A thread on the Golf Monthly Forum got us thinking about golf club membership value for money
Are Golf Club Memberships Value For Money?
Golf is an expensive game and the best way to play lots of it cheaply is usually by joining a club.
Joining a club mostly allows you unlimited golf to play whenever you like and however many times you like.
In theory, you could play every day or perhaps 4-5 times a week if you’ve got the time which brings the cost of your average round down to minuscule levels.
However, if you don’t play that much and have time constraints then joining a club may not be for you.
Related: The future of golf club membership
For example, if you only play 10 times a year, you may be better off paying 10 £100 green fees to play some brilliant courses instead of the same one 10 times for a £1000 per year membership.
But, and crucially, being a pay-and-play golfer doesn’t get you an official handicap or allow you to meet close and like-minded golfing companions. You won’t be able to play in the weekly roll-ups or Monthly Medals, matches or Club Championship etc.
So, do golf club members get value for money?
A Golf Monthly Forum post from user ‘DRW’ last year, who is a member at two clubs, highlighted the fact that rounds at one of their clubs cost £250 per game and £45 per game at the other.
Perhaps in DRW’s case, they aren’t getting value for money at club 1 unless it is truly world-class.
Another forumer wrote, “I’m only able to play once a week, so for a full membership, costing over a grand, I would have to play at my club every single weekend and never play anywhere else to make it even remotely viable.”
Of course, this is why things like flexible memberships and credit systems were invented but sometimes even they don’t work out great value for money for those who like the idea of being a golf club member but simply don’t play enough.
For example, one Golf Monthly staffer paid £500 for a credit system membership this year and has played an estimated 9-10 times, and mostly those visits to the club aren’t full 18s… They’re not re-joining next year because value wasn’t had.
Most keen golfers, however, will probably feel that they do get great value from their clubs.
Playing twice a week on average with an official handicap, competitions, roll-ups, social events, mates down the club, good food, friendly atmosphere etc. can be great value for around £80-120 ish per month.
For me personally, as an intermediate, I pay around £700 per year and play every weekend so 52 times a year + once in the week in the summer.
I’d estimate I play my home club around 70 times a year which would work out to £10 per round…
The member’s guest rate at my club is £32 and a standard weekend green fee is £65 (and that’s after 2pm)… I’d say I get great value!
How much do you think you pay per round on average? Let us know on our social media channels
Average price per round –
Once per week – £17.33
Twice per week – £8.66
*Based on the average annual sum for a golf club membership in England is currently £901, according to SMS’s most recent England Golf survey
Average price per round if you’re paying £1,500 per year –
Once per week – £28.85
Twice per week – £14.43
Once per month – £125
Average price per round if you’re paying £2,000 per year –
Once per week – £38.50
Twice per week – £19.25
Once per month – £167