How much would you pay to join private course?

Series: Golf Buzz

Published: Saturday, August 18, 2012 | 10:15 a.m.

I had an interesting discussion this past week with a friend about the merits and disadvantages of joining a private course. My friend is in a fortunate position in that he could join any number of local clubs - his hesitancy is simply that he wants to play a variety of courses and he's afraid paying dues towards just one would compel him to play virtually all of his rounds there. It's a valid point, isn't it?

The advantages are fairly obvious though - far less crowded, great facilities and course, great social opportunity, locker rooms, etc.  

The price options are, surprisingly, more varied than I thought.  Some great private clubs here in the Atlanta area are offering some very enticing dues with quite affordable initiation fees.  I even happened across a great discussion about this very topic (and about Atlanta no less) at one of my favorite golf sites, The Hackers Paradise (discussion found here).   

So I ask - for those who love golf, play as much as possible, but are NOT members of a private course...what is the price point at which you'd consider joining one?

What other factors are involved in such a decision?



I play 3 times a week and practice at least 2 other days putting, short game, and range for a little as a 1/2 hr or upwards of 3+ hours. I am not a member anywhere, but with the amount of novices out there that do not know golf etiquette, i am wanting to join next spring. Public courses don't stress general replacing of ball marks, divots, etc. I tend to fix half a dozen ball marks on each hole just because i cannot stand to walk past them... There is an awesome course here in Missouri that is a Greg Norman design that was supposed to go Private in '09. but the economic downturn we have seen caused the developer to file bankruptcy and the club was forced to stay public. But rounds are still on the higher side to keep quality of players up there. If i were to join there it's only because the # of rounds i will play in a season would trump paying as i went... I do like to play a variety of courses, but i would rather putt on quality greens, than playing different venues... hope it helps.


I'm currently not a member but have been in the past. Indeed I play more varied courses now. What is different is that I play much less often. It just seems like its more time consuming to pack up and go somewhere. The deals are great now as the industry is struggling in this economy. That said unless your can play 4-5 times a week or live in a year round climate its much less expensive to pay by the round. I just turned down an offer at 2000/year unlimited golf including cart and no minimum.