Have you ever considered joining a golf club? Perhaps you are ready to take your casual friendship with the game of golf to the next level and commit yourself to a yearlong (or multi-year in some cases) relationship with your favorite local course. However, while there are undoubtedly many pros associated with becoming a golf club member, this arrangement isn’t for everyone. For those contemplating membership at one of the courses along the Alabama Gulf Coast, golfers should consider whether these benefits outweigh the flexibility of paying green fees whenever desired.
Many courses offer several memberships to fit every lifestyle, ranging from an all-inclusive package to social options or family memberships. Be sure to choose the right membership for you if you join a golf club. Let’s look at some benefits of joining a golf club before highlighting why sticking to a non-member status may be the preferable option.
Ready to Get a Golf Handicap
While you can always claim to have a golf handicap based on your self-scoring, to have an official USGA-approved handicap, you must submit three scorecards to the club where you are a member and receive your handicap index the next day.
If you desire to take golf to a more serious level, this is the step to take, as your ultimate goal will be to reduce your handicap to reflect the improvements in your game. However, the main benefit of an official handicap is the ability to enter tournaments where you can win prizes.
Many golf clubs offer both individual and family memberships. This is an excellent way for your whole crew to get involved. What better way to spend an afternoon than by heading to the course with the entire family and enjoying a round of golf? Spending quality time with your spouse and kids, teaching them how to play, is a rewarding experience that may help justify purchasing the membership.
It's best to check with each golf club to determine what constitutes a family membership. Many will vary, and there may be limitations regarding when a spouse or children can play during the week.
Joining a golf club is certainly not for everyone. The financial commitment is usually a significant factor in determining whether it’s feasible to join. If you decide to join a golf club, the likelihood is that you will want to play this course to get the best value out of the membership. However, another disadvantage of this is losing the ability to play a variety of other courses. Prefer to play a range of courses in your region? A “pay to play” green fee is likely your better option.
The beautiful Alabama Gulf Coast has such a variety of incredible courses that you could justify wanting just to pay to play each time, so you can visit each one. However, several courses in the area offer memberships. If you come to Alabama’s beaches regularly or stay for long periods, a membership to your favorite course may be worth it.
Grab your clubs and explore all 15 of the remarkable courses in and around Gulf Shores and Orange Beach!