How to Join a Private Golf Club: A Quick Guide

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How to Join a Private Golf Club: A Quick Guide

How to Join a Private Golf Club: A Quick Guide

You know that private golf club membership is for you. Unfortunately, what you're less sure of is how to become a member. This quick guide to how to join a private golf club can help. Each club does things a little differently, but read on to learn the basics of how to go from outsider to member.

Do Your Homework

There are probably several private membership clubs in your area from which to choose. Each has its own list of amenities and caters to a different sort of clientele. You'll probably feel more at home at some of them than at others. Learning what you can about each golf club option will help you decide where to pursue membership.

To gather information, visit club websites, read reviews, and ask around for the inside scoop. The video below discusses the questions to consider as you evaluate clubs.

Connect with a Member

Many clubs require that you receive a reference from a current member before you will be allowed to apply.

  • A current member may approach you with the suggestion that you join his or her club. This can be the easiest way to gain a reference since the member is seeking you out. However, you can't count on this happening.

  • You can look among friends and acquaintances for a reference. Start with people you know well and move on toward more distant acquaintances if you have trouble coming up with anyone who belongs to the club. If necessary, ask friends to put you in touch with their acquaintances who might be able to get you in.

  • You can inquire with the golf club. The club's leadership may be willing to put you in touch with a current member who might serve as your sponsor after getting to know you. Understand that this approach probably won't be successful among the most exclusive clubs.

Visit the Club

Although online and word-of-mouth research is helpful when deciding whether to apply for membership, nothing compares to the information that you can gain through touring the facility yourself. If you have a friend or acquaintance sponsoring your application, this person can arrange to bring you to the country club as a guest.

Even if you aren't required to have a sponsor, you can still ask a friend to grant you access. If you don't know any members, call the golf club and ask if it is possible to take a tour before applying. It won't be quite the same as playing a round of golf with a friend, but it will still give you a good feel for the club.

Learn About Fees

County club fees vary widely. The amenities, clientele and geographic location can all factor into the price of the club. There's no point in applying to a club that you can't afford, so before applying for membership, find out as much as you can about what it will cost you and what you will receive for your money.

The fees may include:

  • Initiation fee: This one-time cost for joining can range from a few thousand dollars to $1,000,000 or more. Some clubs distinguish between equity and non-equity memberships, and those with equity in the club pay a higher initiation fee.

  • Annual dues: Members must pay a yearly fee to maintain their membership. Some clubs charge this in monthly installments.

  • Assessment: These are special fees over and above the normal dues. Assessments help fund large expenses or projects.

  • Food and drink fees: Some clubs require you to spend a certain amount at their restaurants, snack counters or bars each month or year.

  • Additional fees: Other small costs that clubs sometimes charge include cart or locker room fees.

Many clubs have different levels of membership. Different fees may grant you different levels of access to the facilities.

Submit an Application

If you decide that membership is right for you, your next step is to inquire about the application process. You may be asked to fill out an online form or submit paperwork.

A membership application can be quite detailed. It is important that you fill it out in its entirety and be completely honest. Fabricating details in an attempt to make yourself look better is never recommended; whether you are found out now or years down the road, getting caught in a self-aggrandizing lie can be humiliating.

Some country clubs have an application fee. Be sure to submit this payment with your application.

Provide Verification of Requirements

Clubs that cater to a particular demographic may have specific characteristics that they seek out in their members. If that's the case with the club you're applying to, you may need to turn in documentation that backs up what you have claimed on your application.

For example, some clubs want to know that you do charity work or donate money to good causes. You may need to provide references from such organizations or show proof of your donations.

Other clubs have education requirements. These clubs will want you to produce evidence of the higher education that you have received. Your proof could be a diploma or a transcript.

Finally, background checks are a common requirement of golf clubs. If that's the case with of the club you hope to join, the membership staff probably has a specific protocol that they use for obtaining this information.

Wait for Acceptance

Once you've submitted your application and any other necessary documentation, it's time to sit back and wait. Country clubs are private organizations, and they can accept or deny applicants as they choose. Hopefully, however, all will go well, and you'll hear word about your acceptance soon.

Even if you meet all the qualifications for membership, you may not be allowed to join right away. Many clubs put a cap on how many members they will allow. If your club of choice is currently full, you may have to join the waitlist for a few months or years until a spot opens up for you.

Are you ready to start pursuing membership at a golf club near you? Don't let the application process intimidate you. Get to know the club, and let them get to know you. Soon, you may be the newest member of your local golf club.

Posted: 5/9/2018 7:54:11 AM by Brian Curtin | with 0 comments

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