For years I believed that the value of a golf membership was based solely on the number of rounds you plan to play each year. I calculated the price per round value to determine if a membership was warranted. I explained this simple math problem to many would-be membership buyers and thought I was doing everyone a good service. Well, after talking to Jeff Rogerson, GM and Managing Director, at my home course of Osprey Links Golf Course, I realize that I have been offering poor advice and today I hope to correct that error.
A couple of day ago during our lengthy discussion, Jeff indicated that my view on purchasing a golf membership was very narrow in scope. He agreed that the value of cost per round is a consideration, but not the only reason to become a member of a golf course. If you want to read more about my cost averaging views see: Paying for Golf in 2017.
The other selling points that Jeff mentioned were things I never considered because they just happened and I took them for granted. This is what he had to say:
- Sense of Community. Being part of a golf club offers a sense of community that green fee players do not feel. I walk on to the course and everyone knows my name. (I kind of feel like Norm from ‘Cheers’) I have pleasant conversations with the entire proshop staff and maintenance team. The sense of community is very strong at Osprey Links and I had forgotten that being a member offers a great atmosphere to play golf.
- Play Anytime – As Much As I Want. This is an important feature that I do overlook. I can walk on anytime and play any amount of holes given the time I have to play. Sometimes that is a few holes and sometimes more than 18. I have friends who take advantage of this all the time and they agree with Jeff that this is huge perk. As a green-feer, this type of flexibility can be very costly, so a membership just makes sense.
- Savings. Not just cost averaging per round, but being a member offers discounts in some tournaments. I do not have to pay as much because the price of entering the event includes green fees; so, we get a discount on the event price because we are members. Additionally, we are the first to hear of proshop deals and other golf events that would be fun to participate in; the overall savings depends on your involvement in other golf related events.
- Greater Golfing Network. Most GM, Superintendents, and staff belong to a greater golfing community that we as members can tap into. I have played many courses (some I could not get on without their help) or at a discount because of the staff connections. Of course, this is a rarer opportunity, but the more members participate in their course, the more perks can arise.
- Golf Leagues and Course Events. At Osprey Links I participate in Men’s Night, Senior’s Day, Net Match Play, and Stroke Match Play events. The first two are weekly and the last two run all year. Men’s Night and Senior’s Day are not ‘member only’, but generally that is members who participate. Having a membership offers the opportunity to easily play at a cheaper cost (no green fees). These alone are worth the price of membership if I participate all year.
You can see that cost averaging is not the only advantage to a membership at a golf course. If you are wondering if becoming a member is worth the cost, then I suggest you look at the whole picture to see the real value. I do not think you will not be disappointed.
Thanks again Jeff for the very informative chat. I look forward to having a few more in the near future.
I am a grateful golfer waiting for my 2019 golf season to start!