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Moving to TN - Private Clubs, Hendersonville, Murfreesboro, Chattanooga HELP!


Hstead
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Moving the family from Ohio to TN.  We are trying to decide where to relocate, Hendersonville/Mt Juliet, Murfreesboro, or Ooltewah area.  We have visited each and really like certain aspects of each town.  Golf is a big part of my life and I want to join a private club that has a lot of lower handicap guys that like to play games/tournaments etc.  What are some of the initiations and how hard are some of the courses to join, I have heard there are waiting lists.  I have a buddy that has done well in the country music business telling me to join Old Hickory in Hendersonville but I haven't been able to find any info on costs there yet.

 

If anyone has helpful info on where they would live and what club they would join it would be much appreciated.  I would like to keep the initiation below $15k if possible.  Thanks

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i live in chat and would happily talk privately, but there are not many options in the north part of chattanooga. FWIW I'm a realtor so if you choose chattanooga, i can help you buy a home!

 

1) Honors course- the pinnacle of chattanooga private course. initiation will be more that $15K, if you can get an invite. I can connect you with a member if you'd like to discuss.

2) ooltewah club- newly renovated, havent been yet. old course was a travesty of a routing.

3) Cleveland country club. - country club in name only, more like a decent public course, can't comment on the membership

4) bear trace harrison bay- public course but has memberships, not much of a club feel, but a nice layout and range.

 

IF you are flexible in chattanooga, just outside the city towards nashville is the Black Creek Club, would be my choice of places to join if i wasnt a member of a club 5 min from my house on Signal Mtn.

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Thanks for the advice and input.  After seeing some more stuff today, I believe we are going to settle in the Chattanooga area, maybe Ooltewah or East Brainerd.  I have received some info regarding Council Fire and the prices are very good IMHO.  The course appears to be awesome and they have a ton of good players with good games.  It sounds like it is a perfect fit.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/5/2021 at 11:13 PM, Hstead said:

Thanks for the advice and input.  After seeing some more stuff today, I believe we are going to settle in the Chattanooga area, maybe Ooltewah or East Brainerd.  I have received some info regarding Council Fire and the prices are very good IMHO.  The course appears to be awesome and they have a ton of good players with good games.  It sounds like it is a perfect fit.

 

Council Fire is a great club that is well-run and always in great shape. IIRC their bylaws don't allow for member assessments, which can mean that dues increases may be more frequent but they're never going to go into debt for renovations etc. 

 

They went through a phase recently where they'd reduced the initiation to an absurdly low amount, but a member told me that was past them and the club was either full or close to it. 

 

If I lived on that side of town I wouldn't hesitate to join there. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

So we ended up putting a deposit on a new construction in Ooltewah that is going to finished at the end of January.  It is literally less than 2 miles from Ooltewah Country Club and it happens to be the least expensive option I have seen.  I haven't heard great things about the design though, but evidently they have dumped over a million dollars into it and had Cupp Jr. redesign some holes and they replaced all of the greens and bunkers with brand new complexes.  

 

I am town now between a club that is less expensive and three minutes from the house, or drive 25 minutes down to Council Fire who clearly has the best greens.  And then there is Cleveland that is 35 minutes north.

 

I wish I  had more info on Ooltewah and what the new course is like.  What the members are like etc.

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Could you, as a prospective member, not get the opportunity to play a few rounds with different members to both evaluate the course and the atmosphere?  Especially if you brought up that you have a deposit on a house being built.  They'd know you aren't just a tire kicker looking to get a few rounds on a private just because.

 

I personally, value convenience over conditions, provided that said conditions are not so bad that you can't play when you want or it compromises the golf.  If we are talking the difference between 9 and 12 stimp and hand raked bunkers vs. sand pro then convenience wins out, for me.  Patchy greens and an overall lack of proper conditioning is a different thing obviously.

 

Good luck.

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On 9/10/2021 at 5:48 PM, Hstead said:

So we ended up putting a deposit on a new construction in Ooltewah that is going to finished at the end of January.  It is literally less than 2 miles from Ooltewah Country Club and it happens to be the least expensive option I have seen.  I haven't heard great things about the design though, but evidently they have dumped over a million dollars into it and had Cupp Jr. redesign some holes and they replaced all of the greens and bunkers with brand new complexes.  

 

I am town now between a club that is less expensive and three minutes from the house, or drive 25 minutes down to Council Fire who clearly has the best greens.  And then there is Cleveland that is 35 minutes north.

 

I wish I  had more info on Ooltewah and what the new course is like.  What the members are like etc.

 

1 hour ago, smashdn said:

Could you, as a prospective member, not get the opportunity to play a few rounds with different members to both evaluate the course and the atmosphere?  Especially if you brought up that you have a deposit on a house being built.  They'd know you aren't just a tire kicker looking to get a few rounds on a private just because.

 

I personally, value convenience over conditions, provided that said conditions are not so bad that you can't play when you want or it compromises the golf.  If we are talking the difference between 9 and 12 stimp and hand raked bunkers vs. sand pro then convenience wins out, for me.  Patchy greens and an overall lack of proper conditioning is a different thing obviously.

 

Good luck.

 

That club allows non-members to play, at least on weekdays, so it should be fairly easy to go try it out. 

 

The layout there is uninspired. It originally started as a short, flat and tight nine-hole layout. Later they added a second nine that looks and plays more like what most club golfers want to see. There is still a distinct difference between the two nines though I've heard they've closed the gap in overall conditioning between the sides.

 

There are funky features like consecutive short par three's and multiple trips through a metal culvert under the main road and very long drives between some holes. It's relatively flat so it should appeal to walkers, but unless they've re-routed it significantly it isn't particularly walkable. It doesn't feel like a great course when you're on it, by any means. It feels more like a $50 daily fee course. 

 

Judging the entire club experience based on quality of golf, overall cost, fellow members, food, and other non-golf amenities, I would say Ooltewah Club and Cleveland are similar and would rate about a 4 on a scale of 1-10. Council Fire would rate more like a 7.5 or so. It's a notable difference. 

 

All that aside, the best club for you is one you and your family will support and enjoy the most. I seriously doubt your wife is ever going to drive all the way to Council Fire to sit beside their small pool. You might end up playing much more golf and getting more practice time at a club so close to home. There may be some great organized games that help you meet a lot of your neighbors. All good stuff. And the price is right. 

 

I'd join Ooltewah before Cleveland for sure, because they're more or less comparable and also because Cleveland is very insular and full of people who've known each other forever and will not be motivated to get to know you. I don't know of a single person who lives in Greater Chattanooga who is a member at Cleveland. Belonging there will not expand your social circle in your new community unless you want to do all your socializing in Cleveland (and you definitely don't!). 

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Cleveland RTX4 54* and 58*

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6 hours ago, me05501 said:

I'd join Ooltewah before Cleveland for sure, because they're more or less comparable and also because Cleveland is very insular and full of people who've known each other forever and will not be motivated to get to know you. I don't know of a single person who lives in Greater Chattanooga who is a member at Cleveland. Belonging there will not expand your social circle in your new community unless you want to do all your socializing in Cleveland (and you definitely don't!). 

 

I moved to the Chattanooga area in December of 2019 and joined Council Fire the following month. I dropped my membership there after 9 months and have been playing at Cleveland ever since, and it's worked out just fine for me. I've communicated with the OP via PM about my experiences given that I was in the same boat as him two years ago so I'm not going to rehash all that.

 

But I responded just to say that I think you're selling Cleveland Country Club short. Is it as good a golf course as Council Fire? Absolutely not, especially when it comes to the greens. But if you prefer playing a tree-lined course as opposed to a golf course that's lined with McMansions, that might be a factor. I'm also spending about half as much each month given how much I play, and the economics should be of at least some consideration when determining expectations. And the golf staff at Cleveland is light years better than the new staff at Council Fire. Had Hunt and Richard stayed at Council Fire, my guess is I might have stuck it out.

 

I would also add that the members at Cleveland, especially the better players (and that's who I'm interested in playing with), were far more welcoming than those at Council Fire. I'm also confident that we have a lot more good players at Cleveland than there are at Ooltewah, and you can get a game any day of the week.

 

Anyway, I'm not trying to sell anyone on Cleveland. Where I live in the Chattanooga area, I might ultimately join The Farm or Dalton Golf and Country Club - both of which are higher caliber clubs/courses and closer to my house, which is in Tennessee. We'll see. I'm also not trying to pick an argument with you. I've always enjoyed your posts in this forum and read a number of them before I moved here. Just wanted to offer a different perspective and stand up for Cleveland Country Club a bit as it has been good to me. Thanks!

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I would love to play with you guys once I get down there.  I greatly appreciate all of the advice and insight.  Each place has it positives and negatives.  My son is going to transfer colleges to a school nearby so he will be playing a lot too.  That makes the economics of paying for a cart every time each of us play even greater at Council Fire.  My guess is I will end up at Ooltewah or Cleveland.  I am going to have to play them and see.

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now comparing ooltewah to cleveland i will give you my opinion.   ooltewah is trying to make a rebound, new owners have put money in the place etc..  my sister in law and her husband are members there.  i like cleveland, they just spent a bunch of money on re-doing their bunkers and i heard they are awesome.  cleveland is probably in the best shape it has ever been in right now.  the downfall is they still have bent greens so in the summer they are slower but in very good shape.  in the fall and spring they are great.  my sister in law and her husband were going to join cleveland over ooltewah because they like cleveland better but they live like 3 minutes from ooltewah.  overall i think cleveland is better.  cleveland does have more golf things for members so you could jump in there and make friends very easily.  i never had a problem making golfing buddies at cleveland.

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