Thinking about joining a private club....pros and cons

mantanmantan Members Posts: 2,574 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
Title says it all. Living in DFW, I never thought I'd join a country club. There are a lot of public courses in town and I thought I'd feel 'stuck' playing the same course.



But the golf market has changed over the last year. For about 10 years there was a bit of a glut of courses. It was pretty easy to get on, prices were fairly low and other than peak times, pace of play was pretty good. But with the floods of last year damaging a lot of courses, supply has dried up and it seems like long rounds are becoming the norm. And courses that used to pride themselves on outstanding conditions seem to be mailing it in.



With the kids getting older, I'm thinking of joining one of the Club Corp courses in town. The initiation fees at entry-mid level courses are pretty reasonable and I'd have the ability to play several of the courses in town for free each month and some of the upper end ones for a fee.



Looking at the monthlies, my golf spend would be slightly higher. The biggest downside is there is a course by my house that I play/practice at. The closest Club Corp course is by my office (about 20 minutes away). It would be great for practicing/playing after work, but wouldn't be as convenient on weekend.



Thoughts?
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Comments

  • leoh923leoh923 Members Posts: 1,243
    20 minutes is really nothing to play faster rounds on a better conditioned course.
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  • bcawley01bcawley01 Members Posts: 172 ✭✭
    I would say go for it if you have the finances available. Course being close to the office is much more convenient on weekdays, sneak out at lunch and hit a bucket or get a few holes in before you come home. Drive isn't too bad, probably will save almost that much with the shorter rounds at the private course.
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  • 2bGood2bGood Members Posts: 5,213 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Pros

    - LOTS of golfing buddies. It make take some time but if you pick the right course you make lots of friends that love to golf

    - Way more options for competitive golf

    - Better access to the Tee

    - Playing a few holes in the evening just to relax

    - you will golf more

    - Might be good for work in many ways



    Cons

    - You will spend more on golf as you will be paying for golf wether you play or not

    - You will golf more
  • widow-makerwidow-maker Members Posts: 1,647 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    2bGood wrote:


    Pros

    - LOTS of golfing buddies. It make take some time but if you pick the right course you make lots of friends that love to golf

    - Way more options for competitive golf

    - Better access to the Tee

    - Playing a few holes in the evening just to relax

    - you will golf more

    - Might be good for work in many ways



    Cons

    - You will spend more on golf as you will be paying for golf wether you play or not

    - You will golf more
    You forgot the best pro... you can now tell your wife that on a per round basis it's cheaper when you play more golf.
  • deetsaldeetsal deetsal Members Posts: 1,380 ✭✭
    Course gets boring, but it is nice to play 36 or two if you like. Also meet a lot of people.
  • LeoLeo99LeoLeo99 Members Posts: 4,254 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    My favorite part of being a member at the private course:



    The golf events/tournaments. Always fun to compete against a limited number of known people. By that I mean, no one sandbags for long and you can really test your mettle.

    It's nice to know almost everyone on the course and we all look out for each other.

    Meet new people, make new friends.

    Travel tournaments to other clubs in the district.

    Easy to play when you want.



    Lots more positives as mentioned above



    Cons are cost and lack of variety in playing same course.
  • 2bGood2bGood Members Posts: 5,213 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    It is funny I never get bored of playing my home course. I play it about 90+ times per year. It is a challenging layout.



    Of course you need to have a few good reciprocals as it is fun o go play the other the private tracks
  • jlovelessjloveless Joel Members Posts: 62
    I joined an Atlanta Club Corp club one year ago. One significant benefit I have realized is playing 4-5 courses a month. Previously, I played the same course 99% of the time. The variety has made me a better golfer. I am looking forward to using the travel benefits of Club Corp, going to Denver on business this month.



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  • pingizzlepingizzle Members Posts: 212 ✭✭✭
    Sounds like I am in the same boat as you. I just moved to the DFW area and am looking to join a club also. I am interested to see what responses you get here.
  • tylerjensentylerjensen Members Posts: 10 ✭✭
    If in Fort Worth you should come check out Mira Vista! It's a fantastic club!
  • mantanmantan Members Posts: 2,574 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭


    If in Fort Worth you should come check out Mira Vista! It's a fantastic club!




    Been out to Mira Vista when Michael Martin was there. Saw Monte there too. Tremendous facility....but I live in Flower Mound, so it's about 49 miles door to door....

    pingizzle wrote:


    Sounds like I am in the same boat as you. I just moved to the DFW area and am looking to join a club also. I am interested to see what responses you get here.




    Welcome to DFW! For the longest time it was a picnic for public golf. Lots of capacity, cheap prices, lots of great courses. Not quite what it used to be...
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  • golfandfishinggolfandfishing Members Posts: 3,635 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Great job not listing "saving money" as a reason to join a private club, maybe the first thread I've seen here on the topic where you acknowledge cost will go up and you welcome that.



    20 minutes from home but close to work is a decent scenario, hit balls or putt at lunch, use the club to entertain clients for meals, play or practice after work. Drive a bit on the weekends makes it easy to stay a little extra after golf.



    Club Corp is great too, lots of options for playing elsewhere when aerating, traveling or course has an event.



    Do it, you will love it. Cheers.
  • Soxfan21Soxfan21 Chicago South SuburbsMembers Posts: 294 ✭✭✭✭
    I just joined a private course in the Chicago area, and these would be my pros and cons a month into it:



    Pros: can practice anytime you want, as the practice area at most private courses seem to be fairly empty, can play whenever you want and not be bogged down by 5-6 hour rounds you might get at a public course, private clubhouse / bar / locker room area which is usually better than what most public courses offer, you will meet a group of new golfers that may take you in, and form a new group of golfing buddies, and, has been stated before, most private courses have numerous tournaments throughout the year.



    Cons: you will be playing the same course all the time, which to me isn't that bad, you will probably spend double what you're monthly dues are between cart fees, guest fees, and food / beverage fees.

    Have fun with the club you pick. I never really pictured myself as a country club member as I didn't think I was wealthy enough to afford joining one, but am glad that I made the choice that I did, as I am loving the country club experience so far.
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  • jlazarojlazaro Members Posts: 45 ✭✭
    Do it. A few pieces of advice:



    - Don't try to justify it on a per round basis. Unless you play a ton, you'll always be paying a premium. The access/amenities/etc. make it worth it in my opinion



    - I would talk to the head pro about how active the golfing membership is. This is key. I previously belonged to a CC with a large contingent of avid players. While this is good for the course from a financial perspective, it resulted in the tee sheet being absolutely jammed every weekend. Somewhat defeated the purpose of a private membership.
  • pingizzlepingizzle Members Posts: 212 ✭✭✭
    mantan wrote:



    If in Fort Worth you should come check out Mira Vista! It's a fantastic club!




    Been out to Mira Vista when Michael Martin was there. Saw Monte there too. Tremendous facility....but I live in Flower Mound, so it's about 49 miles door to door....


    pingizzle wrote:


    Sounds like I am in the same boat as you. I just moved to the DFW area and am looking to join a club also. I am interested to see what responses you get here.




    Welcome to DFW! For the longest time it was a picnic for public golf. Lots of capacity, cheap prices, lots of great courses. Not quite what it used to be...




    Thanks for the welcome. Ironic as we are in Flower Mound as well. I played Trohpy Club in a tournament yesterday and was not overly impressed with the facilities. This was on my short list of courses to consider given the proximity to FM. I am going to look at Lantana as well. Where are you considering?
  • masamitsumasamitsu Members Posts: 2,506 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Club corp member here in Colorado.



    One nice thing about CC is the other courses that are available. For instance my wife and I just played Gainey Ranch and Anthem in Scottsdale for cart fees (~$40 for both of us). That's tough to beat.



    We have 2 club in our membership. One is 3 minutes from my house the other is 15ish, they are both great and each has it's own advantages. We've been very happy with our decision.
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  • dadupdadup Members Posts: 248
    Fort Worth native here... if you don't mind me asking what clubs were you looking into joining?
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  • mantanmantan Members Posts: 2,574 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    pingizzle wrote:

    mantan wrote:



    If in Fort Worth you should come check out Mira Vista! It's a fantastic club!




    Been out to Mira Vista when Michael Martin was there. Saw Monte there too. Tremendous facility....but I live in Flower Mound, so it's about 49 miles door to door....


    pingizzle wrote:


    Sounds like I am in the same boat as you. I just moved to the DFW area and am looking to join a club also. I am interested to see what responses you get here.




    Welcome to DFW! For the longest time it was a picnic for public golf. Lots of capacity, cheap prices, lots of great courses. Not quite what it used to be...




    Thanks for the welcome. Ironic as we are in Flower Mound as well. I played Trohpy Club in a tournament yesterday and was not overly impressed with the facilities. This was on my short list of courses to consider given the proximity to FM. I am going to look at Lantana as well. Where are you considering?




    Thanks for the info about Trophy Club. I literally just got an email from their membership director today....I was going to check it out.



    Lantana is my short list. The location is perfect. It's a great track with great practice facilities. My one concern is that it's the only Dominion group course in DFW....no reciprocals. I'm also considering Hackberry since it's right by the office. But I know I'd be a lot more involved socially if the club was near the house.
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  • Arb8889Arb8889 Members Posts: 593 ✭✭
    Careful with club Corp, weird policies and less than stellar quality of employees. Have a nice sit down with the head pro where you can get all the answers you need
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  • JimFishIIIJimFishIII Members Posts: 70
    I see playing the same course as a con listed a few times.....I'm considering joining a private club in the next year or so and one of the pros to me is reciprocation from other private clubs, as well as the ability to play other club events that I would not have access to if I did not have a private club membership.
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  • ZBUCKZBUCK Ghost ClubWRX Posts: 1,517 ClubWRX
    JimFishIII wrote:


    I see playing the same course as a con listed a few times.....I'm considering joining a private club in the next year or so and one of the pros to me is reciprocation from other private clubs, as well as the ability to play other club events that I would not have access to if I did not have a private club membership.




    Where are you thinking about joining near Audubon?



    To the OP, I would say there are far more pros to joining a private club - I would gladly pay the premium for the benefits you get. Like everyone else, one of the only cons I can really see is getting bored of the same course but if it's going to be well manicured and it's not too easy of a track, that will be an oversight.
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  • PepperturboPepperturbo Midwest and SouthwestMembers Posts: 15,819 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    deetsal wrote:


    Course gets boring, but it is nice to play 36 or two if you like. Also meet a lot of people.




    Course only gets boring if its rated easy; wide open and long. Private tracks tend to be more difficult and long, to keep the attention of members.
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  • tsecortsecor Loading........ Members Posts: 4,329 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    how diverse is it?
  • JimFishIIIJimFishIII Members Posts: 70
    edited May 16, 2016 #25
    ZBUCK wrote:

    JimFishIII wrote:


    I see playing the same course as a con listed a few times.....I'm considering joining a private club in the next year or so and one of the pros to me is reciprocation from other private clubs, as well as the ability to play other club events that I would not have access to if I did not have a private club membership.




    Where are you thinking about joining near Audubon?



    To the OP, I would say there are far more pros to joining a private club - I would gladly pay the premium for the benefits you get. Like everyone else, one of the only cons I can really see is getting bored of the same course but if it's going to be well manicured and it's not too easy of a track, that will be an oversight.




    Looking at XXXXXX CC in Haddonfield....currently about a 2 to 3 year wait...just need to time the wait right for the initiation - paid for two weddings this past year!
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • UCBananaboyUCBananaboy Members Posts: 1,090 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Biggest pros imo are:ou aren'



    - Meeting tons of other golf fanatics

    - I'm a believer in surrounding yourself with successful people. You definitely meet plenty of uppity *****s but there are a great deal of people who have very interesting stories, experiences, etc

    - Country Club golfers tend to take pride/care of their course. That equates to better greens and course conditions. Also, I find private golf to be MUCH faster

    - Ability to play any number of holes you want. It also makes for some fun chances to play different formats like alternate shot, etc



    Biggest cons:



    - Playing the same course could get stale but a lot of clubs do reciprocity. You belonging to this club may allow you to go play another private club and pay the guest fee which is a pretty neat perk.

    - Politics - it's inevitable but there'll be some sort of drama or politics between members, the pro, etc.

    - Obviously if life gets busy, your costs are fixed



    Overall, if you can afford it, I think it is far-and-away the best option to join a private club.
  • UTace10UTace10 Members Posts: 202 ✭✭
    edited May 16, 2016 #27
    I'm a member at Prestonwood and really love the courses and club environment. I belonged to Brookhaven for two years before making the switch. I would definitely stay away from Brookhaven.



    There are a ton of Club Corp courses in the metroplex so you'll always have somewhere new to play. Most of them only require you to pay a cart fee too.
  • ConcentricDimplesConcentricDimples Members Posts: 739
    I personally did not like playing the same course all the time. When I joined, I ended playing a lot more to get my money's worth, and boy did it get old.



    If you have the money to join a club that has multiple courses (or full reciprocal at some other local clubs) then that aspect might be better.



    Expect to pay a lot extra for food, beverage, etc (even if there are no food minimums).





    If you are in to the social aspect, that could be a huge plus. Clubs usually have all kinds of different member-member events that you can just sign up for even if you don't know anybody. I've found that most people at a club are pretty open and friendly.







    A downside could be that there are so many events on the course that it is often shut down. Last summer, I showed up at my club and couldn't play (or even use the putting green) because of golf events (or other events) at least 10 times. That's part of the reasons I ended my membership.



    And my humble two cents is the 20 minutes away thing could get old. My club was 18 minutes away, and it felt like a "drive" to get there (interstate involved).





    If the disposable income is really there 100% (allowing for the food, drink, incidentals on top of it) then there isn't a downside to trying it out. If the disposable income is cutting it close, then I'd really think twice about joining.
  • tsecortsecor Loading........ Members Posts: 4,329 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    you should join bushwood
  • left hand lowleft hand low Members Posts: 787 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm at my first private club this year. Of course this is a privately owned Golf Club. No pool, tennis, or anything like that. Golf course, solid practice facilities (and getting better), and a restaurant. I say that to say I don't think there is much drama to deal with. It's a tough course that is kind of the Players Club of the area, so maybe that changes the mentality a bit. I love it. Easy to get on, no problem practicing, solid pace of play, no hassle. Hopefully I'll be here for a while.
  • ShilgyShilgy PhoenixMembers Posts: 11,830 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 17, 2016 #31


    I personally did not like playing the same course all the time. When I joined, I ended playing a lot more to get my money's worth, and boy did it get old.



    If you have the money to join a club that has multiple courses (or full reciprocal at some other local clubs) then that aspect might be better.



    Expect to pay a lot extra for food, beverage, etc (even if there are no food minimums).





    If you are in to the social aspect, that could be a huge plus. Clubs usually have all kinds of different member-member events that you can just sign up for even if you don't know anybody. I've found that most people at a club are pretty open and friendly.







    A downside could be that there are so many events on the course that it is often shut down. Last summer, I showed up at my club and couldn't play (or even use the putting green) because of golf events (or other events) at least 10 times. That's part of the reasons I ended my membership.



    And my humble two cents is the 20 minutes away thing could get old. My club was 18 minutes away, and it felt like a "drive" to get there (interstate involved).





    If the disposable income is really there 100% (allowing for the food, drink, incidentals on top of it) then there isn't a downside to trying it out. If the disposable income is cutting it close, then I'd really think twice about joining.
    I have been a member of private clubs for just about 30 years and could never go back. To a couple of your points. The food and beverage often "seems" higher because it is all on one bill at the end of the month. I have seen posters on wrx say there cost per round was high at a private club because the months bill was $xx and divided by so many rounds was the private club "green fee". Of course if they play at a public course they still eat lunch and have a drink or two but the comparison is always to the public green fee only, not the total.

    Second, the times you could not play your course because of golf events it is likely you could have played in those. We have members complain about the events as well but they are always the members that do not participate. I have never understood joining a club if you do not want to join in with the club membership.
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