Are Golf Memberships Worth It?
Most golf venues have options for a paid membership. That means members are privy to exclusive access and benefits that normal guests aren't.
Becoming a club member is a huge and potentially expensive upgrade– what do you get, and is it worth the investment?
In this guide, we break down everything included in a golf membership, the membership types, and the pros and cons of each one.
What’s Included in a Golf Membership?
Like any membership plan, members get special access beyond what regular guests enjoy.
Golf membership lets avid players unlock a treasure trove of opportunities.
Here are the common perks and benefits typically included in a golf membership:
- Unlimited golf: The cornerstone of every club membership starts with the right to play on the course. You’ll often get unlimited course access without paying for green fees or other costs.
- Use of clubhouse facilities: Many memberships include access to the clubhouse, including fitness centers, tennis courts, swimming pools, restaurants, bars, spa services, and other amenities.
- Access to competition and social events: One of the best advantages of club membership is access to their tournaments and events. Many host weekly competitions, allowing you to win some silverware.
- Use of course practice facilities: Many clubhouses will offer practice putting greens and driving ranges, so you can get your practice in without incurring additional costs.
- Tee Time Priority: Tee time availability can be a mess. As a member, you get priority access to choose the playing times that suit your schedule.
- Discounted rates: As a member, you’ll receive discounts on all offers, like golf lessons, items from their Pro shop, and clubhouse dining.
- Guest privileges: You can bring guests to play for a reduced rate. The number of guests and rates will vary depending on the club.
When researching for clubhouses, make sure your membership offers these inclusions so you know you’re not getting sniffed on potential perks.
Types of Golf Memberships
Not all memberships are created equal. Depending on the type of clubhouse, you’re likely to run into different types of memberships.
We’ll look at each membership, so you can decide what’s right for you.
Municipal Golf Course Membership
Municipal golf courses are public courses owned and run by a municipality like a county or a city. The membership offered by these courses is less expensive than other membership types.
If you want an affordable membership that lets you play more often while paying less per round, municipal golf course memberships are a great option.
That said, municipal courses tend to attract a larger crowd, meaning there’s a good chance tee availability is more limited. Also, municipal courses will have fewer events and amenities than private courses. Municipal memberships may cost between $600 to $800 per year, with some up to $1500.
Public Golf Course Membership
Public golf course memberships give you greater access to public courses. Generally, they have a wider network of courses than private clubs, meaning you’ll have membership access to multiple affiliated public courses.
With public and municipal memberships, you can expect a more relaxed and casual atmosphere than private ones. The annual fees are more affordable, with rates that often go between $2000 to $4000 annually for unlimited play.
Private Golf Club Membership
If you’re looking for a more tailored experience, private clubs are the way to go. Think of it like the difference between commercial gyms and private gyms.
Private courses simply attract higher-quality golfers. That means you’ll be golfing next to better players. Watching advanced players play can help to motivate you and allow you to observe them closely – everything from their mannerisms to their routines.
Private clubs provide a wider range of amenities and services to help you feel more comfortable. Usually, the clubhouse has upscale bars and restaurants, and there are often state-of-the-art fitness facilities like swimming pools and fitness centers.
A private golf course membership offers unlimited access to a well-maintained clubhouse with higher-quality amenities. However, you can expect to pay about $300 to $500 monthly.
Premium Private Golf Club Membership
Access to premium private membership is more about social status and opportunities than functional benefits.
Premium private golf clubs attract wealthy professionals, fostering a community of highly successful people. Membership is a great way to network with other influential people and connect with them through a social environment.
That said, you get an extensive range of luxurious amenities such as a championship-level golf course, gourmet dining experiences, opulent wellness services, and concierge services. The costs range between $500 to $2,000 per month.
Advantages of a Golf Membership
If you love golf and want to play at least once a week or more, then membership is worth the price. Consider these advantages of buying a membership:
Improve Your Game
On a psychological level, investing in a paid membership will increase your mental commitment to the game.
If you paid a hefty chunk of change to play at a facility, there’s a good chance you’ll take full advantage of their course, putting greens, and other amenities.
As a byproduct, you’ll likely inadvertently play more than you anticipated, which is conducive to skill development.
Memberships provide unlimited playing time and tee priority access. This means you can play more often without worrying about costs and play in more quiet times. Less crowded courses and more practice facilities also allow you to hone in on your craft.
Lastly, memberships give you access to a wider community and often offer coaching services. Thus, you have access to help when needed.
Clubhouses bring together a community of golfers who are passionate about the sport. They often facilitate networking opportunities by hosting tournaments, social gatherings, charity events, golf clinics, and more.
Whether you’re looking to make a few extra golf buddies or want to make business connections, a golf clubhouse is a great place to meet them.
As a guest, you’re required to pay for each round of golf. This can add up quickly over time.
Paid members get discounted rates or unlimited play, allowing you to golf more frequently and pay less per round. Many memberships come with discounted rates on other services and golf equipment.
Disadvantages of a Golf Membership
However, golf memberships aren’t for everyone. Like anything, there are a few drawbacks to getting one.
Lack of Variety
Getting a membership to one clubhouse does limit your opportunities to explore courses. Many clubhouses only extend their membership to their facilities or affiliated ones in their network.
If you enjoy variety, repeatedly playing on the same course can feel monotonous.
Exploring new courses can bring a level of excitement since you’re always pursuing new challenges and layouts.
It’s no secret that golf can be an expensive sport.
Frankly, a membership may not be right for you if you’re an infrequent golfer or someone with budget constraints.
Some memberships require a long-term commitment, and many fees are associated with the cost, like annual dues and initiation fees.
If you’re traveling or have an unpredictable schedule, you may not be able to golf as frequently, making the membership not worth it.
Look Your Best on the Course — Shop Stitch Golf!
Golf is a game with many physical and mental benefits.
If you’re an avid golfer who plays regularly, upgrading to a course membership is a no-brainer. The cost savings could easily amount to several hundred, if not thousands, dollars annually.
Combine that with the prestige, convenience, and networking opportunities – memberships will enhance your golfing experience.
Another way to enhance your experience is to have the right golf gear and apparel. Stitch Golf offers a wide range of gear and apparel designed for golf, so you will look and feel your best. Head over to Stitch Golf and find all of your golfing needs, including golf bags, apparel, and headcovers.