The Benefits of Country Club Membership
If you love golf and play often, a membership to a country club could be very worthwhile. There are many benefits that come with club membership, notably the unlimited quality golfing, as well as all sorts of other activities and events to enjoy. A country club membership can be a considerable investment, and as with any purchase, you’ll want to fully explore all the benefits before making a decision. Let’s explore some of the best perks that come with country club membership.
Is Country Club Membership Worth It?
One of the biggest considerations when joining a country club is the cost. Understanding the costs involved in joining a country club can help you decide if all of the benefits are worth membership. The initiation fee — the payment you make to gain access to the club — is probably the biggest expense related to the cost of membership, and can vary widely between clubs, and even year to year. Initiation fees might be between $1,000 and $5,000, or they might be hundreds of thousands of dollars at the most exclusive clubs.
The initiation fees can be based on the current economy and financial operations of the club at the time that you join, and so they can easily vary from one year to the next. Clubs may also offer discounts at certain times to attract new members. Financing is often available to spread out the payment of these upfront costs.
In addition to the initiation fees, there are a few other costs to consider when joining a country club:
- Monthly dues: Many clubs charge ongoing monthly fees for membership, which cover operating costs of the club. The exact amount of the monthly dues can vary widely, so it’s a good idea to verify the price before you decide to join a club.
- Assessments: Just like with homeowners associations, sometimes assessments are levied to pay for emergencies, debt payments or special projects. Assessments can be used for things like weather damage, or to build a new clubhouse or other amenities. Each member is required to contribute to the cost of the project through the assessment fees. Not all clubs use assessments, and those that do may have different rules about them, so it’s wise to ask if they are used at all and if there are any plans for projects needing assessments in the near future.
- Minimums: Some clubs have a minimum amount that each member needs to spend each month on extras like the on-site pro shops, bars or restaurants. This is sometimes built into the monthly dues as a spending allowance, but the monthly amount expires at the end of each month. For most members, it’s easy to hit the minimums while enjoying the amenities, and the monthly amount is similar to what they would spend even without a membership.
- Cancellation or separation fees: It’s a good idea to find out the policies for canceling membership if you ever decide to leave the club. The policies can vary for each club — sometimes as long as you’ve paid all your fees, you are free to leave. Other times, there is a fee when you cancel your membership, or you may be required to find a replacement member in order to leave.
- Other costs: Other miscellaneous costs could come along with using your country club membership, including spending on food and drink at the clubhouse and pro shop. You might give tips and gifts for club employees or caddies, or purchase golf lessons, lockers or bag storage. Check if there are any additional fees to use the driving range, pool, tennis courts or other amenities, or what costs might be involved to join any tournaments.
Every club is different, and some of these fees may be included in your membership, but it’s a good idea to ask in advance about all the possible costs associated with membership. Knowing this information lets you decide if the total cost is of value, and lets you properly budget and plan for your purchase. Remember too that you’d pay for many of these costs, and maybe more, golfing as a non-member at other courses. If you golf often, you may be paying a similar amount already, but without all the country club membership benefits.
What’s Included With a Country Club Membership?
The costs of a country club membership cover many different perks and amenities for the members, meaning membership might be well worth it if you’re a golf lover. Here are some of our favorite advantages of joining a country club:
Golf Course Access
One of the best parts of a country club membership is often the golf itself. Many country club memberships offer unlimited golfing to members, so if you are an avid golfer, this could make your membership fees well worth the cost, all by itself. It can also sometimes include unlimited access to driving ranges, putting greens and other on-site practice facilities. Often, clubs have reciprocal agreements with other courses locally or around the world so you can play different courses with your membership. The more you golf, the more you’ll feel like you’re truly getting value from your membership.
The golf courses of private clubs are usually in pristine condition, with thoughtful landscapes and meticulous upkeep. Many of them are designed by well-known architects or have historic significance. Some of the historic golf courses will have much more natural landscaping, rather than more planned styles seen in newer courses — but styles will vary depending on the club’s design and presentation. The fees generated from memberships can provide for a higher level of professional care on the course, including annual maintenance and renovation projects that keep the course and club buildings looking their absolute best.
Country club members also usually get preferred or priority tee time reservations. You’ll find it easier to access the course and to schedule golf times when you want to play. With a membership, you can usually get in as much practice as you like on the course without paying fees every time.
Tennis, Swimming and Other Amenities
Many country clubs have more than just golf. They offer other great amenities like tennis courts and swimming pools. Generally, your membership gives you unlimited access to all these additional amenities. If you have a spouse or a family, everyone can spend the day at the country club, participating in the activities that interest them.
Many country clubs feature tennis courts for members to reserve and play a few matches. There are also often tennis tournaments and events, and professionals available for advice and personalized lessons.
Swimming pools at country clubs generally charge daily guest fees for use to non-members, sometimes around $10 per day, per person, but this price can vary depending on the club. Many clubs also limit the number of times per year that a guest, or non-member may visit the pool. However, as a member, you’ll have unlimited access, and no added daily pool fees. Professional swimming lessons and swim teams are also offered to kids of all ages and abilities at country club pools.
Tennis and swimming are among the most popular, but some clubs also offer diverse activities like bird watching, sailing activities, bocce ball, basketball courts and racquetball courts. Some clubs have fitness centers, spa services and entertainment venues, too. Many of these all-inclusive clubs resemble resorts but are much closer to home. You can feel like you’re on a luxurious vacation by spending a day at the club. Ask at your country club to find out what extra fun activities and amenities they may offer.
Community and Socializing
When you join a country club, you join a community of like-minded people. One of the best benefits of country club membership is all the opportunities to socialize with new people who enjoy the same activities as you. You could find your next golf buddies or a tennis partner. Country clubs are also full of networking opportunities — golf is well-known as being a great place to treat clients, have meetings with co-workers and network with other professionals. Many top CEOs love to golf, so you may even meet some influential people on the course.
Country clubs also often host a variety of social events for members. Events range from networking meet-and-greets to private dinners and from dances to themed evenings. Many clubs have a wide variety of fun activities and social outings for you to take part in and get to know other club members. The club will also likely host several golf tournaments a year for members. Club-sponsored golf tournaments give you a chance to socialize with others at a similar skill level while practicing your golf game.
Private Restaurants and Lounges
Country clubs often have great on-site restaurants with excellent service and delicious food. Each club is unique — you might find any kind of experience from casual pub fare to world-class dining. Many clubs also have several different options for dining on the property.
Often, club memberships include a monthly allowance or minimum to use and enjoy at the on-site dining facilities. The allowance is usually “use it or lose it,” meaning it’s in your best interest to make sure you use up the full amount each month. Your allowance can provide snacks and drinks after golfing, or a meal at one of the club’s restaurants once a month.
At Colonial Golf & Tennis Club, you can dine at Squires Restaurant after a day of golf or tennis with friends. Enjoy cocktails on the beautiful outdoor patio, a romantic dinner for two or a night out with the whole family. Enjoy the lovely views of the 18th hole as you dine on delicious contemporary American cuisine in a luxurious atmosphere.
Another great perk of a country club membership is the access to private event spaces that may not be available to the public. If you want to host a work event, dinner, wedding, holiday party or any other private event, country clubs often offer both indoor and outdoor venues for you to rent out. Even if the club offers the event spaces to the public, members will likely get reduced rental fees or fees waived completely.
Many country clubs offer full-service venue packages, and go beyond just a location for your event, often providing on-site catering services, a professional event planner and many other amenities.
Golf Lessons and Tournaments
Country clubs often provide free or discounted lesson packages to members. Without the perks of membership, lessons for golf can get expensive, so access to free or discounted lessons can help you save money. A country club wants to help its members improve, and provides professional golf lessons for their members. Many clubs have PGA professionals on staff to offer tips or provide lessons. Golf lessons can help you improve your golf game — plus your overall experience on the links and at the club.
Often, country clubs have golf associations for both men and women, offering several annual tournaments in a variety of styles, as well as fundraisers and other special events. The tournaments can range from group scrambles organized just for fun, to serious championships or themed events.
For any members with children, junior golf lessons and programs can be a great benefit to explore. These offerings are a great way to get the whole family involved and introduce your children to the rules and etiquette of the game, as well as provide a way to work on social skills and make new lifelong friends. Soon, you could even play a game as a whole family.
Membership at Colonial Golf & Tennis Club
For the best country club membership in PA, consider Colonial Golf & Tennis Club. Centrally located in the Harrisburg/Colonial Park area of Pennsylvania, Colonial prides itself on providing excellence in membership services. Membership offers access to our scenic, architect-designed 18-hole course, advance tee-time reservations, golf clinics and free golf lessons, tennis courts, a heated swimming pool, fee-free event room reservations, discounts on pro shop items and so much more.
At Colonial Golf & Tennis Club, you’ll find men’s and women’s associations and tournaments, junior golf clinics, an expansive reciprocal program with many other area courses and members-only mornings. Club memberships are perfect for singles, couples or families. If you’re considering country club membership in the Harrisburg area, contact us today to set up your private tour to see all the amazing amenities at Colonial Golf & Tennis Club. Explore the membership options at Colonial and see all that we have to offer. We’re sure you’ll fall in love with the great membership benefits here.