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Old    Stanfield (stanfield)      Join Date: Mar 2004       12-30-2010, 10:46 AM Reply   
I have a couple of questions for any of you that might be a member of a private club. I'm currently a member of a semi-private club that does allow for a certain amount of public play. When I joined they gave me the whole dog and pony show about how members get priority to everything, but its become apparent that memberships are down and they're moving more towards public play at this particular facility. Lately I've become extemely frustrated with the way that they stack tee times and the level of play that I'm getting paired up with. I play by myself and at what most would consider "odd" times. I play during the week, before/after class and leave the weekends for everyone else to mess with.

Anyways, I'm very seriously considering joining the private club in my neighborhood. It is a single 18 hole course that is very nice. It allows 360 golf memberships for the course. I'm wondering if this is a lot, a little, or average for a single course. They tell me its pretty wide open most of the time, but they're obviously trying to sell me something. They're also telling me that during the times I'm most likely to play, that there is a good amount of players around the same level that I'd be pairing up with, but at the same time, they could just be telling me what I want to hear.

The monthly dues are very reasonable, and they're willing to waive 80% of the 4k initiation if I commit for at least a year, which I also don't have a problem with. There are no bar/restaurant minimums which is also nice. It is worth mentioning that this is a corporately owned club, not member owned. The cart storage and trail fees work out to 121 a month which is the only part that I seem to have a problem with. Obviously they're trying to sway members into using their carts for 15 a pop, but I play enough where it is smarter for me to use my own. I'm wondering if that is high/low and if there might be any wiggle room there. I mean, I've stored my boat for cheaper than that.

I'm a no job having student, so this is a pretty big financial investment strictly for recreation, hence all the questions. Thx
Old    Jeremy (wake77)      Join Date: Jan 2009       12-30-2010, 11:00 AM Reply   
360 members is not crazy high. Does not being member owned mean your excluded from paying for any major overhauls? I was a member at a club a few years back and a revamped irrigation system was split between the members and this resulted in me owing ~1,000.00 one month.

Ask for a round with a member and try to get their insight.
Old    Stanfield (stanfield)      Join Date: Mar 2004       12-30-2010, 11:07 AM Reply   
Yes, being corp. owned versus member owned means that you're not on the hook for overhauls or repairs that are needed. The flip side of that is that if all the members get together and want to make a change/upgrade, it is then passed up to corpo to decide if they want to shell out the cash for it. Needed repairs and such are not skimped on and a large part of the clubhouse facility and course got a very nice rework a few years ago. I don't forsee that being an issue in the near future.
Old    Jeremy (wake77)      Join Date: Jan 2009       12-30-2010, 12:35 PM Reply   
I'd say do it if you can fund it. Some of the best times I had on the course was when I was a member.
Old    Trevor Gleadhill (trevorg7)      Join Date: Mar 2008       01-01-2011, 7:53 AM Reply   
@Stanfield - it looks like you are in DFW which likely means you are looking at a club corp course. I think there are 8 or so of those in the metroplex. There are some advantages to joining a club within that system; no recurring assessments, reciprocal privileges, etc. But down side too; none transferable memberships, and al-a-cart pricing.

I am a member of at a course in southern Denton Co which has north of 400 members. I can tell you I play a lot; this past week 5 times, most weeks twice. At least one round a weekend and I have no issues with over crowding. So, for me, 100 rounds a year, no issues with tee times or bar/grill seating, etc. We have al-a-cart pricing too; $350 a month for dues, no restaurant minimum, fee for bag storage, fee for lockers, fee for the cart usage, etc. You can choose to buy those or not. This pricing works well for me but keep in mind things add up. You will need to be mindful of these costs because of this. My monthly bill has never been under $1k; cart fees, lunch/dinner's, storage, beverage cart, etc. Keep in mind my family of 4 uses the facility too so there is more than just me charging items.

I would not worry about 360-450 members. Like boating or other recreational usage, there is likely 25% of the members that are hard core golfers and play multiple times a week, 50% that get out 1 or 2 times per month, and the balance that just are members for the "exclusivity" of being a member (picture boat with boards in the racks that never get used). Therefore I would not worry about the membership count but would ask if membership dropped would they open up to public play to recoup revenue. I would encourage you to walk so you don't incur cart fees. Also remember it is all supply and demand, many local private courses are offering discounts on initiation fees so you can get some good deals and even negotiate free month(s) of dues, etc.

Like mentioned above, membership can be a great time. Enjoy.

PM if you have questions.

T

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