Advantages of Golfing at Public or Semi-Private Green Fee Golf Courses

Joining a private golf club is not for everyone, some of the advantages of playing at public and semi-private courses are:

  • No long-term commitments
  • No initiation fees
  • No annual dues
  • No member assessments
  • No Food & Beverage minimum
  • Only pay when you play
  • Flexibility to play more courses
  • Don’t feel rushed by quick pace of play
  • Ability to find low green fee courses

What are some of the Disadvantages of Golfing at Public or Semi-Private Green Fee Golf Courses

  • Limited Tee-time availability
  • Slower pace of play
  • No social activities
  • No private lockers
  • No club storage
  • Limited Amenities
  • Little sense of community
  • Limited programs for families
  • Low green fee courses conditions are often inferior

What is a Semi-Private Golf Club?

A semi-private golf course is a privately owned golf course where anyone can become a member, as well non-affiliated public green fee paying golfers are permitted to play. Members sometimes have advanced booking privileges over green fee golfers. In some cases a semi-private course is a club that permits public green fee players, but is planning on selling enough memberships to become private.

What is a Green Fee Golf Course?

A green fee course can be either privately owned or they could also be government owned facilities. Some of the most expensive golf courses are green fee courses. These are often resort courses with golfers coming from long distances to play. On the other side of the spectrum, the most affordable green fee golf courses are owned by a municipality, and subsidized financially.

Should I Join a Private Golf Club?

Joining a private golf club is not for everyone. Private golf club memberships are not cheap, and require an ongoing financial commitment. Some clubs come across as being pretentious. Maybe you do not want to be tied to one club?

On the other hand, if it is financially viable, belonging to a private golf club is very rewarding. Advantages of unlimited rounds of golf, use of practice facilities, quality conditions and amenities, golf programs, as well as a calendar full of social activities for you and your family.

Private golf club membership initiation fees in most areas of North America have decreased in the past decade, while annual dues at both private and public facilities have gone up. Now might be the perfect timing to join a private club.