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golf club membership

The golf club you can join for a quid

Sick of the prospect of forking out hundreds in membership fees? This Somerset club are hoping their new cut price scheme will reel in the casual players who don’t want to dig deep
 

It might only cost you £1 to sign up – but there’s nothing Poundworld about Orchardleigh Golf & Country Club’s new golf club membership scheme.

They reckon their new ‘Pay Per Round’ package will prove just the green fee ticket for casual golfers who want be part of a club atmosphere but don’t want to fork out a large annual payment.

The scheme, which comes following a complete overhaul of the golf club membership structure, means golfers can become a member for £1 – allowing them to get, or maintain, a handicap, as well as play competitions and enjoy social functions.

In fact, golfers will be able to play as much as they want as long as they pay a green fee each time they turn up at the course.

So there’s the catch, you say. But prices at the 18-hole outfit start at £12 and scheme members will be eligible to take part in all events, in contrast with some flexible, or points based, membership schemes offered at other clubs.

The first 25 that sign up will also benefit from free union fees that usually cost £24.

Orchardleigh, which is found 10 miles south of Bath and includes a large Victorian mansion, an island church and a boathouse, was designed in the mid 1990s by former Ryder Cup legend Brian Huggett, along with Walker Cup stalwart Peter McEvoy.

The parkland layout, which weighs in at more than 6,800 yards off the back tees, has water in play on seven holes.

Chris Vincent, owner of the 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 four million golfers in the UK, 3.5 million don’t belong to a club – and therefore have no opportunity to obtain and 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 added: “’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 casual golfers – it offers an excellent opportunity to embrace a fantastic sport, without needing to over commit.”

Check out their website for more details.

What do you think of this new scheme? Are you a flexible member of a club? How does it differ? Have your say in the comments or tweet me.

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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