With the start of golf season comes the question many golfers struggle with each year: should I buy a membership? Most ask the question thinking only of cost savings over paying daily green fees. Although the cost question is an important consideration, there are many other benefits of a golf membership.
Starting with the value question, you want to have a sense of how often you believe you will golf. Do you want to get out at least once a week or more? A membership is likely going to provide savings if you do most of your golfing at one course.
If you haven’t generally golfed that much, consider whether you would get out more if you didn’t have to pay.
Often, when you are thinking about the cost of green fees, you may not go out if the weather isn’t perfect, if you don’t have a foursome lined up, or if you may only be able to get in a few holes. When you aren’t paying a green fee each time, you don’t worry about such things and it may also encourage you to get out more, participate in leagues and tournaments, and even hit the driving range.
Now, if the value equation is close, consider the extra benefits of having a membership. Many courses will add in some or all of the following: range and practice privileges; member discounts on merchandise, food and tournaments; Golf Canada registration so you can track your handicap, equipment ID labels, insurance for equipment, ball through window mishaps or golf cart accidents; and other social benefits such as member only events. Make sure you ask what is included in your membership.
One of the true, intangible benefits of being a member is about having a place where you belong. If you’ve selected the right golf club for you, it should be your second home during golf season. The staff will know who you are; you get to know the members; and you always feel at home. Pick a club that makes you feel like one of the family and that you would be proud to wear their logo! When you feel like you belong, you get more engaged in all that a club has to offer, creating greater value for the membership.
Even if membership isn’t for you, check out other special offers from clubs like twilight rates, leagues or other passes and programs. The right golf club will make you feel like you belong regardless of whether you are a member or not.
— L.J. Lawson