7 Cheap Ways To Become A Golf Club Member

Joining a golf club needn't break the bank...

cheap ways to become a golf club member
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Joining a golf club is a great way to progress in the game and it needn’t break the bank. Here we look at 7 cheap ways to become a golf club member.

7 Cheap Ways To Become A Golf Club Member

Becoming a golf club member is a great way for those starting out in the sport to progress in the game, to meet fellow golfers, to obtain a handicap and to start playing competitively.

But golf club memberships can be expensive and difficult to justify, particularly for those unable to play regularly.

Here we look at seven different ways to become a golf club member without breaking the bank.

Flexible Membership

Many clubs offer flexible membership packages that can be tailored to suit individual requirements.

In most instances, you pay a reduced subscription and then pay a fee to play.

This may be per round, or the club might operate a system of credits.

A game at off-peak times may cost relatively few credits, while a start in the Saturday Medal would require more credits.

A flexible membership suits those who wish to become a golf club member but are unable to commit to playing on a regular basis.

Country Membership

Most clubs offer significantly discounted country memberships to those living outside of a certain radius from the club.

If you pick somewhere you visit each year, near a relative or a popular holiday spot, you can make use of it and play in the odd competition.

With the new World Handicap System, you’ll be able to play counting rounds wherever you play so retaining your handicap will not be a problem.

Related: World Handicap System - 6 things you've forgotten

Academy Membership

For those new to the game, an Academy or Starter Membership could be the ticket.

Many clubs offer an Academy Membership at a reduced rate that includes a course of lessons with the professional plus a limited number of rounds on the course.

You probably won’t be able to play competitions, but you’ll get a feel for club life and have the chance to meet fellow members.

It can be a great stepping-stone towards a full membership.

Youth Membership

Only for those fortunate enough to qualify…

Most clubs will offer a discounted rate to younger adults – a transitional rate between the junior and full ordinary subscription.

Many clubs will offer staggered rates for those up to the age of 30 or even 35.

Related: 10 Things you know if you were a junior golfer

Municipal Course Club Membership

A good option for a cheaper membership is to join a club that plays over a municipal course.

As the club won’t be responsible for paying for the upkeep of the course, subscriptions are lower – they only need to cover the administration of the club and the running of the clubhouse.

Social Membership

If you just want to get a feel for club life and to see what the benefits of joining might be, try a year as a social or associate member.

This type of membership does not allow for any golfing rights, but it will give you the use of the clubhouse and the chance to participate in social functions.

If you do want to play some golf occasionally, you can pay a green fee, which would be at a cheaper member's guest rate at some clubs.

Again, this type of membership is a good stepping stone towards full membership.

Five/Weekend Membership

If you’re not bothered about playing on weekends, many clubs offer a five day, Monday to Friday membership at a discounted rate.

Some will even offer a three-day membership, probably Monday to Wednesday for a further reduced subscription.

If you work five days a week then a weekend membership may suit your needs, and your bank balance, best.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?