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Which Type of Golf Membership Suits You Best

By: | Mon 18 Sep 2023

Golfers are spoiled for choice when they decide how they wish to consume their favourite hobby - the sport of golf. Some prefer to stay unattached to any club and reap the benefits of playing wherever they want, whenever they feel like it.

However, during specifically busy periods, nomadic golfers run the risk of not being able to gain a tee time. Traditional memberships offer a sense of community and the opportunity of booking rounds many days in advance, but they must forfeit a rather large sum for that benefit.

Below, we discuss several different golf membership options and explain which one may suit you, depending on what you seek to gain from recreational golf.

Traditional Membership

The bread and butter of recreational golf; belonging to a club has so many benefits away from playing golf. Firstly, you’re ultimately expanding your social circle ten-fold as golf clubs typically have hundreds of members, if not thousands. You’ll know if a club is popular by looking at the bar area during early evenings or weekends. If the bar is booming with customers, then you’ll know you can rely on that club to meet likeminded people.

Now, to the golf. Some clubs offer the opportunity of booking a round up to ten days in advance, whereas visitors to the course may only be able to book a few days before. This helps to protect the members of the club by ensuring there is enough tee times to appease their loyal membership base. Furthermore, some clubs offer reduced prices on the range or even tuition, so there’s even more savings to be had when you fancy a practice session as opposed to a full round of golf. If you’re someone who likes to golf on a weekly basis, then we can recommend joining a golf club and reaping the benefits listed above. If you’re someone who takes to the fairways fortnightly or even monthly, then you probably won’t get too much from a membership that costs a fair amount of money.

Society Membership

If you’re someone who watches a lot of professional golf and feel like you would enjoy that competitive environment, then look no further than a golf society. Societies are brilliant groups that typically travel around their local area, playing different courses and competing against one another - it’s a lot of fun! Although each society operates differently, they typically meet once a month at a different course to enjoy a day of golfing. There may be incentives for closest to the pin or the longest drive, and you could be playing for monetary prizes or even a trophy if you’re lucky enough!

The golf clubs that you visit really look after you too, as you may be offered a breakfast before your round and a meal after you’ve finished. Perhaps the biggest incentive for joining a society is the fact you won’t be parting ways with a large sum of money, which would be expected if you were to join a club as a traditional member. You’ll just need to pay for each individual day and potentially a small ‘membership’ fee, which will enable the purchasing of trophies or even your own society uniform. If you’re someone who doesn’t like to golf alone and are a fierce competitor, you cannot go wrong with joining a society to appease that golfing itch.

Golf Memberships

Flexible Memberships

Flexible memberships are a relatively new concept and the impact they have already had should be noted. There’s no shying away from the fact that golf is expensive; green fees, equipment, accessories and apparel quickly adds up. If you then contribute up to £1,000 for an annual golf membership, then the spending can spiral out of control rapidly. Fortunately for golfers, flexible memberships can help you play as much golf as you wish at a fraction of the price! There are some companies that have been created to increase golf’s accessibility by offering flexible memberships, and the benefits should appeal to a wide range of customers.

If we use PlayMoreGolf as an example, you can effectively become a flexible member with them and they will issue you points to spend on a multitude of courses. Dependent on the reputation and popularity of the course, each one will require different points. You can simply book a tee time through the website and you’ll then expend a few of the points given to you when you joined. This is an innovative approach of playing golf frequently, with the added benefit of experiencing different courses, as opposed to playing the same layout continuously. As an additional bonus, you’ll also receive great discount on food, drink and in the pro shop. Golfers will also be able to play in selected club competitions and they can use their membership to bring a maximum of three guests along. This could quite possibly be the future of recreational golf!

Nomadic Golfer

Being a nomadic golfer offers you freedom like no other. You won’t be tied down to a year-long commitment, you won’t feel guilty about visiting other courses and you can play whenever you feel like it. There’s no denying that playing the same golf course on a weekly basis can become a bit stale, which may even reduce your enjoyment from golf. Being able to attend whatever golf club you can afford is a very big positive for keeping things fresh. It’s also nice playing a course with no prior knowledge - ignorance can be bliss on occasion!

The benefits seem endless, don’t they? Well, unfortunately, there are some downsides too. You’ll find out pretty quickly that nomadic golfers aren’t always treated the same as traditional members, and you’ll likely have to settle for unfavourable tee times if you wish to visit a popular venue. Moreover, some clubs are raising their green fees in an attempt to claw back what was lost from COVID. Although this isn’t exclusive to nomadic golfers as membership prices are rising too, clubs are more likely to target golfers who hold no long standing relationship with their business. Just like all the other categories, there are positives and negatives for being a nomadic golfer. If you’re someone who plays often and you’re looking to keep the cost to a minimum, then joining a club would be a sound investment that you can prepare for, as you would have been briefed on the price before joining.

No matter what category you fall into, the most important thing to consider is how much golf you’ll be playing. If you’re someone who is a golf fanatic and you’re on the fairways at least once a week, then joining a club as a traditional member should bring you the most enjoyment. On the other hand, if you’re a fair-weather golfer who only tees it up during the warmer seasons, then choosing courses on the fly would be a wise decision. Whatever decision you make, ensure you’re playing golf with a smile on your face. After all, it’s a recreational hobby for 99.9% of golfers around the world.

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