Somerset Golf Club Offers New £1 Membership

Is this the future of golf club membership? Orchardleigh Golf Club in Somerset thinks so...

Somerset Golf Club Offers New £1 Membership

Is this the future of golf club membership? Orchardleigh Golf Club in Somerset thinks so...

Somerset Golf Club Offers New £1 Membership

Golf club membership is officially on the rise in England according to some statistics whilst others will say different.

One thing is for certain though, it most definitely isn't booming.

Some clubs are in need of finding new models to flourish in what is a tricky market and Orchardleigh in Somerset is one of them.

The country club, featuring 18 holes in the picturesque Somerset countryside, has introduced a revolutionary new £1 'pay per round' membership - something that we haven't heard about anywhere else before.

The new membership scheme allows golfers who perhaps can't quite justify a full membership the chance to gain an official handicap and play in competitions.

We've seen from our comments on social media and emails we receive that there is a genuine demand for an official handicap from people who can't afford or justify to pay for a full membership - this solves that big issue.

Green fees at the course range start from £12, which the £1 members will have to pay each time, and the club is giving free union fees to the first 25 new members (union fees usually cost £24/£25).

The club, which has had a complete overhaul of its membership structure, says that the scheme has been launched to attract both younger and beginner golfers.

Chris Vincent, owner of Orchardleigh Estate, said: “We want golfers of all ages and levels to feel welcomed on our course.

"Often, expensive membership fees can deter people from taking up and playing golf, and we’ve decided to try and combat this with the introduction of our new ‘Pay per Round’ membership so that everybody can enjoy the sport.

"I read a statistic recently which suggested that out of the roughly 4 million golfers in the UK, 3.5 million don’t belong to a club - and therefore have no opportunity to obtain an official handicap, and enjoy the associated benefits of doing so, such as playing in competitions or playing challenging, high end courses, which often set a minimum handicap before allowing you to play.”

He continued: “‘Pay per Round’ membership enables you to play as much golf as you like and only pay when you play, there are no minimum number of rounds, so you could play just once a year.

"We still do retain alternative membership options for the ardent golfers out there, but for the causal golfers - it offers an excellent opportunity to embrace a fantastic sport, without needing to over commit.

Located just 10 miles south of Bath outside the town of Frome, the country estate of Orchardleigh – which includes a large Victorian mansion, an island church, boathouse, and 20 character cottages – is the setting for this championship course that was designed in the mid-1990s by former Ryder Cup captain Brian Huggett, in partnership with Walker Cup legend Peter McEvoy.

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Elliott Heath
Elliott Heath

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. Elliott graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He is obsessed with the game and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey. His handicap index floats between 3-5. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Honma TR20B

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x