Tips for Getting in to a Private Golf Club

Published 07/10/2013 19:50:00

Private golf clubs often have the best courses, with carefully manicured greens, faster play times and great service you won't be able to find at a public club. Unfortunately, they're not as easy to get into as you may think. Whether you're looking to take your playing up a notch or you're moving to a new area and need to find something like what you've left behind at your old golf club, these tips can help.


Choose the right club

Some clubs are easier to get into than others. The ease of the process doesn't necessarily correspond with the quality of the club. Restricted clubs that have been around for decades often have tight standards and won't let just anybody in, while newer clubs may have great facilities and are looking to build up their membership. Research what clubs are in your area, check out photos, look up fees and ask around to find information to help you choose the club you want to get into.


Leverage your old membership

 When you move to a new city, you can't just pop over to the private golf club and play a round. However, your membership at a club in your old city can help you get the clout you need. Once you and your golf equipment are settled in your new home, make calls to private golf clubs in the area and drop names. Let them know you were a member at a club before you moved and give them the contact information so they can find out more about you. In general, clubs are much more willing to accept people who have kept up with a comparable membership elsewhere.


Play as a guest

 If you don't have a membership to leverage, using connections with current members is the best way to get into a private club. Ideally, you'll know someone who is a member at the club you want to join. Otherwise, ask around at your workplace, in your neighborhood and even online to try to find someone who is a member. If you don't know them, ask whether they'll join you for a round at a public course to get to know you. If they like you, maybe they'll invite you to join them as a guest at the private course to play a round. Once you're there, it's easier to get a membership by having the member sponsor you.


Use one-time perks

 If you can't access a private club or afford membership, you can often get into the best private golf clubs if you use another method. Many clubs sponsor charity tournaments or offer private golf lessons, which are ways for you to at least get in to play some rounds of golf. If you're an avid golfer, you may be able to offer to write reviews of courses for local media if they can help get you access. Another possibility is staying at a resort that has a partnership with a private golf club and playing during your vacation.

There are plenty of routes you can take to get into private clubs. The exact method that works will simply depend on what the club is like and how restrictive its rules are. In general, the more people you know, the more likely you are to find a route into even the most exclusive clubs. Keep tapping your connections and eventually you'll find a way in.


1.  I started playing golf with a friend who was a member at a private golf course. Without him, I don't think I would be playing at all the golf courses I have done. For me it show's that you should play as a guest. Although, playing as a guest also means networking with other members!

comment by Martin - 28/01/2015 12:03

2.  Thanks for the advice. I have recently started playing and I hope I have chosen the right club.

comment by Sara Watson - 25/10/2020 11:27

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