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Where to join? Naples


StillCantPutt

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I moved to Naples this summer and I’m having a very hard time finding a club to join. I never in a million years thought I’d have difficulty in finding a new club yet here we are. I live in North Naples area and really don’t care about location. Looking for somewhere fun with a good group of guys as I’m on the younger side and just hoping to find a place to play and practice regularly. Calusa, Naples National, and Old Collier are all great but the $200k+ initiation seems just ridiculous. I’m willing to pay a hefty initiation but not $200k. 
 

Does anyone have any recommendations on where I could potentially get in without waiting for 5 years? These clubs claim to want younger members (I’m 40) but my experiences thus far contradict that. Anyway, any help or direction would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. 

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1 hour ago, StillCantPutt said:

I moved to Naples this summer and I’m having a very hard time finding a club to join. I never in a million years thought I’d have difficulty in finding a new club yet here we are. I live in North Naples area and really don’t care about location. Looking for somewhere fun with a good group of guys as I’m on the younger side and just hoping to find a place to play and practice regularly. Calusa, Naples National, and Old Collier are all great but the $200k+ initiation seems just ridiculous. I’m willing to pay a hefty initiation but not $200k. 
 

Does anyone have any recommendations on where I could potentially get in without waiting for 5 years? These clubs claim to want younger members (I’m 40) but my experiences thus far contradict that. Anyway, any help or direction would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. 

Unfortunately that’s the golf market in Naples. Way over priced and long waiting lists. I’m presently on two. I’m father south in Fiddlers Creek. You can join there, no waiting list, slow pas palum greens, nice layout, clubhouse a few years away.$175,000 equity membership, last I heard.

 

You may want to try Gray Oaks. 3 courses. Bottom line and no disrespect they don’t need you. COVID completely changed the landscape for golfers.

Edited by Robber6656
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2 hours ago, Robber6656 said:

Unfortunately that’s the golf market in Naples. Way over priced and long waiting lists. I’m presently on two. I’m father south in Fiddlers Creek. You can join there, no waiting list, slow pas palum greens, nice layout, clubhouse a few years away.$175,000 equity membership, last I heard.

 

You may want to try Gray Oaks. 3 courses. Bottom line and no disrespect they don’t need you. COVID completely changed the landscape for golfers.

Appreciate the info. I know Grey Oaks well, overpriced and not that interesting unfortunately. Coming from the Midwest, golf is way more ordinary in Florida than where I’m from. I came from an amazing course that you’d never get bored playing and to settle for an overpriced, flat and boring layout is just not appealing. Again, I’d think some of these clubs would want younger members instead of the 65+ crowd who’s best days are behind them. No disrespect, just speaking plainly. If you’re in business to make money, I’d think a 40 year old member would be way more appealing than a retired 65 year old who scrutinizes his bill with a magnifying glass and brings his own beer from home. 

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10 hours ago, Robber6656 said:

It’s Naples, these 65+ guys spend a lot of money.

Totally get that. I’m just stunned that clubs don’t make it easier for younger members to join. I haven’t come across any appealing to junior members or offering discounted dues for the younger members. In the Midwest, most private clubs offer a junior rate to entice the younger families and grow the membership. Naples seems to price the junior members out of the market. Hard to justify $100k+ initiation when your wife and kids don’t golf. That’s assuming you can even find a good course (you can count the really good ones on one hand) that doesn’t have a multi year waiting list or require you be “sponsored” by members or invited to join. 

Edited by StillCantPutt
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They don’t need to grow the membership. 

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It’s the same where my home is in NY. All clubs have junior memberships. You are know living in a MUCH older area. You are really in the minority. For most of the members in Naples it’s also their 2nd club and they are only there in the winter. A pro I know said Covid was great for golf, lousy for golfers. You could have gotten into most clubs there 3 years ago for half what the are getting now with little to no wait.

 

it’s all about location.

 

IMO the best club down there is Hideout. Great membership. Limited to 250. Just golf, no tennis no pool. Not even taking names for a waitlist.  Larry Bird was one of the founders and it was reasonable before Covid. If you can get on do it. Really fun course.

 

Good luck with your search.

Edited by Robber6656
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1 hour ago, Robber6656 said:

It’s the same where my home is in NY. All clubs have junior memberships. You are know living in a MUCH older area. You are really in the minority. For most of the members in Naples it’s also their 2nd club and they are only there in the winter. A pro I know said Covid was great for golf, lousy for golfers. You could have gotten into most clubs there 3 years ago for half what the are getting now with little to no wait.

 

it’s all about location.

 

IMO the best club down there is Hideout. Great membership. Limited to 250. Just golf, no tennis no pool. Not even taking names for a waitlist.  Larry Bird was one of the founders and it was reasonable before Covid. If you can get on do it. Really fun course.

 

Good luck with your search.

Thanks. I know they place and many members. It’s the only place where I’m on the waitlist and have been since February. Supposedly they’re letting new members in over the next couple of months, we will see. When I applied the initiation was 60K, I believe it is now 100K which will probably prohibit me from joining. Can’t justify 6 figures for an initiation fee when I’m the only one in the family that golfs. Really sucks down here for golf unless you belong to a private club that is.

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22 hours ago, StillCantPutt said:

Again, I’d think some of these clubs would want younger members instead of the 65+ crowd who’s best days are behind them. No disrespect, just speaking plainly. If you’re in business to make money, I’d think a 40 year old member would be way more appealing than a retired 65 year old who scrutinizes his bill with a magnifying glass and brings his own beer from home. 

 

8 hours ago, StillCantPutt said:

Totally get that. I’m just stunned that clubs don’t make it easier for younger members to join. I haven’t come across any appealing to junior members or offering discounted dues for the younger members. In the Midwest, most private clubs offer a junior rate to entice the younger families and grow the membership. Naples seems to price the junior members out of the market. Hard to justify $100k+ initiation when your wife and kids don’t golf. That’s assuming you can even find a good course (you can count the really good ones on one hand) that doesn’t have a multi year waiting list or require you be “sponsored” by members or invited to join. 

In one take you say younger members will pay more than bum 65 year old members who BYOB and in the next take you are looking for “deals” and junior memberships while acknowledging 65 year olds have the dough. Seems the 40 year old might be the one who doesn’t want to pay.

 

You said it yourself. They are trying to make money and support their membership. Cutting deals for junior memberships is not their market.

 

your in freaking Naples man. Some of the wealthiest zip codes in America.

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2 hours ago, CCTxGolf said:

 

In one take you say younger members will pay more than bum 65 year old members who BYOB and in the next take you are looking for “deals” and junior memberships while acknowledging 65 year olds have the dough. Seems the 40 year old might be the one who doesn’t want to pay.

 

You said it yourself. They are trying to make money and support their membership. Cutting deals for junior memberships is not their market.

 

your in freaking Naples man. Some of the wealthiest zip codes in America.

I get it, Naples is expensive. But 2 1/2 years ago, these clubs were begging members to join and not charging 6 figure initiation fees. I’m not looking for a “deal” but a reasonable cost to join an average (compared to up north) golf course at best. I’m willing to pay a lot $60-$80k but when you start charging $100k+ just to step on the property, you better have an amazing facility. That’s all I’m saying. And aside from Calusa Pines, there isn’t anything extremely memorable in the area. My opinion but show me any course in Naples and I’ll show you 5 in the Midwest that are better. 

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52 minutes ago, StillCantPutt said:

I get it, Naples is expensive. But 2 1/2 years ago, these clubs were begging members to join and not charging 6 figure initiation fees. I’m not looking for a “deal” but a reasonable cost to join an average (compared to up north) golf course at best. I’m willing to pay a lot $60-$80k but when you start charging $100k+ just to step on the property, you better have an amazing facility. That’s all I’m saying. And aside from Calusa Pines, there isn’t anything extremely memorable in the area. My opinion but show me any course in Naples and I’ll show you 5 in the Midwest that are better. 

You can’t compare the two areas. There isn’t a lot to work with in land wise in Florida. Calusa pines is 100% man made. None of the terrain is natural. There is also a lot more money in Naples than the Midwest. A lot more. It’s not the course or the facilities that make it expensive it’s simply the location. Under 40 can join Oak Hill for 45kish. There is no facility anywhere near as good in Naples. You picked a poor location to move to if you were looking for reasonably priced good golf.

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11 hours ago, Robber6656 said:

You can’t compare the two areas. There isn’t a lot to work with in land wise in Florida. Calusa pines is 100% man made. None of the terrain is natural. There is also a lot more money in Naples than the Midwest. A lot more. It’s not the course or the facilities that make it expensive it’s simply the location. Under 40 can join Oak Hill for 45kish. There is no facility anywhere near as good in Naples. You picked a poor location to move to if you were looking for reasonably priced good golf.

Again, totally get it and you’re probably right. Reasonable and Naples don’t belong in the same sentence. Guess I just never imagined a world where I’d struggle to find a golf club that actually has openings for membership. Every place seems to either have a 5 year waitlist or requires a member to refer you in to the club. Makes joining anywhere a real challenge. 

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It just blows my mind that there aren't enough golf courses in Naples to fill the demand. So many sub-par courses demanding and actually getting ridiculous initiation fees. I would have to imagine that this isn't sustainable and in a few years time, these same clubs will be begging for members.

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31 minutes ago, StillCantPutt said:

It just blows my mind that there aren't enough golf courses in Naples to fill the demand. So many sub-par courses demanding and actually getting ridiculous initiation fees. I would have to imagine that this isn't sustainable and in a few years time, these same clubs will be begging for members.

unless the money in Naples just disappears the courses will all be fine.

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2 hours ago, StillCantPutt said:

It just blows my mind that there aren't enough golf courses in Naples to fill the demand. So many sub-par courses demanding and actually getting ridiculous initiation fees. I would have to imagine that this isn't sustainable and in a few years time, these same clubs will be begging for members.

Not going to happen in the near term. Did you do any due diligence before moving there or didn’t you have a choice?

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5 hours ago, StillCantPutt said:

It just blows my mind that there aren't enough golf courses in Naples to fill the demand. So many sub-par courses demanding and actually getting ridiculous initiation fees. I would have to imagine that this isn't sustainable and in a few years time, these same clubs will be begging for members.

There were too many courses for the amount of demand just 36 months ago. Things have changed drastically as a result of the pandemic when it comes to golf, and especially private club membership. Assuming you have to stay put in Naples, your best bet is to wait it out.

 

In the summer, you can take advantage of what I gather is a decent handful of private courses that open up some access to non-members. In the winter, you may need to hone in on courses like Old Corkscrew up in Estero or Raptor Bay in Bonita Springs while you wait to get off the waitlist somewhere closer to home. FWIW, Fort Myers Country Club is an excellent municipal course, and River Hall in Alva (about 15 minutes NE of Ft. Myers) is a very good public/semi-private course.

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“There were too many courses for the amount of demand just 36 months ago. Things have changed drastically as a result of the pandemic when it comes to golf, and especially private club membership. Assuming you have to stay put in Naples, your best bet is to wait it out.”

 

2nd tier clubs not the good courses and a lot depended on location. Close to Marco their have been waiting lists for years. Island Club and Rookery and Hammock Bay. I got on their waitlist 5 years ago and the price has more than doubled since then.

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 1-2 years ago many clubs in SWFL had Jr./Associate programs - some as low as $2k to join with very reasonable dues. Of course that has all changed over the past year and most clubs that did have any Jr. type Program have gotten rid of it because frankly they don't need them at this time (they can fill spots with full paying members).  There has just been such a crush of people to the area recently which has really sucked and made a lot of things worse (golf, traffic, real estate, etc.) 

 

Agree with you some of these fee's are outrageous given the course/club. I think mine is charging way too much now for what it is but now there is a wait list and people still signing up for it so what do I know!?

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  • 6 months later...

Came across this thread and wondering if you (OP) made any progress or any new revelations? Last post here was 6 months ago back in 9/2002.

I am a little older (53) and currently trying to find my winter place. Good golf situation is a must. I am currently in Naples for a couple of weeks (first time) and trying to understand whats happening here. The public golf options seem VERY limited (and VERY expensive). And from what I am hearing, not just on this forum, private golf has very long waiting lists. I spent a good amount of time in Scottsdale and the Palm Springs area as well. Scottsdale has a lot of public. Many expensive as well, but at least there are options. Some decent options in Palm Springs as well. I cant speak to the private club waiting list situation though in either place.

 

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Golf is so expensive in Fort Myers, Naples areas in the winter months. Courses that are $20 bucks in the summer are going for over $100 in season and some are horrible courses.I had a plan when I moved here 10 years ago to fish in the winter months but that backfired. Red tide has killed the fishing the last few years. I would suggest if you want to golf and fish all year move to Myrtle Beach. Can’t get wife to move. Oh well. Have to wait till May I guess to golf.

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Been researching membership opportunities at Naples Private Golf clubs for quite some time and I have had zero luck finding a quality club that has openings.    Played Calusa several times and they have a very long waiting list. (I believe over 300)    Does anyone have any insights on The Hideout or Olde Florida??  Wait lists ? 

Public golf in Naples is just impossible in-season.    

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