Affordable Country Clubs in Northern Virginia

 jstandard18 ·  
jstandard18jstandard18 Arlington, VA 8WRX Points: 13Handicap: 9Members Posts: 8 Bunkers
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Does anyone know any affordable country clubs in NoVA. Currently live in Arlington, but next year hopefully looking to move out to the outer parts of Fairfax county or Loudon. Everyone I check it seems like initiation fees are minimum of 25-30k. Does anyone have any recommendations ?

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  • jjmurryjjmurry Washington, DC 246WRX Points: 99Handicap: 1.5Members Posts: 246 Fairways
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    +1'ing this. Would love to know coming from the fairfax county area. I know that Hidden Creek in Reston is cheap to join but the management group there seems to want to sell the club once the price is right.

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  • davep043davep043  4713WRX Points: 1,948Handicap: 6.3Members Posts: 4,713 Titanium Tees
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    I've been a member at Stoneleigh GC in Round Hill for over 25 years. Our initiation fees and dues are very reasonable, and the course is unique and challenging. Its just over a half-hour drive from my house in Reston. Feel free to send me a private message if you have more questions.
    The rumor I keep hearing about Hidden Creek is that they'd like to build on the property, it would be much more valuable if it can be developed. Knowing the history of Reston, and the zoning agreements that went into it, Its going to be difficult to change things, but anything is possible.

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    Home is Reston, Virgina, with regular visits to Southern Pines, NC

  • DrDonDrDon  94WRX Points: 67Members Posts: 94 Fairways
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    Join a club that's close , either to your home or work place. Traffic in NoVA is too bad to be sitting in it for too long.
    Lots of clubs have excellent deals for young professionals these days.

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  • davep043davep043  4713WRX Points: 1,948Handicap: 6.3Members Posts: 4,713 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @DrDon said:

    ** Join a club that's close , either to your home or work place.** Traffic in NoVA is too bad to be sitting in it for too long.
    Lots of clubs have excellent deals for young professionals these days.

    I think this makes a lot of sense, especially if your hope is to be able to play golf after work on a regular basis. Even though I have a little over a half-hour drive from home to golf, I work in Loudoun County so getting to the club after work is pretty easy. On weekends, with both my wife and I playing, the half-hour drive is quite tolerable.
    For

    On -, @jstandard18 , you might want to coordinate your search for a golf club with your search for a new home. For those with no plans to move, the choice may become a compromise between distance and affordability.
    Posted:

    Home is Reston, Virgina, with regular visits to Southern Pines, NC

  • burnsniperburnsniper  618WRX Points: 141Members Posts: 618 Golden Tee
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    Affordable is a relative term. NOVA is one of the wealthiest areas of the country and $20-30k is a reasonable initiation fee for healthy (i.e. going/has been around a long time) in many areas of the country. I would image the top clubs/healthiest clubs in the area like RTJ, Washington GC, Army Navy, River Bend, etc. are higher than that - particularly for non junior executive rates (especially in this economy).

    I have heard Army Navy CC can be very reasonable if you have a military or DoD background (indexed to your pay or similar). I have played the Arlington Course and it is quirky but great with awesome views. The clubhouse is also top notch.

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  • bdambdam  2WRX Points: 7Members Posts: 2 Starters
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    ****. I always read these threads hoping there's a response along the lines of "Hi OP, I joined Springfield/Chantilly/International/Fairfax/Westwood/Hidden Creek and the initiation was X and the monthly dues are Y". I haven't found one thread over the last like 10 years where that information has been posted or even ballparked.

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  • burnsniperburnsniper  618WRX Points: 141Members Posts: 618 Golden Tee
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    On -, @bdam said:

    ****. I always read these threads hoping there's a response along the lines of "Hi OP, I joined Springfield/Chantilly/International/Fairfax/Westwood/Hidden Creek and the initiation was X and the monthly dues are Y". I haven't found one thread over the last like 10 years where that information has been posted or even ballparked.

    Most of the clubs you mentioned (and most clubs in gereral) all it takes is an email or call (or simply filling out an online form) to the membership director and they will send you the specifics.

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  • DrDonDrDon  94WRX Points: 67Members Posts: 94 Fairways
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    +1
    I'm a member of a NoVA club. And, our membership director would be happy to talk to you, show you around the club, and answer ALL your questions. Simply call those clubs that you are thinking about joining.

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  • tanker44tanker44  419WRX Points: 133Members Posts: 419 Greens
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    I moved to NOVA 3 years ago and its a terrible golfing region. If you want to play golf in this area often and on a good course where you can play in 4 hours or less its going to cost you. You can join one of the clubs mentioned above but they are already jam packed or in the process of being leveled and turned into townhome communities. I don't know every course in the city so you might find something. Good luck.

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  • DrDonDrDon  94WRX Points: 67Members Posts: 94 Fairways
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    I've been a member of a NoVA club for 25 years. Our club is NOT JAM PACKED. In fact, there is less play on the weekends today than there was 10 or 15 years ago. Much of the difference is due to the demographics of the club's membership. Many of today's 30- and 40-year-olds have family responsibilities, with their kids participating in weekend Little League, soccer, and so on. There are open weekend morning tee times available at our club consistently. This general trend also holds for many of the other NoVA golf clubs from what I have been told by the membership of those other clubs.

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  • DonatelloNobodieDonatelloNobodie  175WRX Points: 61Handicap: 5Members Posts: 175 Fairways
    Joined:  edited May 3, 2019 #12

    Western Loudoun fully privates.
    Loudoun Golf & Country Club - Purcellville. Low initiation. OK design. Old style club. The best club and course for the money. Focus is on golf. Old style, traditional course design. Very playable on a regular basis.
    River Creek - ClubCorp course. Nice course & facility. Reasonable fees for the area. Lots of non-golf amenities. Very good course design. Very playable.
    Stoneleigh - Reasonable fees. Excellent course condition. Nice facility & membership. Unfortunately, the worst course design I've ever seen. Waste of a nice piece of land.
    Belmont CC. - A bit expensive. Focus is on Belmont development residents. Good conditioning. Not the friendliest staff. Average development-style course design. Playable course.
    Creighton Farms. Top shelf country club. High quality golf, deign, conditioning, and service. If you have to ask the cost, you can't afford it.
    Evergreen. Mid priced. Good design and conditioning. Well run. Friendly staff. Very playable.

    Loudoun, to me, is the best value. Evergreen is also worth a look as a good value. River Creek and Belmont are close, more expensive, seem to focus on development residents. River Creek does come with ClubCorp membership. Stoneleigh would be a great choice, if the design was not as bad as it is, making it unplayable as a regular course. If you could afford Creighton Farms, you'd not be asking in this forum.

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  • davep043davep043  4713WRX Points: 1,948Handicap: 6.3Members Posts: 4,713 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @DonatelloNobodie said:

    Western Loudoun fully privates.
    Loudoun Golf & Country Club - Purcellville. Low initiation. OK design. Old style club. The best club and course for the money. Focus is on golf. Old style, traditional course design. Very playable on a regular basis.
    River Creek - ClubCorp course. Nice course & facility. Reasonable fees for the area. Lots of non-golf amenities. Very good course design. Very playable.
    Stoneleigh - Reasonable fees. Excellent course condition. Nice facility & membership. Unfortunately, the worst course design I've ever seen. Waste of a nice piece of land.
    Belmont CC. - A bit expensive. Focus is on Belmont development residents. Good conditioning. Not the friendliest staff. Average development-style course design. Playable course.
    Creighton Farms. Top shelf country club. High quality golf, deign, conditioning, and service. If you have to ask the cost, you can't afford it.
    Evergreen. Mid priced. Good design and conditioning. Well run. Friendly staff. Very playable.

    Loudoun, to me, is the best value. Evergreen is also worth a look as a good value. River Creek and Belmont are close, more expensive, seem to focus on development residents. River Creek does come with ClubCorp membership. Stoneleigh would be a great choice, if the design was not as bad as it is, making it unplayable as a regular course. If you could afford Creighton Farms, you'd not be asking in this forum.

    As always, opinions vary. I've played all of the courses mentioned, except Creighton Farms. To me, some are so "average" from a design standpoint that I'd be bored playing them every day. Some run through pretty dense housing, and I can think of at least one spot where it feels like you're playing through a "canyon" between townhomes. I play at the one course that

    On -, @DonatelloNobodie finds "unplayable", yet it keeps me interested every time I play it. My advice would be to contact all of the clubs that seem acceptable from a "geographic" standpoint, narrow it down to the clubs that provide acceptable value and have the right amenities, and then play the courses yourself. See if you can play with a member, you'll get a different viewpoint than you'll get from the membership director.
    Posted:

    Home is Reston, Virgina, with regular visits to Southern Pines, NC

  • GoGoErkyGoGoErky  2501WRX Points: 860Members Posts: 2,501 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @burnsniper said:

    Affordable is a relative term. NOVA is one of the wealthiest areas of the country and $20-30k is a reasonable initiation fee for healthy (i.e. going/has been around a long time) in many areas of the country. I would image the top clubs/healthiest clubs in the area like RTJ, Washington GC, Army Navy, River Bend, etc. are higher than that - particularly for non junior executive rates (especially in this economy).

    I have heard Army Navy CC can be very reasonable if you have a military or DoD background (indexed to your pay or similar). I have played the Arlington Course and it is quirky but great with awesome views. The clubhouse is also top notch.

    +1 on what affordable means.

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  • burnsniperburnsniper  618WRX Points: 141Members Posts: 618 Golden Tee
    Joined:  edited May 14, 2019 #15

    One thing and it pains me to say this as a Virginian, if I still lived in the Washington DC area, I would maybe have to choose to live in MD because the quality of the private golf (and public) is generally better.

    Top Clubs in Nova: RTJ, Trump (personally would never join), ANCC (quirky), and Washington GC (quirky). You could throw Creighton, River Bend, and Belle Haven into the mix (especially if very close to where you live).

    Top Clubs on the MD Side: Congressional, Columbia, Four Streams, Chevy Chase, Bethesda, Burning Tree. Plus the list gets even longer if you include greater Baltimore and the next tier down Woodmore, TPC Potomac, etc (both of these have held pro tourneys). Finally, the “closer in” public options are generally better (Whiskey Creek, Worthington Manor. etc.).

    While ratings all vary (especially with order), http://www.virginiagolfratings.com/course-ranking/ does a pretty good job IMO of capturing a “who is who” for golf courses/clubs in VA (there are some on the list that I don’t think should necessarily be on here and a couple that are left out). Top100GolfCourses also does a good job in this regard. Golf Mag and Golf Digest IMO don’t do as well in VA (vs other states) due to the spread out nature of the population (other than NOVA). Finally, ClubLeadersForum (https://clubleadersforum.com/pcoa/the-2018-lists/top-150-country-clubs/) is actually good at identifying the overall quality (not golf specific of the club).

    I personally would have a hard time dropping more than small four figures on initiation, if a club wasn’t listed on more than one of the above sites.

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  • davep043davep043  4713WRX Points: 1,948Handicap: 6.3Members Posts: 4,713 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @burnsniper said:

    I personally would have a hard time dropping more than small four figures on initiation, if a club wasn’t listed on more than one of the above sites.

    But the title of the thread includes "affordable". I don't think the OP is going to be considering Congressional any more than he's looking at Washington Golf or Trump.

    Posted:

    Home is Reston, Virgina, with regular visits to Southern Pines, NC

  • burnsniperburnsniper  618WRX Points: 141Members Posts: 618 Golden Tee
    Joined:  edited May 14, 2019 #17

    On -, @davep043 said:

    On -, @burnsniper said:

    I personally would have a hard time dropping more than small four figures on initiation, if a club wasn’t listed on more than one of the above sites.

    But the title of the thread includes "affordable". I don't think the OP is going to be considering Congressional any more than he's looking at Washington Golf or Trump.

    I agree. Just want to put things in perspective. $5,000 initiation for a nice community based country club sounds reasonable/affordable. $30,000 for the same community based club? No way - too much money to risk that club being turned into another housing development/more houses.

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  • bdambdam  2WRX Points: 7Members Posts: 2 Starters
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    Are you under 35?

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  • pilot25pilot25  150WRX Points: 83Members Posts: 150 Fairways
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    Anyone a member of Holly Hills, CC in Ijamsville MD. I'd email the membership director but don't want to waste their time if the membership price is outlandish.

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  • GoGoErkyGoGoErky  2501WRX Points: 860Members Posts: 2,501 Titanium Tees
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    On -, @davep043 said:

    On -, @burnsniper said:

    I personally would have a hard time dropping more than small four figures on initiation, if a club wasn’t listed on more than one of the above sites.

    But the title of the thread includes "affordable". I don't think the OP is going to be considering Congressional any more than he's looking at Washington Golf or Trump.

    No to mention congressional has a 10 year wait list after you give them the $100k initiation

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  • Sonja HenieSonja Henie  245WRX Points: 83Handicap: 7.5Members Posts: 245 Fairways
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    When I looked at Washington Golf about ten years ago, initiation had just jumped to $75K. I bet it is more than that now, plus it's undergoing a complete overhaul (course closed for a year). Chevy Chase was at $75K 15 years ago and probably more than that now.

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  • birdiebarragebirdiebarrage IG @smallssees D.C. 54WRX Points: 53Handicap: 8Members Posts: 54 Bunkers
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    I’ve been on this road on and off for the last year. Very tough area for good to great golf options. Lots of mediocre golf in the $100 range. Ive actually started to go for cheaper rounds because I don’t see much of a difference in quality of design/condition/pace of play. Traffic is a major issue and limits what courses are realistic depending on where you live. Then you have super elite clubs that are difficult to get on. I’ve yet to be quoted initiation <50K at clubs that are good but not elite. DM me if you want more details.

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