The Niggle: A great course or a great club?

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When deciding on golf club membership which is most important to you - the course or the club?

Are you only interested in being a member where the course is fantastic and you simply love to play it, regardless of the other facilities and members?

Or is the course secondary to the club itself and you care more for the atmosphere and social aspects that a golf club provides?

Members of the team at National Club Golfer debate the issue:

JS – Obviously it would be preferable to be a member somewhere which has a great course and a great club but for me to splash out on a joining fee, I want more than just a great course.

In my opinion, there’s no point being a member somewhere where you just rock up play a round and then get straight back in the car to go home – you might as well just pay a guest fee each time.

If I had to chose, my preference would be a decent course which is fun to play without being amazing and a friendly, welcoming club where I would happily go even if I wasn’t playing golf.

Who would be your perfect playing partner?

KH – At the moment Jimbo I can’t be too particular with which club I look to join, as I’m not exactly flush with cash.

So I would say the major factor for me would be the financial aspect of things – is there a Get into golf scheme offering discounted membership? What age does intermediate membership transfer to full membership? Is there a gym on site?

As much as I’d like to join the best courses in the area, it’s just not feasible.

So I’m going to have to go for Club as more important.

JE – When deciding on golf club membership the first thing you look at is the quality of course, as that to me is the most important.

Obviously, the facilities also has a big factor in this decision as you want a club that has a great golf course and the facilities to back that up.

If your only joining a golf club for the atmosphere / social aspects then I’m sure there are much cheaper options…. a local pub darts team possibly?

Should jeans be allowed in the clubhouse?

DM – On the basis that you can have a great night out sitting round a table if the company is right, I think being part of a good club is more desirable.

I guess it also depends on what you want from your membership – if you are purely looking to play the best golf course you can then that’s one thing, but I would suspect most of us are also hoping for a social experience and a bit of camaraderie.

MT – The club. If you are a member anywhere there is, after a time, an element of repetition of playing the same course so the senses are going to need to be stirred more by your playing partners and the level of scintillating conversation that takes place for four hours.
 
I’d also like to have my proverbial cake and eat it and get excited every time I arrive at the  club but, given the choice, the prospect of entering club knockouts, adding to my short list of friends and having a giggle gets the nod.

Growing up I was a member somewhere very sociable and was also lucky enough to get a free membership (due to being, in my own words,
an enormously talented teenager) at the best course within 20 miles.

Does it take too long to play a round of golf?

I spent my entire youth at the first club and loved every second of it.

I would play the other course when it was likely to be empty and there was less chance of being ticked off by someone.

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