Are Golf Memberships Worth It? (Interesting Pros And Cons)

Are you a young professional looking to join a golf club? Just retired and looking to expand your golf game? If you have answered yes to any of these questions then you might want to consider getting a golf membership at a golf club, public or private.

Here we will discuss the pros and cons of each and what golf membership may look like for you!

Private Membership Advantages

Depending upon geographic location and what you are looking for a private golf membership could be the best option. Private golf course memberships offer a variety of options.

The first benefit of playing a country club golf is playing a top-tier golf course. Private clubs’ benefit from having a membership that pays dues every year to maintain an excellent golf course.

For example, Medinah Country Club outside of Chicago features 3 championship golf courses that all are in pristine condition during the golf season.

The second benefit of joining a country club would be the pace of play on the golf course. Because the golf course is private there is considerably less number of golfers playing the golf course at one time. This means if you want to go out and play, chances are you will be able to get right on the golf course with nothing but open fairways in front of you.

The next great option for country club membership is all of the amenities offered by country clubs. These can include dining, outdoor activities such as a swimming pool, and excellent locker rooms.

There are plenty of country clubs that offer golf memberships only without a full country club experience.

The biggest advantage of joining a country club is the access you get to play top-tier golf course day in and day out.

Private Membership Disadvantages

The biggest disadvantage to joining a private country club is the price to join the clubs. As mentioned before, Medinah Country Club is one of the finest country clubs in the Midwest region of the United States. The initiation fee is rumored to be in the range of $200,000 just to join the club and annual dues are somewhere in the $50,000 range.

Now, if you don’t have half a million dollars in spare change there are plenty of country clubs that are not as expensive as Medinah.

Due to the private nature of most country clubs, there is no definitive answer to how much each costs to join, but it is safe to assume that to join most private golf clubs one would need anywhere from $10,000 – $30,000 to join a club.

Another potential downside to joining a private country club would be limiting yourself to only playing that golf course. Due to the high cost to join, one might feel obligated to play the country club course.

There are pros and cons to joining every country club and it really is about what is best for you and your budget.

Public Golf Course Advantages

If you are not in the highest income tax bracket, then joining a public golf course could be the best option for you.

One great advantage to joining a public golf course compared to country clubs is the price it is to join. Public golf courses offer a wide variety of memberships. I have seen golf courses that offer young adult memberships (ages 18-25 for example), twilight golf memberships, and full golf memberships.

The advantage of this is that each membership option is relatively affordable. For example, my twilight golf membership, which allows me to play twilight golf seven days a week for the golf season is only $1,000 a year, which for my budget is very affordable. As someone who plays 50 or so golf rounds a year I only pay, on average, $20 per 18 holes of golf.

Another reason to join a public golf course is that many public golf courses are kept in excellent shape throughout the golf season. Obviously, the nicer the public course the more expensive it will be, but still not as expensive as joining a country club.

Finally, playing public golf allows you to interact and play golf with new people. I always enjoy playing with new people and talking to them about who they are, where they play, and what brought them out to my home course.

Joining a public golf course with any type of membership is an attractive option for most golfers.

Club house, Portlethen golf club

Public Golf Course Disadvantages

The biggest disadvantage to joining a public golf course would be the accessibility to the golf course and the pace of play.

Public golf courses often host golf outings and events and on certain days you might not be able to get on the course. Due to the course being public, tee times are available to anyone. This means you might not be able to play when you want to.

The biggest disadvantage to public golf courses is the pace of play you can encounter. If you have a weekend tee time in the afternoon you can sometimes expect to encounter a round that can last over 5 hours. If a course stacks tee times too closely or you get stuck behind a slow group, your round can last a long time.

Finally, another major hurdle for public golf courses is the quality of the golf course. Many popular golf courses experience wear and tear on the tee boxes, fairways, bunkers, and greens due to the amount of golf being played on the surfaces. This can lead to a less than enjoyable experience if the golf course is not properly maintained.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, there are many advantages and disadvantages to joining a private or public golf course. Ultimately, you need to decide which one is the best option for you. Hopefully you found this blog post helpful. If you liked this article, check out our other blog posts!

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