a sub when people have called out or can’t play. This way you’ll get a sense of who belongs to the club and if you like the personalities.
The ambiance is very important. How does the course look? Are the greens well-kept? You want fairways that are challenging, maintained and soothing. If the links have multitudes of holes, patches of dying grass, and rough paths, it might not offer you a good game.
During your trip, pay close attention to the facilities and staff. How do they act towards members? Are they polite? Are they attentive? For instance, golf cart attendants should assist with clubs and bring you a cart quickly. Also, golf pros should be visible, helpful, and friendly. Look for them to circulate through the practice greens and the clubhouse. Hopefully, you’ll see them cordially speaking with other members, laughing and telling jokes. The dining area hopefully maintains a good crowd with members ordering lunch. Sit and enjoy a meal. With luck, you’ll have a delectable plate and pleasant service.
Joining a golf club is an investment, but it can offer so much more. It’s a chance to enjoy some fresh air, challenge yourself on the course, and enjoy the company of others.