29 Nov 2005 14:56:57
Spam-Killer
10 Things Your Country Club Won't Tell You

http://www.smartmoney.com/10things/index.cfm?story=april2005

10 Things Your Country Club Won't Tell You

1. "We'll do just about anything to get you to join."
You may think of country clubs as untouchable bastions of wealth and
exclusivity. While that's still the case with some, the industry as a whole
has seen better days. After years of growth, membership has increased little
or not at all in the past few years, according to the Club Managers
Association of America.
Why? Clubs don't have the same appeal they used to. People work longer
hours, and the competition for their downtime is fierce. Plus, there are
plenty of places to network these days, including upscale gyms.

"[Country] clubs are finding themselves in this new position where they have
to actively go out and pursue members," says Rick Coyne, an executive
director of the Professional Club Marketing Association. The result: Many
clubs are cutting attractive deals. The Santa Rosa Golf & Country Club in
Santa Rosa, Calif., now offers sliding fees for "young executives" under 40.
The Boca Pointe Country Club in Boca Raton, Fla., is offering one-month
trial memberships for $310 - no strings. And the Flossmoor Country Club in
Flossmoor, Ill., cut fees nearly in half, from $22,500 to $12,000. If you
don't see a deal at your local country club, ask. Not all discounts are
advertised.

2. "Want out? It could be a while."
Quitting your country club can be even harder than joining. Just ask Bob
Husband, president of Heritage Golf Group, which owns 17 clubs. A longtime
member of three clubs in Southern California that Heritage doesn't own,
Husband decided triple monthly dues and fees were too much and asked to quit
one. That was two years ago, and he's still No. 30 on a waiting list to
leave. The club requires eight new members to join before any one person can
go.

A waitlist to leave is not uncommon at clubs, where members' monthly fees
are the primary source of income. While eight-to-one policies are an
anomaly, it's common for clubs to require one for one. There are some ways
around it: Inquire about suspending membership until someone new joins. At
the Quail Creek Country Club in Naples, Fla., a member can pay a year's
worth of dues, then become inactive until a new membership is sold. Some
clubs refund some or all of the initiation fee, which can be thousands of
dollars, upon exit - but you may have to wait for the check until you're
out.

Kathi Driggs, senior vice president for the Club Managers Association of
America, advises carefully researching a club before joining. "It's a major
decision," she says.

3. "Just because we look posh doesn't mean we have any money."
In 2003 members of the Raleigh Country Club in Raleigh, N.C., were shocked
when the club filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. They soon found
out it owed about $7 million, much of it for ambitious renovations. An
investor came in and rescued the club, but not before members sweated rumors
that it was going to be turned into a subdivision. That same year, owners of
Hunting Hills Country Club in Roanoke, Va., suffering from a decline in
membership, were forced to sell the club's golf course. They leased it back
and continued running it, but only by slicing monthly dues and adding
hundreds of new members.

Country clubs are businesses, too. How to know if your club, or the one you
want to join, is financially sound? Chat with members - the gossipy ones.
Look around. If routine maintenance is being ignored, that could be a red
flag, says Frank Vain, president of McMahon Group, a private-club
consultancy. Sure, the grass has been cut, but is worn carpeting being
quickly replaced? Says Vain, "That really is a sign of the underlying
financial strength of the club." You can even ask to see the books. Some
clubs will let potential members read their annual report.

4. "Membership fees are only the beginning."
You paid your initiation fee and your $300 monthly dues, but your obligation
isn't squared away just yet. Two out of three clubs impose a "food minimum,"
an amount members are required to spend each month, which can run $100 a
month or more - and alcohol doesn't always count. Between his three clubs,
Husband spends about $200 a month on food.

Some clubs also charge extra for services like bag storage, shoe shines and
locker rentals. At Colonie Country Club in Voorheesville, N.Y., in addition
to monthly dues of $463 and a $60 minimum for the restaurant, families pay a
$280 annual house fee for storing golf bags, using the practice range and
using the putting green. Cart rental is another $8 to $16 a pop.

Many clubs also charge members for big maintenance and renovation projects.
In 1998 Boca Pointe billed members $2,000 each for a major renovation. Some
clubs even divvy up financial losses among members.

How to avoid surprises? Study your contract: Any extra charges must be
spelled out (all of the above were). Another strategy is to stay involved -
some clubs will put these issues up for a vote, often to all members.


5. "The public course across town is just as nice as ours."
Avid golfers used to look down their noses at public courses. But over the
past decade, public facilities have been stepping up their level of service
and have become competitive with private courses.

When Greg Sinner moved to Arizona, he wanted service on par with that of his
exclusive private club back in Texas. Instead, he's found what he needs at
the Raven Golf Club at South Mountain, a public course in Phoenix. Not only
is the price reasonable - $70 to $160 per person per round - but he can
bring as many friends or clients as he likes. Raven also offers fancy
extras - carts with GPS and staffers who wipe down your clubs and provide
course conditions. Sinner also likes the fact that he can play at other
clubs guilt-free: "If you spend a lot of money on some of these private
courses, you don't want to play anywhere else. You can't afford it."

The downside to public courses is that tee times can't be reserved in
advance. But that inconvenience is more than offset at Arrowhead Country
Club, a public course in Myrtle Beach, S.C., where a round of golf costs $35
for local residents; tourists pay more, $100 a round in high season.

6. "Any Joe off the street is welcome to golf at our club..."
That golfer slowing your game by hogging the seventh hole? He might not even
be a fellow member. To raise revenue, many country clubs have begun opening
their courses to the public, charging a per-day fee for a round of golf and
use of the facilities. The Colonie Country Club, for example, opened its
course to nonmember foursomes in early 2003 and took in an additional
$40,000 in fees in the first year as a result.

If your club allows nonmembers on its course, there are ways to ensure that
you get to golf when you want to. At most clubs, reserved tee times are
guaranteed, and in the case of walk-ins, a club will almost always give
priority to its members. But with more nonmembers playing these days, it
doesn't pay to be spontaneous: Clubs often won't bump nonmembers who reserve
tee times a few days in advance.

Bottom line: Consult your club's bylaws. Boca Pointe's, for example,
stipulate its golf course is for members only. Also, see what your options
are. ClubCorp, a national chain of country clubs, offers an enhanced
membership program that, for an extra $25 a month, will let members play at
140 courses around the country.

7. "...and dine in our banquet rooms, too."
Many revenue-challenged country clubs are finding themselves sitting on plum
assets, such as sizable ballrooms and catering-friendly kitchens, and
realizing that renting out their facilities for big events can bring in big
money. A lavish affair can net the Flossmoor Country Club in Illinois around
$20,000, which "fills in a lot of gaps," says Tom Gilley, a club member and
former president of the board of directors.

Members can rent these spaces too, of course, but clubs often charge
nonmembers more. And don't assume members get any special privileges. Event
facilities at many clubs are rented on a first-come, first-served basis. "If
[a nonmember] books a room first, there's nothing I can do," says Paul
Volin, general manager at Boca Pointe Country Club.

How can you avoid going for a quiet dinner at the club and getting turned
away - or worse, being seated in an adjacent room, the walls throbbing to
the beat of "The Chicken Dance"? Ask about your club's policy on special
events. Many clubs have a dedicated party room and will keep the regular
dining room open for members, or will send a calendar to members so they're
informed about scheduled events in advance.


8. "That 'pro' helping you with your swing might be an apprentice."
A big perk for many country club members is getting to train or practice
with a golf pro. To be considered a "pro," a golfer should be a Class A
Professional, which means he or she has successfully completed the
Professional Golfers' Association of America's three-level training program.
But at many clubs, lessons are given by assistant pros, which is perfectly
acceptable - in fact, the golf pro training program requires aspiring pros
to clock a certain number of hours working under Class A Professionals.

While many assistant pros can be good teachers, some are, well, greener than
the grass on the golf course. Nick Stripling, a former assistant pro at
Bolingbrook Golf Club in suburban Chicago, recalls a colleague who was hired
when he had just begun PGA training and had never taught a lesson before.
"He just played golf in college," says Stripling. (A Bolingbrook rep says
assistant pros often give lessons to beginners.)

Tom Gustafson, executive director of the Southern California Section of the
PGA, says pros should have apprentices give them mock lessons before
teaching others. But that doesn't always happen. Ask about your instructor's
training. And if you want your club's pro, request him or her specifically -
but be prepared to pay more, as much as $150 for a one-hour lesson.

9. "Don't let the fine china fool you - we're not as clean as we look."
In mid-2002, more than 100 people contracted salmonella poisoning after
eating at Brook-Lea Country Club in Rochester, N.Y. The club's insurance
company later settled claims for an undisclosed amount. In late 2003 the
Rockwood Golf Club in Independence, Mo., was cited for a "critical" health
code violation for employees not wearing gloves while making sandwiches. To
be sure, these infractions are similar to any you'd find at a delinquent
restaurant. (Rockwood's general manager, Clayton Burnett, says the
violations were "promptly corrected" and that the club is "now more
stringent in all of our sanitation practices." John Maggio, president of the
board of the Brook-Lea Country Club, says the club hired a new chef after
the incident and worked with the local health department to put additional
health safety procedures in place.)

Country club restaurants are just that - restaurants - and are subject to
the same health-department regulations. But there's one difference: Country
clubs are big on buffets, often a more fertile breeding ground for bacteria
than food served la carte. Most clubs are regularly inspected, but be
aware that they're held to no higher standard than your local Denny's. And
when you can, think about skipping the buffet.

10. "Sure, we're a private club, but we're also a big corporation."
Traditionally, country clubs have been tightly held by a wealthy family or
by the club's members. Many still are. But as in so many industries,
corporations are gobbling up the more than 5,000 U.S. country clubs and some
16,000 golf courses. ClubCorp, one of the largest of these companies, owns
or operates nearly 100.

Critics say the conglomerates detract from the personality and charm of the
country club industry. Big companies running strings of clubs, Vain says,
"are going to look at it from the bottom line up." Indeed, when a chain
acquires a club, its first priority is often to increase membership, since
that's the fastest and easiest way to boost revenue.

But consolidation can sometimes be good for members. Big companies can often
afford to operate an unprofitable club, even spend money on improvements,
which is something independent operators can't always do. And though
membership generally grows when a corporation steps in, membership fees
often go down.




29 Nov 2005 15:46:57
Doug Main
Re: 10 Things Your Country Club Won't Tell You

The private clubs around here are all member owned. Your entrance fee
is comprised of a share in ownership plus a transfer fee. Most of the
clubs are full equity situations, where your share price includes a
portion of the ownership of the course itself. In some cases, the
course is on publicly owned land, on a long term (99 year renewable)
lease, and ownership doesn't confer any real estate value.

Of course, ownership involves you in responsibility for additional
investment for upgrades, expansion, etc. Recently, the golf club we
were at for several years underwent a three year renovation that cost
big bucks and took most of the course out of operation for the best part
of 2 seasons. Dues were still required to be paid. Of course, now the
share price has skyrocketed, assuming you can find one on the open market.

The notion of a corporation owning the club, and selling memberships is
confined to gyms and sports (tennis) clubs. I've belonged to both kinds
of sports club operations, and the member-owned situation is vastly
different (and better). Were I to "join" a golf club again, I would be
very hesitant to spend thousands on up front fees that didn't give me an
ownership stake.




--
Doug Main
"It's never too late to have a happy childhood."


29 Nov 2005 10:20:59
Lloyd Parsons
Re: 10 Things Your Country Club Won't Tell You

In article <RJ_if.654295$tl2.576976@pd7tw3no >,
Doug Main <dougmain@snipthisshaw.ca > wrote:

> The private clubs around here are all member owned. Your entrance fee
> is comprised of a share in ownership plus a transfer fee. Most of the
> clubs are full equity situations, where your share price includes a
> portion of the ownership of the course itself. In some cases, the
> course is on publicly owned land, on a long term (99 year renewable)
> lease, and ownership doesn't confer any real estate value.
>
> Of course, ownership involves you in responsibility for additional
> investment for upgrades, expansion, etc. Recently, the golf club we
> were at for several years underwent a three year renovation that cost
> big bucks and took most of the course out of operation for the best part
> of 2 seasons. Dues were still required to be paid. Of course, now the
> share price has skyrocketed, assuming you can find one on the open market.
>
> The notion of a corporation owning the club, and selling memberships is
> confined to gyms and sports (tennis) clubs. I've belonged to both kinds
> of sports club operations, and the member-owned situation is vastly
> different (and better). Were I to "join" a golf club again, I would be
> very hesitant to spend thousands on up front fees that didn't give me an
> ownership stake.

Around here, there are only a very few private clubs. Costs are very
modest in comparison to some rates I've seen posted here, often no
initiation fees either.

But we do have a bunch of semi-private clubs that are very inexpensive
and some a bit more. Membership in them is usually just pre-paying for
a year of golf and a few other relatively minor amenities.

I'm a member at a semi-private and my annual cost is $725 which pays for
all my golf and I get a discounted cart rate when I want to ride and
free coffee. The only other amenity is the annual tournament and
potluck dinner.

Lloyd


29 Nov 2005 16:35:48
Doug Main
Re: 10 Things Your Country Club Won't Tell You

Lloyd Parsons wrote:
> In article <RJ_if.654295$tl2.576976@pd7tw3no>,

>
> I'm a member at a semi-private and my annual cost is $725 which pays for
> all my golf and I get a discounted cart rate when I want to ride and
> free coffee. The only other amenity is the annual tournament and
> potluck dinner.
>
> Lloyd

I don't view that as "club membership" as such. It's just prepaying
your green fees for the year and getting some discounting, booking
rights, etc.

Many of the public clubs around here could be called semi-private since
they offer this sort of membership, but my definition of membership
requires that an upfront share/transfer/initiation fee be paid over and
above the cost of dues/green fees.




--
Doug Main
"It's never too late to have a happy childhood."


29 Nov 2005 10:52:22
Lloyd Parsons
Re: 10 Things Your Country Club Won't Tell You

In article <Er%if.647023$oW2.213367@pd7tw1no >,
Doug Main <dougmain@snipthisshaw.ca > wrote:

> Lloyd Parsons wrote:
> > In article <RJ_if.654295$tl2.576976@pd7tw3no>,
>
> >
> > I'm a member at a semi-private and my annual cost is $725 which pays for
> > all my golf and I get a discounted cart rate when I want to ride and
> > free coffee. The only other amenity is the annual tournament and
> > potluck dinner.
> >
> > Lloyd
>
> I don't view that as "club membership" as such. It's just prepaying
> your green fees for the year and getting some discounting, booking
> rights, etc.
>
> Many of the public clubs around here could be called semi-private since
> they offer this sort of membership, but my definition of membership
> requires that an upfront share/transfer/initiation fee be paid over and
> above the cost of dues/green fees.

I'm sure you don't view that as 'club membership'. Personally the only
thing that a 'club membership' as you define it is doing is adding some
exclusivity to it, and usually a bit fancier setting, although according
to some recent articles, that is not as true as it once was. So the
exclusivity is the allure, and I guess if what I've been told, the
chance of making money when selling that membership.

For me, the more exclusive clubs don't bring anything to the table for
the money. When I'm going to play golf, I just want to play golf and
maybe try to rattle my opponents a bit so I can get that $.25 skin. A
quick burger and a drink is all I'm looking for when I'm out there, a
chance to enjoy a casual stroll over some very pretty landscape and of
course, the camaraderie of fellow golfers.

While all golf courses have their share of jerks on them, it seems that
I've met more at the few exclusive clubs I've played than in the public
and semi-privates. Maybe just luck... ;-)


29 Nov 2005 16:53:16
Bobby Knight
Re: 10 Things Your Country Club Won't Tell You

On Tue, 29 Nov 2005 15:46:57 GMT, Doug Main <dougmain@snipthisshaw.ca >
wrote:

>The private clubs around here are all member owned. Your entrance fee
>is comprised of a share in ownership plus a transfer fee. Most of the
>clubs are full equity situations, where your share price includes a
>portion of the ownership of the course itself. In some cases, the
>course is on publicly owned land, on a long term (99 year renewable)
>lease, and ownership doesn't confer any real estate value.
My club is an equity club, but at a certain age (60 and having been a
member for 10 years) you can take a "senior" membership, which
involves turning your equity in for paying half-dues. There are so
many clubs in our area that the prices aren't very high, and resale of
memberships takes a long time. I took the senior member route and
don't regret it at all. Since I paid $2000 for my initial membership
in 1980, it has certainly been amortized.
>
>Of course, ownership involves you in responsibility for additional
>investment for upgrades, expansion, etc. Recently, the golf club we
>were at for several years underwent a three year renovation that cost
>big bucks and took most of the course out of operation for the best part
>of 2 seasons. Dues were still required to be paid. Of course, now the
>share price has skyrocketed, assuming you can find one on the open market.
>
We'v only had two assessments during my tenure at my club. One for a
new watering system. that is paid monthly $60, until it is funded ,
and now a small one (one-time $330 for regular members/$165 for
seniors) that is for a nebulous "energy cost", even though we just had
a gas well hit on our property, bringing in $15K+ monthly. Our
manager likes to show profit.
___,
o
|
/
.
"Someone likes every shot"!
bk


29 Nov 2005 11:43:01
oconnell@slr.orl.lmco.com
Re: 10 Things Your Country Club Won't Tell You


Lloyd Parsons wrote:
> In article <Er%if.647023$oW2.213367@pd7tw1no>,
> Doug Main <dougmain@snipthisshaw.ca> wrote:
>
> > Lloyd Parsons wrote:
> > > In article <RJ_if.654295$tl2.576976@pd7tw3no>,
> >
> > >
> > > I'm a member at a semi-private and my annual cost is $725 which pays for
> > > all my golf and I get a discounted cart rate when I want to ride and
> > > free coffee. The only other amenity is the annual tournament and
> > > potluck dinner.
> > >
> > > Lloyd
> >
> > I don't view that as "club membership" as such. It's just prepaying
> > your green fees for the year and getting some discounting, booking
> > rights, etc.
> >
[snip]
>
> I'm sure you don't view that as 'club membership'.

Well, I think what they are really getting at is that you don't
really
own anything. You've just prepaid some costs.

> Personally the only
> thing that a 'club membership' as you define it is doing is adding some
> exclusivity to it, and usually a bit fancier setting, although according
> to some recent articles, that is not as true as it once was. So the
> exclusivity is the allure, and I guess if what I've been told, the
> chance of making money when selling that membership.

A true, member equity club, is a very nice environment in
which to play golf. Whether it is "worth it" or not will be a very
personal decision. But they tend not to be as crowded, the
course conditions tend to be better, and the facilities can
be much better. However, as the original article was saying,
that is becoming harder to find these days. When you do,
it won't be cheap.

> For me, the more exclusive clubs don't bring anything to the table for
> the money. When I'm going to play golf, I just want to play golf and
> maybe try to rattle my opponents a bit so I can get that $.25 skin. A
> quick burger and a drink is all I'm looking for when I'm out there, a
> chance to enjoy a casual stroll over some very pretty landscape and of
> course, the camaraderie of fellow golfers.

So good greens, available tee times, and a helpful staff aren't a
concern?

> While all golf courses have their share of jerks on them, it seems that
> I've met more at the few exclusive clubs I've played than in the public
> and semi-privates. Maybe just luck... ;-)

There is no doubt that if you aren't a member, and a member knows
it,
there will be someone around to give attitude about that fact. For
some,
that's part of the purpose of being a member. It loses its exclusivity
if
a nonmember is somehow getting in on the action. What I've found is
that
the vast majority just want some good golf. And I will say I've never
found the inevitable "bachelor party" at the more exclusive courses.



29 Nov 2005 19:57:56
Bobby Knight
Re: 10 Things Your Country Club Won't Tell You

On Tue, 29 Nov 2005 10:52:22 -0600, Lloyd Parsons
<lloydparsons@mac.com > wrote:

<clip >
>While all golf courses have their share of jerks on them, it seems that
>I've met more at the few exclusive clubs I've played than in the public
>and semi-privates. Maybe just luck... ;-)

Jerks are jerks wherever you play. Luckily, my club is made up of
real people. Frankly, I've played some very exclusive clubs, and have
only had one situation that was a bother. Never been snubbed, but
years ago at the Atlanta Country Club, I was told that I couldn't play
because of the length of my bermuda shorts. They were 1" short of
their dress code. The cheapest pair that the had in the pro shop was
$85 dollars, but I was playing as a guest, and one of the foursome had
a pair of shorts in his locker that he lent me.

I've been on public courses where guys played without shirts, threw
beer cans on the ground, and were complete assholes, and others that
are courses on which you would be very comfortable.

You just can't generalize about this.
___,
o
|
/
.
"Someone likes every shot"!
bk


29 Nov 2005 14:01:20
Lloyd Parsons
Re: 10 Things Your Country Club Won't Tell You

In article <1133293381.826854.313810@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.com >,
"oconnell@slr.orl.lmco.com" <oconnell@slr.orl.lmco.com > wrote:

> Lloyd Parsons wrote:
> > In article <Er%if.647023$oW2.213367@pd7tw1no>,
> > Doug Main <dougmain@snipthisshaw.ca> wrote:
> >
> > > Lloyd Parsons wrote:
> > > > In article <RJ_if.654295$tl2.576976@pd7tw3no>,
> > >
> > > >
> > > > I'm a member at a semi-private and my annual cost is $725 which pays for
> > > > all my golf and I get a discounted cart rate when I want to ride and
> > > > free coffee. The only other amenity is the annual tournament and
> > > > potluck dinner.
> > > >
> > > > Lloyd
> > >
> > > I don't view that as "club membership" as such. It's just prepaying
> > > your green fees for the year and getting some discounting, booking
> > > rights, etc.
> > >
> [snip]
> >
> > I'm sure you don't view that as 'club membership'.
>
> Well, I think what they are really getting at is that you don't
> really
> own anything. You've just prepaid some costs.
>
> > Personally the only
> > thing that a 'club membership' as you define it is doing is adding some
> > exclusivity to it, and usually a bit fancier setting, although according
> > to some recent articles, that is not as true as it once was. So the
> > exclusivity is the allure, and I guess if what I've been told, the
> > chance of making money when selling that membership.
>
> A true, member equity club, is a very nice environment in
> which to play golf. Whether it is "worth it" or not will be a very
> personal decision. But they tend not to be as crowded, the
> course conditions tend to be better, and the facilities can
> be much better. However, as the original article was saying,
> that is becoming harder to find these days. When you do,
> it won't be cheap.
>
I was reading some article recently about how more public courses are
becoming real competition to the member only courses in quality of
course and to a lesser extent, clubhouse facilities.

I don't live in or near a city, so crowds are seldom an issue.

> > For me, the more exclusive clubs don't bring anything to the table for
> > the money. When I'm going to play golf, I just want to play golf and
> > maybe try to rattle my opponents a bit so I can get that $.25 skin. A
> > quick burger and a drink is all I'm looking for when I'm out there, a
> > chance to enjoy a casual stroll over some very pretty landscape and of
> > course, the camaraderie of fellow golfers.
>
> So good greens, available tee times, and a helpful staff aren't a
> concern?
>
Around here, I've not found the semi-private and public courses to be
lacking in all of that. Very comparable to the private ones in most
instances.

Of course, it may very well be that because this is a very rural part of
the country that causes this. There are VERY few exclusive, member-only
clubs here. Most are of the semi-private variety, with a very few
municipal courses.

One of the very best courses here is a semi-private course, Stone Creek
in Makanda, IL. The last couple of years, it has hosted the Ill. Girls
High School championships, both because of the quality of the course and
the fact that weather is less likely to be an issue this far south.

> > While all golf courses have their share of jerks on them, it seems that
> > I've met more at the few exclusive clubs I've played than in the public
> > and semi-privates. Maybe just luck... ;-)
>
> There is no doubt that if you aren't a member, and a member knows
> it,
> there will be someone around to give attitude about that fact. For
> some,
> that's part of the purpose of being a member. It loses its exclusivity
> if
> a nonmember is somehow getting in on the action. What I've found is
> that
> the vast majority just want some good golf. And I will say I've never
> found the inevitable "bachelor party" at the more exclusive courses.

If I were a member of such a club, I think I would want that exclusivity
and all that entails. That is what I would be paying for.


29 Nov 2005 14:02:41
Mike Dalecki
Re: 10 Things Your Country Club Won't Tell You

Doug Main wrote:
> Lloyd Parsons wrote:
>
>> In article <RJ_if.654295$tl2.576976@pd7tw3no>,
>
>
>>
>> I'm a member at a semi-private and my annual cost is $725 which pays
>> for all my golf and I get a discounted cart rate when I want to ride
>> and free coffee. The only other amenity is the annual tournament and
>> potluck dinner.
>>
>> Lloyd
>
>
> I don't view that as "club membership" as such. It's just prepaying
> your green fees for the year and getting some discounting, booking
> rights, etc.
>
> Many of the public clubs around here could be called semi-private since
> they offer this sort of membership, but my definition of membership
> requires that an upfront share/transfer/initiation fee be paid over and
> above the cost of dues/green fees.

I'm a member of a semi-private club.

To join, you must buy one share of stock. Cost? $400, one time, which
can be paid over a period of years.

Then you have annual dues (last year, IIRC, $659 for a single
membership). I get my money's worth and then some, and we have the best
course in a 30-mile radius. Underutilized, too. But not by me. :)

Then food/beverage assessment (last year, IIRC, $270). For me, that
money was spent by the end of June.

I'm a part owner of the club. I own about 1/300th of the club, but if I
try to redeem my stock, I'll only get back the $400 I paid in.

And I agree with whomever said they'd have second thoughts about paying
thousands to a club they weren't part owner in. Here, the members are
the owners, and it makes a big difference in how the club is run.

Mike





--
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mike Dalecki GCA Accredited Clubmaker http://clubdoctor.com
RSG-Wisconsin 2005 Information: http://dalecki.net/rsgwis2005/
---------------------------------------------------------------------------


29 Nov 2005 12:05:28
larry
Re: 10 Things Your Country Club Won't Tell You

On Tue, 29 Nov 2005 19:57:56 GMT, Bobby Knight <bknight@conramp.net >
wrote:

>On Tue, 29 Nov 2005 10:52:22 -0600, Lloyd Parsons
><lloydparsons@mac.com> wrote:
>
><clip>
>>While all golf courses have their share of jerks on them, it seems that
>>I've met more at the few exclusive clubs I've played than in the public
>>and semi-privates. Maybe just luck... ;-)
>
>Jerks are jerks wherever you play. Luckily, my club is made up of
>real people. Frankly, I've played some very exclusive clubs, and have
>only had one situation that was a bother. Never been snubbed, but
>years ago at the Atlanta Country Club, I was told that I couldn't play
>because of the length of my bermuda shorts. They were 1" short of
>their dress code. The cheapest pair that the had in the pro shop was
>$85 dollars, but I was playing as a guest, and one of the foursome had
>a pair of shorts in his locker that he lent me.
>
>I've been on public courses where guys played without shirts, threw
>beer cans on the ground, and were complete assholes

Sounds like Torrey Pines anytime--. You can get yourself into a
serious fist fight there by simply asking people to be polite.

Quite a few of our members formerly played there..

Larry


29 Nov 2005 13:04:48
Howard Brazee
Re: 10 Things Your Country Club Won't Tell You

On Tue, 29 Nov 2005 14:01:20 -0600, Lloyd Parsons
<lloydparsons@mac.com > wrote:

>Around here, I've not found the semi-private and public courses to be
>lacking in all of that. Very comparable to the private ones in most
>instances.

My son-in-law's a member of a club, and I have enjoyed playing as his
guest. It's a nice course, but he doesn't like the fact that because
it is paid for, he is reluctant to play anywhere else.

Playing one course only doesn't let you know how good you are, and
doesn't let you discover new delights as much.


29 Nov 2005 14:32:42
Lloyd Parsons
Re: 10 Things Your Country Club Won't Tell You

In article <50dpo15h0f3nareerpt5vqclm9uvf06j0l@4ax.com >,
Howard Brazee <howard@brazee.net > wrote:

> On Tue, 29 Nov 2005 14:01:20 -0600, Lloyd Parsons
> <lloydparsons@mac.com> wrote:
>
> >Around here, I've not found the semi-private and public courses to be
> >lacking in all of that. Very comparable to the private ones in most
> >instances.
>
> My son-in-law's a member of a club, and I have enjoyed playing as his
> guest. It's a nice course, but he doesn't like the fact that because
> it is paid for, he is reluctant to play anywhere else.
>
> Playing one course only doesn't let you know how good you are, and
> doesn't let you discover new delights as much.

I tend to play the one I'm a member at most, not only because it is paid
for, but because it is very close to work and home. It was one of 4 or
5 close enough to be considered.

But golf down here is cheap. Walking on the most expensive course
usually won't set you back more than $20, riding is from $25-40 for 18
holes. So playing other courses during the year isn't really out of the
question.


29 Nov 2005 13:09:39
Tex
Re: 10 Things Your Country Club Won't Tell You


Lloyd Parsons wrote:
> When I'm going to play golf, I just want to play golf and
> maybe try to rattle my opponents a bit so I can get that $.25 skin.

Can't beat them with your game, gotta try the head game instead, eh?
I'll bet you are proud of that quarter.

> While all golf courses have their share of jerks on them, it seems that
> I've met more at the few exclusive clubs I've played than in the public
> and semi-privates.

Definition: Jerk - someone that beats you out of a $1 skin

Tex



29 Nov 2005 16:12:19
John van der Pflum
Re: 10 Things Your Country Club Won't Tell You

On 29 Nov 2005 13:09:39 -0800, "Tex" <marktexkoenig@yahoo.com > wrote:

>
>Lloyd Parsons wrote:
>> When I'm going to play golf, I just want to play golf and
>> maybe try to rattle my opponents a bit so I can get that $.25 skin.
>
>Can't beat them with your game, gotta try the head game instead, eh?
>I'll bet you are proud of that quarter.
>
>> While all golf courses have their share of jerks on them, it seems that
>> I've met more at the few exclusive clubs I've played than in the public
>> and semi-privates.
>
>Definition: Jerk - someone that beats you out of a $1 skin
>
>Tex

Or makes a 20' on 18 to win the match and then does a crazy zulu
victory dance.
--

jvdp
http://www.rsgcincinnati.com


29 Nov 2005 21:19:22
Carbon
Re: 10 Things Your Country Club Won't Tell You

On Tue, 29 Nov 2005 14:02:41 -0600, Mike Dalecki wrote:

> I'm a member of a semi-private club.
>
> To join, you must buy one share of stock. Cost? $400, one time, which
> can be paid over a period of years.
>
> Then you have annual dues (last year, IIRC, $659 for a single
> membership). I get my money's worth and then some, and we have the best
> course in a 30-mile radius. Underutilized, too. But not by me. :)
>
> Then food/beverage assessment (last year, IIRC, $270). For me, that
> money was spent by the end of June.
>
> I'm a part owner of the club. I own about 1/300th of the club, but if I
> try to redeem my stock, I'll only get back the $400 I paid in.
>
> And I agree with whomever said they'd have second thoughts about paying
> thousands to a club they weren't part owner in. Here, the members are
> the owners, and it makes a big difference in how the club is run.

That's really inexpensive, especially for a good quality track. The
private club here in town has a $3000 non-refundable initiation and
$300/month dues, plus a food/beverage assessment of $800 or $1000. The
course is nowhere near the best around, but it is kept in very good
condition. I briefly considered it, but it's just too much money for what
it is. I would be thrilled to have your situation, but such things don't
exist here in Central Florida. I guess there are advantages to having a
shorter golf season and being in a non-touristy area.


29 Nov 2005 21:20:28
Bobby Knight
Re: 10 Things Your Country Club Won't Tell You

On Tue, 29 Nov 2005 16:12:19 -0500, John van der Pflum
<jpflumjr@ughookugh.com > wrote:

>On 29 Nov 2005 13:09:39 -0800, "Tex" <marktexkoenig@yahoo.com> wrote:

>>Definition: Jerk - someone that beats you out of a $1 skin
>>
>>Tex
>
>Or makes a 20' on 18 to win the match and then does a crazy zulu
>victory dance.

Or....wins the only $2 skin of the day (with carry-overs) in a
fivesome. Happened this weekend...but not for me dammit.
___,
o
|
/
.
"Someone likes every shot"!
bk


29 Nov 2005 21:29:54
Bobby Knight
Re: 10 Things Your Country Club Won't Tell You

On Tue, 29 Nov 2005 14:02:41 -0600, Mike Dalecki <mike@clubdoctor.com >
wrote:

>I'm a member of a semi-private club.
>
>To join, you must buy one share of stock. Cost? $400, one time, which
>can be paid over a period of years.
>
>Then you have annual dues (last year, IIRC, $659 for a single
>membership). I get my money's worth and then some, and we have the best
>course in a 30-mile radius. Underutilized, too. But not by me. :)
>
>Then food/beverage assessment (last year, IIRC, $270). For me, that
>money was spent by the end of June.
>
>I'm a part owner of the club. I own about 1/300th of the club, but if I
>try to redeem my stock, I'll only get back the $400 I paid in.
>
>And I agree with whomever said they'd have second thoughts about paying
>thousands to a club they weren't part owner in. Here, the members are
>the owners, and it makes a big difference in how the club is run.
>
>Mike

Great deal, and I thought that my situation was pretty good!!!
My monthly base (because of the senior status) is $280 plus tax. That
includes food minimum with tips, (food only, does not include any
beverages), shoe care and bag storage. $14 per round for carts.

My bill usually is around $400. I just figure $6K for a year because
tournaments are extra, and there's always something else.
___,
o
|
/
.
"Someone likes every shot"!
bk


29 Nov 2005 15:42:38
Lloyd Parsons
Re: 10 Things Your Country Club Won't Tell You

In article <1133298579.434601.105220@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com >,
"Tex" <marktexkoenig@yahoo.com > wrote:

> Lloyd Parsons wrote:
> > When I'm going to play golf, I just want to play golf and
> > maybe try to rattle my opponents a bit so I can get that $.25 skin.
>
> Can't beat them with your game, gotta try the head game instead, eh?
> I'll bet you are proud of that quarter.
>
Hey, the head game IS part of the game after all... ;-)

> > While all golf courses have their share of jerks on them, it seems that
> > I've met more at the few exclusive clubs I've played than in the public
> > and semi-privates.
>
> Definition: Jerk - someone that beats you out of a $1 skin
>
> Tex

Can't be, I never play for the big bucks!


29 Nov 2005 13:53:51
The_Professor
Re: 10 Things Your Country Club Won't Tell You


Doug Main wrote:
> Lloyd Parsons wrote:
> > In article <RJ_if.654295$tl2.576976@pd7tw3no>,
>
> >
> > I'm a member at a semi-private and my annual cost is $725 which pays for
> > all my golf and I get a discounted cart rate when I want to ride and
> > free coffee. The only other amenity is the annual tournament and
> > potluck dinner.
> >
> > Lloyd
>
> I don't view that as "club membership" as such. It's just prepaying
> your green fees for the year and getting some discounting, booking
> rights, etc.
>
> Many of the public clubs around here could be called semi-private since
> they offer this sort of membership, but my definition of membership
> requires that an upfront share/transfer/initiation fee be paid over and
> above the cost of dues/green fees.
>

They don't have too many real private clubs around here, and the ones
that are here are overpriced. Some of the problems outlined for the
member owned clubs are new to me, especially the idea of not being able
to quit. A big problem I've seen at some member owned clubs is good ole
so and so is in financial ruin, so they let his membership go without
any payment rather than kick him out, him being so good and ole and
all. Multiply this over a dozen or so members, and it really hurts the
revenue stream.

The biggest problem I've had, as you might imagine, is certain people
thinking they are the ruling cabal at the club and figuring they have
more rights to facilities than everyone else. This becomes more of a
problem when one of this ruling cabal is one of the ole boys who can't
pay his bills (and its always males who do this sort of thing).

I could go for a decently priced private club, but right now I really
like the combination of the muni and the semi private memberships I
have. The muni is 50 bucks a month for unlimited greens fees and the
semi private is 65 bucks a month, and is almost all private, so it
doesn't get overplayed. I'm not playing cartball so much any more, more
into golf, so the cart fees are down, but are only 11 bucks at the muni
for 18; sixteen bucks at the semi private.

The biggest jerks in golf are, IMHO, the phoney low handicappers who
want tournaments flighted after the first round, want to play it "up"
all the time and can always be heard whining about how unfair
everything is because they never "win" anything!



29 Nov 2005 14:08:30
Annika1980
Re: 10 Things Your Country Club Won't Tell You

11. "Bring your Black and Hispanic friends to play with you. Everyone
is welcome here at Bushwood C.C."



29 Nov 2005 17:43:34
warren montgomery
Re: 10 Things Your Country Club Won't Tell You

Gee, my "club" (the local muni) cost about $400 for all the golf I can play.
One standard 18 holer and one executive 9. Neither would win a design
award, but the maintenance is first rate. The courses are underused and
most of the time I can just walk on and play, especially early in the
morning when I like to play. (We do pay an extra $100 to reserve the first
tee time on Saturday). No food minimums and no funky rules on when you can
play and who you can play with. I grew up playing in a great private club,
and occasionally have the privilege of playing one as a guest, but I've
never been tempted to join. I figure I save enough playing my "everyday
golf" at the muni to let me spluge on playing nice courses when I travel,
and certainly spend a lot more doing that.

--
Warren Montgomery (wamontgomery@att.net)
http://home.att.net/~wamontgomery




29 Nov 2005 19:53:44
William Clark
Re: 10 Things Your Country Club Won't Tell You

In article <a1dpo1dmlamgoah6uh5nhlq3m2slbi7reh@4ax.com >,
larry <larry@delmardata.com > wrote:

> On Tue, 29 Nov 2005 19:57:56 GMT, Bobby Knight <bknight@conramp.net>
> wrote:
>
> >On Tue, 29 Nov 2005 10:52:22 -0600, Lloyd Parsons
> ><lloydparsons@mac.com> wrote:
> >
> ><clip>
> >>While all golf courses have their share of jerks on them, it seems that
> >>I've met more at the few exclusive clubs I've played than in the public
> >>and semi-privates. Maybe just luck... ;-)
> >
> >Jerks are jerks wherever you play. Luckily, my club is made up of
> >real people. Frankly, I've played some very exclusive clubs, and have
> >only had one situation that was a bother. Never been snubbed, but
> >years ago at the Atlanta Country Club, I was told that I couldn't play
> >because of the length of my bermuda shorts. They were 1" short of
> >their dress code. The cheapest pair that the had in the pro shop was
> >$85 dollars, but I was playing as a guest, and one of the foursome had
> >a pair of shorts in his locker that he lent me.
> >
> >I've been on public courses where guys played without shirts, threw
> >beer cans on the ground, and were complete assholes
>
> Sounds like Torrey Pines anytime--. You can get yourself into a
> serious fist fight there by simply asking people to be polite.
>
> Quite a few of our members formerly played there..
>
> Larry

Oh, God. They must have let a few lefty liberals out on the course.

William Clark